Monday, July 25, 2011

The Map of Time by Felix Palma

The Map of Time: A NovelAs a kid, I loved time travel. One of my favorite shows was Voyagers! (see clip below), and, of course, there was blockbuster movie, Back to the Future.  Add to time travel Victorian London, Jack the Ripper, H.G. Wells, a few other literary luminaries and a good old fashion murder mystery and you have Felix Palma's The Map of Time.  Originally written in Spanish, this is a fun, well-plotted mystery with many twists and turns.

The book opens with Andrew Harrington preparing to commit suicide because his lover was the latest victim of Jack the Ripper.  Separately, a new business, Murray's Time Travel, has recently opened and provides  customers with the opportunity (for a large fee) to travel to the year 2000 to witness man's climatic battle against the automatons.   In a third plot line, H.G. Wells (a central character in the novel) is England's most famous author, having recently published The Time Machine.  In another strand of the story, there is also Claire Haggerty, a young, independent woman constricted by the norms of Victorian society.  There are several other plot lines to the story and supporting characters (the Elephant Man, Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, Henry James, to name a few).  To avoid any spoilers, I'll won't reveal any more.  I enjoyed this book.

The book is 600+ pages.  It reads very quickly.  I could not put it down.  The prose is good although wordy at times; I assume Palma is mimicking the Victorian writing style.  Palma has fun with the issues presented by time travel (alternative worlds, altering the course of history, meeting a former iteration of yourself, creating time travel loops etc.).  Palma laces the novel with several surprises.  When I thought I had figured out where Palma was taking me, he surprised me again.

The Map of Time is a fun and exciting book.  If you are like me and find time travel and Victorian London interesting, you'll enjoy this book.

When I looked back at the Voyagers!, I found the closing tag line to each episode to be particularly apt to this blog (especially with the demise of the large bookstores):

"Take a Voyage down to your public library, it's all in books!"

Voyagers! clip

Back to the Future clip:

1 comment:

  1. Morris do you happen to know the illustrator's name of The Map of Time? Bio of him.
    Want to do a feature of it on my blog.

    Cassandra @ Book & Movie Dimension(