The Fruithandler Time Engine
The Fruithandler Time Engine is a different time travel book than others I have read. It’s part satire and part adventure. The satire is what I connected with most, which is brilliantly displayed in the language. For example, there is a line in the book that goes” true epiphany can only be found in the dance of the monkey who is not there”. This line is just one example of the many lines that keep the humor fresh and adds a new dimension to the story. Instead of the typical, mad scientist or love-struck genius trying to change time, you get a group of bumbling scientists (by their own definition) who time travel as part of a contest to see which of their “inventions” was better. This is a really unique approach to the time travel genre that kept me intrigued throughout the book. I wanted to know how the story would end because the characters weren’t really sure how they got in the situation in the first place.
I also liked the fact that the time travel was in reverse. Instead of the characters going through time to the 21st century, the 21st century is brought back to them in their time. This creates a unique (mostly humorous) situation where we (as the reader) can view our own history from a different perspective. An example of this occurs when Deidre talks with the group of scientists about intervening in time to prevent something horrible from happening in the future. The question is asked whether it’s OK to stop a bad person now before they get to the time where they do horrible things. This ends up in a discussion about an evil historical figure from our time. The interesting part is that the group of 17th century scientists don’t know or understand who this figure is.
The only issue I had with the book was with the language and word choice. The author displays a very powerful sense of word choice, that required me to look at a thesaurus (or Google) more than a few times. In some cases, this was actually fun. I learned a few more words than I knew before. At other times, it became an obstacle. There were a few times when a simpler word choice might have been better.
The Fruithandler Time Engine does a great job of sticking to the language and dialect, which is a good thing. The bad thing is that it involves words and associations that were a little shocking to read at first. Deidre is an African-American character who gets lost in a time when African-Americans were not recognized as African-Americans. This leads to humorous, but occasionally uncomfortable interactions, between herself and the group of scientists.
Overall, the book was a very unique way to approach the time travel. It was more satirical than expected, but also more realistic as well. Because we get to see unintentional time travel, we see humans as they are-bumbling, sometimes humorous, sometimes not creatures that are trying to make sense of the time that we have we with each other. This book challenged my own perception of time (We can get so caught up in our time.) and allowed me to engage in another time period for a little while. That was an interesting trip!
Posted on September 10, 2015, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged allen brady, book review, fantasy, reading, science fiction, the fruithandler time engine, time travel, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.