Time and Time Again
Ben Elton

It’s the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be.

Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history.

Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war. A war that will begin with a single bullet. But can a single bullet truly corrupt an entire century?

And, if so, could another single bullet save it?

Time and Time Again book cover

“Somewhere in that big dusty city there was a father who would be spared the death in life that he himself was living.”

This clever, thought-provoking story has a lot going for it. The first 15 chapters are very neatly woven together and, despite a third of the book being used for setup, at this point we feel we know enough to proceed. And then, of course, we’re just bashed over the head repeatedly at the end of chapter 17, and again (or at least I was because I’m a clueless idiot) near the end of chapter 45.

I really liked the calculation method for the loop, far more interesting than the vehicular approach I must say, and the plot wasn’t at all bad either. A solemn, introspective ending, and with that great poke at today “which every school kid used to know and are now almost forgotten” (have there ever been truer words about our education system written anywhere?)

I hadn’t read any Elton before that I can recall, although The First Casualty is on my bookshelf. An author to read more of, though, be this any indication.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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