Time and Again

Here is a review of the book “Time and Again” by Jack Finney and Princess scribbles about one of her favorite quote in the book. Time travel always has an untold charm and past always has a beauty like a preserved black and white photograph. Time and again is a lovely tale and every detail has been researched to be a true fact and if not true at least close to reality. You can literally travel along with the lead character ‘Si’ into his world may it be the 20th century or the year 1882 to which he traverses. The author is very much descriptive about each and every minute detail so picturing the scene is not at all tough and making it easy is the fact that the book is an illustrated novel. The thrill, the knots, the twists everything makes it a great book with lot of surprises. Occasionally you may feel bored for it is too descriptive about everything ‘Si’ looks at. At a particular point in the story when ‘Si’ is in the past i.e 1882 while he is traveling in a horse car he remembers –

I once talked with a friend who’d spent a vacation in Paris;
like most people he’d loved the city, walking it every day till his
legs trembled, pleased with nearly everything he saw. But it
wasn’t till he’d been there nearly two weeks that one morning
Paris and its people suddenly became something more than a
background for his vacation, He was sitting in a cafe, out on the
walk, having a tiny cup of Paris-tasting, Paris-smelling coffee,
watching traffic stream by, pleased as always with the countless people on bikes expertly threading their way between and around the cars and buses and trucks. Then a traffic light changed, the stream stopped and waited, and a man on a bike, one foot on the pavement, lifted his arm and wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. And he turned real. In that instant he was no longer a quaint part of a charming background; he turned into a real man, tired from pumping that bike, and for the first time it occurred to my friend that there was a reason so many people picturesquely rode bikes through the heavy traffic, and the reason was to save bus fare and because they couldn’t afford cars. After that, for the few days that were left to him there, my friend continued to enjoy Paris. But now it was no longer an immense travel poster but a real city, because now so were its people.

This is an interesting observation and like the author puts it you suddenly realize the actuality of people and their sufferings in whichever part of the world you may go. Somehow of all the other wonderful things I got to know and enjoy from this book, this particular part kept lingering and so it must be very important, right! The beauty remains with knowing people better.

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