Adult Fiction WILLIS
Summary: In her first full-length novel since her critically acclaimedDoomsday BookConnie Willis, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, once again visits the unpredictable world of time travel.Â Â But this time the result is a joyous journey into a past and future of comic mishaps and historical cross-purposes, in which the power of human love can still make all the difference. On the surface, England in the summer of 1888 is possibly the most restful time in history--lazy afternoons boating on the Thames, tea parties, croquet on the lawn--and time traveler Ned Henry is badly in need of a rest.Â Â He's been shuttling back and forth between the 21st century and the 1940s looking for a Victorian atrocity called the bishop's birdstump.Â Â It's only the latest in a long string of assignments from Lady Schrapnell, the rich dowager who has invaded Oxford University.Â Â She's promised to endow the university's time-travel research project in return for their help in rebuilding the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid over a hundred years before. But the bargain has turned into a nightmare.Â Â Lady Schrapnell's motto is "God is in the details," and as the l25th anniversary of the cathedral's destruction--and the deadline for its proposed completion--approaches, time-travel research has fallen by the wayside.Â Â Now Ned and his colleagues are frantically engaged in installing organ pipes, researching misericords, and generally risking life and limb.Â Â So when Ned gets the chance to escape to the Victorian era, he jumps at it.Â Â Unfortunately, he isn't really being sent there to recover from his time-lag symptoms, but to correct an incongruity a fellow historian, Verity Kindle, has inadvertently created by bringing something forward from the past. In theory, such an act is impossible.Â Â But now it has happened, and it's up to Ned and Verity to correct the incongruity before it alters history or, worse, destroys the space-time continuum.Â Â And they have to do it while coping with eccentric Oxford dons, table-rapping spiritualists, a very spoiled young lady, and an even more spoiled cat.Â Â As Ned and Verity try frantically to hold things together and find out why the incongruity happened, the breach widens, time travel goes amok, and everything starts to fall apart--until the fate of the entire space-time continuum hangs on a sÃance, a butler, a bulldog, the battle of Waterloo, and, above all, on the bishop's birdstump. At once a mystery novel, a time-travel adventure, and a Shakespearean comedy,To Say Nothing of the Dogis a witty and imaginative tale of misconceptions, misunderstandings, and a chaotic world in which the shortest distance between two points is never a straight line, and the secret to the universe truly lies "in the details."
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