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.