To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

TSNOTD is a comedy in contrast to the tragedy of Doomsday Book by the same author, which I wrote about last week. It’s a delightful romp in which the fate of the universe may or may not be at stake. However, the course of history and the universe is “self-correcting,” shades of LOST, so the universe is never really in danger of imploding or careening off-track. Probably.

In the meantime, we, the readers, get to travel around in time, mostly to late Victorian England and enjoy literary references to and actual meetings with notables such as Lewis Carroll, Jerome K. Jerome, Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Charles Darwin, Trollope, Dickens, Wodehouse, and who-knows-who-else that I’ve forgotten or missed. This time travel comedy of errors is even better than Doomsday Book, mostly because I needed to smile and even laugh as I hope in the Lord (not the self-correcting properties of the universe) despite the seemingly insane and destructive recent antics of certain government officials and business tycoons and Hollywood exhibitionists.

“God is in the details,” as Lady Schrapnell would say. Or to put it in Professor Peddick’s words: “Rarum facit misturam cum sapiente forma.” (Wisdom and beauty form a very rare combination.)

Very highly recommended and my favorite of the three Connie WIllis books I’ve read so far.

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Sherry

I'm a Christian, the homeschooling mom of eight (yes, all mine) children, married to a NASA engineer, and a confirmed bookaholic. I like old books, conservative politics, and new and interesting ideas. My hair is grey, my favorite clothes are red, and I love purple. Come on in and enjoy the blog. Be sure to tell me what you think before you leave.

14 thoughts on “To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis”

  1. This one is near the top of my TBR pile. I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’ve already read 3 Men in a Boat in preparation for it. Do you think it would be benificial to read any of the other books you mention first?

  2. This one is near the top of my TBR pile. I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’ve already read 3 Men in a Boat in preparation for it. Do you think it would be beneficial to read any of the other books you mention first?

  3. No, Jackie, you’re set to go. The others are mentioned, but Jerome’s book is more than mentioned. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m planning to do so very soon.

  4. I read this earlier this year and *loved* it too. I was hoping that her Doomsday book would be lighter fare – sad to see it isn’t.

  5. I just finished this book a few days ago myself. 🙂

    In addition to Jerome K. Jerome, I think a familiarity with Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter books — chiefly those involving Harriet Vane, which should be read in order — would be quite helpful. Besides being altogether worth reading in their own right, apart from Willis’ references.

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