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Book Review

Last Year

 

Written by: Robert Charles Wilson
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Genres: Time Travel | Alternate History
Published: 6th of December, 2016
Length: 11 Hours 21 Minutes

 

Listen to Samples:

Description
Two events made September first a memorable day for Jesse Cullum. First, he lost a pair of Oakley sunglasses. Second, he saved the life of President Ulysses S. Grant.

In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's Last Year, the technology exists to open doorways into the past - but not our past, not exactly. Each "past" is effectively an alternate world, identical to ours but only up to the date on which we access it. And a given "past" can be reached only once. After a passageway is open, it's the only road to that particular past; once closed, it can't be reopened.

A passageway has been opened to a version of late 19th-century Ohio. It's been in operation for most of a decade, but it's no secret on either side of time. A small city has grown up around it to entertain visitors from our time, and many locals earn a good living catering to them. But like all such operations, it has a shelf life; as the "natives" become more sophisticated, their version of the "past" grows less attractive as a destination.

Jesse Cullum is a native. And he knows the passageway will be closing soon. He's fallen in love with a woman from our time, and he means to follow her back - no matter whose secrets he has to expose in order to do it.

 

The Audiobook Review
Morgan Hobbes Morgan Hobbes

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Reviewed: 2021-02-15

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Time Travel That Works
Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson is one I've had hanging around my list since I picked it up during a 2-for-1 sale a while ago. The premise intrigued me to give it a go, as sci-fi and time travel is something that usually gets my attention.

In this novel, we get around all the pesky issues with time travel such as the grandfather paradox and the like. When travelling back in time, the time streams diverge so even though it starts with history the same as our own, by simply going there it forms a new future on a new timeline - so no altering the present.

This book explores some interesting themes - ethics of time travellers and the impact they have on those living in the past. The big bad corporation running the show in this book is exploiting it all for their own benefit (of course), taking payment in gold they can bring back to the future with them, and collecting huge fees by running tours of the old west to rich socialites.

Filled with a variety of great characters, and lots of interesting villains, it's a book that went by surprisingly fast for its 11 hours.

Narrated by Scott Brick (who I've said before I wasn't going to rush to listen to again after his plodding rendition of Blade Runner) did a fine job of this one. I didn't realise until I'd already spent the credit it was Brick narrating, but I'm glad I gave him another go.

All in all, an interesting take on the time travel trope in a way that won't leave you disappointed.

 

 

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