Jumping forward to the present, I’ve just finished reading Time And Time Again by Ben Elton. It was a gift, it had been on the shelf for a while, and I had thought that it was about time that I read it… but I kind of wish that I hadn’t.
There is not much depth to the protagonist, Hugh. I think if you replaced the character description in the book with; Imagine a cross between Daniel Craig’s James Bond, and Bear Grills with a dead wife and children, you won’t go far wrong.
The explanation to the mechanics of how he travels through time is fantastically brief, but I don’t think that matters. What did matter however was as to what he thought that then meant, as to what would come of the timeline he was from.
Hugh is sent back to try and prevent the Great War, with no way of getting back to the future, once his mission is complete he will be left to live in the present of his own making.
The book is a real page-turner, so I read through it pretty quickly, but it really seems to fall apart in the 3rd act. It would appear that Hugh’s thoughts about what happens to the timeline he is from are also the authors. It comes across as being confused, and really doesn’t make sense. In fact, it then appears to make less and less sense the more it goes on. It’s the mechanics of the time-travel here that really let it down, as they are so ill-conceived and not scrupulously stuck to. Bill & Ted got this, so I’m not sure why Ben doesn’t. There are far better books that are about the preventing of a real historical event, and what comes with that, such as 11.22.63 by Stephen King (which I will go on to write about), but I wish someone had prevented me for reading this one.
To be continued…