Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Release: The Map of Time

This summer I read The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma but have been putting off writing about it for a long time. I don't know if it was my high expectation for the novel (because of the rave reviews, the subject matter--time travel, Jack the Ripper, London, H.G. Wells and much more--and the fact that it was a work in translation from Spain) but it ended up falling short of being a stellar read for me.

I don't want to tell you anything about the story because it really is amazing the way it all unfolds and the scope is rather large and impressive. So much of it was unexpected and really quite smart. And yet I said that it wasn't all it could be, right? This is because it is mainly a collection of long narratives told by various narrators. I kept thinking "don't tell, show!" and it became a bit boring to never be in the action of the story. There were also a few things of a sexual nature that were thrown in for shock value that I didn't think were entirely necessary and one part was just plain gross. Overall, though, I think that this is one worth reading (and maybe worth reading again). I will also inevitably read whichever is the next novel to be translated from this author.

Finally, I wanted to mention the endpapers of the book which are absolutely gorgeous (as is the cover) and were a special treat every time I opened the book. Sometimes I found myself just staring at them and trying to discover new details. If you walk by a copy, be sure and take a peek inside! This picture I snapped for Twitter doesn't even do them justice --

Wondering what is real,


  1. This one sounds intriguing, but yours is the second review I've read which isn't exactly glowing. I agree with you about show, don't tell - it's so frustrating when authors do that!

    It still sounds interesting enough for me to at least try it - though I'd borrow it from the library, so I wouldn't feel guilty if/when I abandoned it.

  2. The endpapers are so cool! I am definitely more skeptical of this book now though because the reviews are less positive than previously.

  3. Whoa, those are excellent endpapers. You were not lying. I would read the book just for the endpapers. :p

  4. Even if the photo isn't the best, you can tell this is an interesting design/photo/art.

    And too bad that a book that had so much promise turned out not to be so wonderful.

  5. Tracy - That sounds like a fantastic plan. I think there's a chance that you might not make it through it but I think it's worth trying.

    Lola - I'm somewhat surprised by the rave reviews I read at first because it's not a very straightforward book. I think it will be very hit or miss for readers.

    Jenny - I kind of did. ;)

    Jenners - I'm wondering how much of it was in the translation. It had promise but just didn't quite deliver.

  6. I have this one sitting on my table. I'm still looking forward to reading it, but will keep my expectations in check.

  7. Tasha - Right?

    Carol - I think I would have liked it more than I did if I hadn't heard so much hype beforehand. Enjoy!

  8. This is one I've been eyeing because I just love that cover. Now that I've seen the inside, I would want to own it for that alone! Though I will probably wait to read it for now. I've got others in line that I think I want to read more than this one.

  9. Tif - It's an interesting book but I don't think you need to rush to read it. :)