Book Review: Time and Time Again by Ben Elton


Paperback, 528 pages

Published 2014 by Bantam Press


Greetings Brave Adventurers,

The Year is 2025. Ex-soldier and internet survivalist sensation, Hugh Stanton, a man without family or commitments, is called to a meeting at Trinity College by his former history professor, Sally McCluskey. McCluskey has more than a Christmas catch-up in mind though; she is one of the Companions of Chronos, an organization created at the request of and based upon the research of Sir Isaac Newton himself. For Isaac Newton discovered the secret of time travel.

Whisky-drinking, loud-talking and history-infatuated McCluskey wants to know; if you could go back in time, where would you go, and what would you change? For her, the answer is simple. Stop an assassination, and commit another, and prevent The Great War of 1914. And she wants Stanton to do it.

We follow Stanton through his training, and back into a vivid and beautifully depicted 1914. Elton’s historical research makes this a breathtaking and thoroughly enjoyable read, from Constantinople, to his descriptions of the events leading up to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, and most especially the way he brings 1914 Berlin to life.

This is a far more serious read than the other books of Elton’s I’ve read. It lacked the humor of Stark, or the satire of High Society. Hugh Stanton is a man who is deeply alone, his wife and children killed only months before he took up McCluskey’s assignment. The pace is fast and the plot keeps the pages turning.

And just you wait for the twist. You’ll be thinking about it for days afterwards. Because if you change the past, what becomes of the future?

10/10 Dragons (but will they be here tomorrow?)

10 dragons

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