Timeline by Michael Crichton
I almost missed graduation. That’s how much immersed I was in the book. My parents were so confused. I had just finished 4 years of college, and all I wanted to do was read a book.It was probably the tenth book by Michael Crichton I’d ever read, and to me, it was his last great novel. I read two more Crichton novels that summer, and nothing could capture the plot, pacing, and character development in Timeline.
The story was simple. A team of researchers travel back in time to the 14th century to rescue a professor. There, all hell breaks lose they find themselves in the middle of a seige between Lord Oliver of Castlegard and Arnaut de Cervole.
The strength of the writing was the research Crichton interwove into the book. Part of me wonders if he read about the success of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and decided put his own Sci-Fi twist on the genre, since romance is central to the story. What I found particularly strong was Crichton’s explanation of how multiverses worked. It set up the rules for what was to come later in the novel.
Less than a year later, I dragged two friends to the movies to see the movie adaptation. It wasn’t quite the same. Maybe it was some rude couple behind us commenting every ten seconds. Maybe it was trying to jam a story that big into a couple hours. All the history was shrunk to a few lines of dialogue.
But it did have Gerard Butler, before he was Leonidas Butler. Marek was the best character in the book and movie, so at least something carried over.
I did make it to graduation with about 15 minutes to spare.
Book Rating: 9/10