Novel Of The Week: Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

This is the first book I started reading from the ones I bought in Ireland. The cover is so eye catching I could not leave it in the bookshop.
Here's my review and thoughts on Time and Time Again by Ben Elton!
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It’s 2024 and humanity is gradually falling into disrepair: people are no longer interested in anything if not abusing of cellphones and drugs. And Earth is starting to become an open air dump, thanks to global warming and pollution.

Hugh Stanton is a “former”:  former British army soldier, former internet survivalist sensation (some sort of Bear Grylls), former private security memeber and unfortunatelly, after a tragic hit and run where hsi sentire family died, Hugh’s also an ex husband and father. Ever since the accident, Hugh has been living an aimless life, barely surviving until a strange Christmas invitation from Sally McCluskey , his former history teacher at the Trinity College, in Cambridge.

When Hugh gets there, McCluskey is not holding on suspance and asks him one simple question: if it was possible to change a specific event in history, which one would Hugh choose?
She was famous among her students for this kind of historical questions ("If this never happened, how would it affect us all?" kind of questions). After a while, she finally reveals why she called him: time travelling is actually possible!, the first one who thought of that was no other than Sir Isaac Newton! He also predicted when a loop space-time would happend: in 5 months from now, the 31st of May 2025.

Hugh's mission is to going back in 1914, not only to prevent the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to happen, but also kill another German royal member, the real culprit of WWI. Professor McCluskey is convinced that changing that particular event would prevent the world to end up like is now: poor, sick...almoust hopeless.

Hugh doesn't belive that he will travel in time, anyway he panders professor McCluskey wills and starts his "training": learning early 20th century German, life, costumes and political background that brought to the war and all the influent figures of that period. Then, on the 30th May, Hugh and professor McCluskey go to Istanbul, where the time travel will happen, according to Newton.

[SPOILER] He will go back in time! Hugh will end in 1914 Istanbul, pardon: Constantinople...But will he be able to fullfil his mission: to prevent Archduke's death and, ultimately, World War I?

Beside his main mission, Hugh will find out incredible news about his past life in the 21st centruy and will do interesting encounters in this new 1914...

What I liked
The book was an amazing reading: it got me completely from the cover design to the development of the characters' personalities. The descriptions are vivid and they make you feel like you actually are in old Constantinople' streets. The writing is fluent, every page is a new discover and a new adventure for Hugh, a character you can't help but love.

The decision to set the story in 1914 and to avoiding a murder AND to actually commit it on another historical figure was interesting and very well maneged to be convincing.

What I did not like
There's nothing I didn't like completely, but the part where a group of scientists explain the theories of how time travelling will happen was incomprehensible, but I think that was the point, after all!

My Vote:  9/10

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