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The Doomsday Book
Connie Willis
For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi...

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Comment from [Reddit user] with 6 upvotes on /r/books/

Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

Came across it on a reddit thread and had to read it because I love time-travel books. I got halfway through it (almost 300 pages) this weekend. Turns out it's part of a series, so there's two more books added to my TBR list!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

I started and finished The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I love historical fiction and time travel into the past, but the past/future dual storylines were a bit unexpected to me. When I finished the book on Friday, I felt that I liked but didn’t love it. However, I haven’t been able to get it off of my mind ever since.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished Eyes of the Dragon, by Stephen King - King's follow up to IT; didn't do it for me. It was cool having Flagg the magician as the bad guy with a couple other links to The Dark Tower series, but other than that I didn't really enjoy it.

Started The Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis - great beginning, starting to get sucked in already.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 4 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished The Women of Brewster Place, by Gloria Naylor. She’s one of my favorite authors, ever since I was introduced to Mama Day years ago. The depth of her characters and the sensitivity with which she portrays their lives - not to mention her beautiful writing - always gets to me.

I’m now reading Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis. This one has been on my list for a while, and I’m enjoying it so far. I’m getting a very Michael-Chrichton-esque vibe from the writing style.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

I’ll probably finish Indigo, by Beverly Jenkins today. This just further confirms my suspicion that romance novels are not my thing (or at least these types of romance novels). I have a hard time suspending disbelief with the whole “two people meet and they don’t like each other, sparks fly, turns out they’re attracted to each other, and they fall madly in love” trope. Maybe I just prefer slow-burn romances? Anyway, I don’t have much to say about this book because it in no way exceeds my expectations, but I’ll see it through to the end.

I’m also reading Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis. This one is starting a bit slow, and the parts set in the present are awkward, but I think it’s going to end up being an enjoyable book. So far the languages in the book have been handled well; it’s medieval-sounding but not so much that it’s a pain to read, and the language becomes incomprehensible when the protagonist is having translation problems. I’m interested in seeing what’s going to happen to her once she gets out into the town.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Still reading Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis this week. The parts set in the medieval era are great, but the present day sections are not as good. They’re moving a little too slowly, and seem to have a lot of extraneous characters. I’m hoping that will change soon and things can start moving along.

Also read The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry this week. This sort of deliberately inspirational book is usually not my thing because to me it usually comes off as cliche or ham fisted. But, this book has got some charm, and was nicer than I was expecting. I enjoyed the simple, unprofessional illustrations as well.

Today I’ll pick up a new read, but I’m not sure what!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Still working on Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis and I just started I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Downbelow Station, by C.J. Cherryh

Finished, it was ok. It started strong -- many POV characters both "good" and "bad", rapid setup for big events, focus on characters more than battles. But as it played out, it seemed to get less interesting.


Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

Started, still in the first chapter.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Gave up on The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis - The writing is good. I gave it 200 pages, but it is moving way too slow for me, and I find the protagonist frustrating and it's hard for me to care what happens next. I might go back to it after a couple other books but I only have so much time to read and if I'm not loving it anymore, I have like 50 books in my to-read pile. So I...

Started The Bachman Books by Stephen King - which comprise 4 books: Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork, and The Running Man. I'm about 30 pages into Rage and I'm liking it so far, but really looking forward to The Long Walk which I've heard great things about.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

I've just started Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis after I saw it recommended by several people in TrollXChromosomes. I don't usually read Sci-Fi, but a novel about how historians might actually use time travel was too good to pass up.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished reading Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis. I’m now reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, by Frederick Douglass.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

The Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

Finished The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. It is simultaneously brilliant and frustratingly dated.

It takes place in a future without cell phones (in fact, being unable to reach people on THE phone is a key plot point), laptops, automatic backups, or university faculty with any semblance of judgment. It also takes place in England, so everything is quite British, even the American characters, which is puzzling because Willis herself is American. This includes the humor (err, humour) as well, although some of it is genuinely funny. There is time travel, T-cell enhancement, a vaccine for plague, and other future technologies, so it's not entirely dated.

On the other hand, Willis brings medieval England to fucking life. The syntax and vocabulary, even when "translated" in Kivrin's mind, feels authentic. Agnes feels like a real medieval child. Rosemund feels like a real medieval teen. Gawyn feels like a real medieval guy with a sword who probably is competent but thinks he's heroic. Jesus fuck is it good. And no spoilers, but things turns sour in the quickest, most heartbreaking way.

Also, I never thought I'd say this, but "reading Petrarch" is a surprisingly good punchline. Lavatory paper, however, is not.

If you like history, sci-fi, and Middle English, you'll love this book. Willis clearly did her research, because the way she presents medieval England and the people who live in it feels more authentic than any representation I've ever seen. There are no knights in shining armor, fair maidens with porcelain skin and soft hands, or courtly displays of nobility. Instead, there are peasant boys with scurvy, cows with painfully swollen udders, puppies, fat middle-aged noblemen engaged to marry 12 year-old girls, rats, horrible diseases, and child abuse.

Good stuff.