A Tale of Time City

A Tale of Time City Time City is built on a patch of time and space outside history It is full of wonders and haunted by time ghosts but it is nearly worn out and doomed to destruction In September Vivian Smith is

  • Title: A Tale of Time City
  • Author: Diana Wynne Jones
  • ISBN: 9780001857346
  • Page: 416
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Time City is built on a patch of time and space outside history It is full of wonders and haunted by time ghosts, but it is nearly worn out and doomed to destruction.In September 1939, Vivian Smith is on a train, being evacuated from London, when she is kidnapped by two boys from Time City, Jonathan and Sam They mistakenly think she is the mysterious Time Lady disguiseTime City is built on a patch of time and space outside history It is full of wonders and haunted by time ghosts, but it is nearly worn out and doomed to destruction.In September 1939, Vivian Smith is on a train, being evacuated from London, when she is kidnapped by two boys from Time City, Jonathan and Sam They mistakenly think she is the mysterious Time Lady disguised as a child Only the Time Lady can wake the founder of the city, Faber John, from his age long sleep, and only he can save the city.Vivian wants to get home Jonathan and Sam want her to help them in their quest through the ages of history to save Time City Meanwhile, someone seems to be tampering with history, changing it over and over, complicating everything

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    About "Diana Wynne Jones"

    1. Diana Wynne Jones

      Diana was born in London, the daughter of Marjorie n e Jackson and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were teachers When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, in York, and back in London In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an educational conference centre There, Jones and her two younger sisters Isobel later Professor Isobel Armstrong, the literary critic and Ursula later an actress and a children s writer spent a childhood left chiefly to their own devices After attending the Friends School Saffron Walden, she studied English at St Anne s College in Oxford, where she attended lectures by both C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien before graduating in 1956 In the same year she married John Burrow, a scholar of medieval literature, with whom she had three sons, Richard, Michael and Colin After a brief period in London, in 1957 the couple returned to Oxford, where they stayed until moving to Bristol in 1976.According to her autobiography, Jones decided she was an atheist when she was a child.Jones started writing during the mid 1960s mostly to keep my sanity , when the youngest of her three children was about two years old and the family lived in a house owned by an Oxford college Beside the children, she felt harried by the crises of adults in the household a sick husband, a mother in law, a sister, and a friend with daughter Her first book was a novel for adults published by Macmillan in 1970, entitled Changeover It originated as the British Empire was divesting colonies she recalled in 2004 that it had seemed like every month, we would hear that yet another small island or tiny country had been granted independence Changeover is set in a fictional African colony during transition, and begins as a memo about the problem of how to mark changeover ceremonially is misunderstood to be about the threat of a terrorist named Mark Changeover It is a farce with a large cast of characters, featuring government, police, and army bureaucracies sex, politics, and news In 1965, when Rhodesia declared independence unilaterally one of the last colonies and not tiny , I felt as if the book were coming true as I wrote it Jones books range from amusing slapstick situations to sharp social observation Changeover is both , to witty parody of literary forms Foremost amongst the latter are The Tough Guide To Fantasyland, and its fictional companion pieces Dark Lord of Derkholm 1998 and Year of the Griffin 2000 , which provide a merciless though not unaffectionate critique of formulaic sword and sorcery epics.The Harry Potter books are frequently compared to the works of Diana Wynne Jones Many of her earlier children s books were out of print in recent years, but have now been re issued for the young audience whose interest in fantasy and reading was spurred by Harry Potter.Jones works are also compared to those of Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman She was friends with both McKinley and Gaiman, and Jones and Gaiman are fans of each other s work she dedicated her 1993 novel Hexwood to him after something he said in conversation inspired a key part of the plot Gaiman had already dedicated his 1991 four part comic book mini series The Books of Magic to four witches , of whom Jones was one.For Charmed Life, the first Chrestomanci novel, Jones won the 1978 Guardian Children s Fiction Prize, a once in a lifetime award by The Guardian newspaper that is judged by a panel of children s writers Three times she was a commended runner up a for the Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year s best children s book for Dogsbody 1975 , Charmed Life 1977 , and the fourth Chrestomanci book The Lives of Christopher Chant 1988 She won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, children s section, in 1996 for The Crown of Dalemark.

    669 thoughts on “A Tale of Time City”

    1. This is the first Diana Wynne Jones book I ever read. My uncle Harold gave it to me one year for Christmas. It probably changed my life, though I'd be hard pressed to say exactly how.---The above is an old review. Having just heard that Diana Wynne Jones has passed away, I've come back to press myself harder to say exactly how her book changed my life. I'd like to apologize in advance for my overwrought and melodramatic language; I have a giant hangover, and am in a highly emotional state.I was [...]

    2. As usual, Diana Wynne Jones' imagination runs rampant, giving us a fun adventure with lots of amazing ideas packed in. I want to know what a butter pie tastes like, more than anything, but all of it was interesting and had me trying to puzzle it all out.It wasn't surprising in any way, to me anyway, because it somehow seemed very typical of Diana Wynne Jones. But it was fun, and hooked me in well.Not my favourite of her books so far, but that would be difficult to decide anyway

    3. A Tale of Time City is many things: utterly confusing, fantastically imaginative, highly intelligent and unexpectedly complex. Above all, however, it is entertaining.This book precedes the Harry Potter series, but while reading it you really wonder if JK Rowling was perhaps a Diana Wynne Jones fan. I instantly get a familiar feeling with the way Jones describes her magic - so belonging, logical, rational and wonderfully. Beside that, there's other things - people walking through walls at train s [...]

    4. I honestly don't know what my issue is with this book. It's an interesting story with pretty cool characters. But I found it mind-numbingly dull. Perhaps I went in with too high of expectations, because Howl's Moving Castle is one of my favorite books. Perhaps I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. I really tried to like it. I kept reading, believing I would learn to appreciate it. I never did. The world felt haphazard and half-explained. I kept feeling that, not only did the characters not r [...]

    5. Wonderful children's time travel book. One of the things I like best about Diana Wynne Jones is how her children are children and adults are adults. What do I mean by that? First, children are not adults. They can't do everything an adult might do. They can't win a sword fight with an ogre. But they are still competent - they might trick the ogre or sneak past the ogre. (It has been a while so I don't remember an example from this book.) Second, adults are adults. In too many YA books the adults [...]

    6. Rated PG. That. Was. AWESOME. For the record, I have never cared about historical dates before this book. Now I actually remember the year that WWII started--and if I learned nothing else from reading A Tale of Time City, this alone would make it SO WORTH IT.Also, this came highly recommended by some of my favorite authors, including Maggie Stiefvater. If you don't know Stiefvater's work, you need to read The Scorpio Races. As fabulous as that book is, though, Stiefvater acknowledged that she wa [...]

    7. I love stories about time travel, and I absolutely adore Diana Wynne Jones’s writing, so I suppose I was pretty much fated to enjoy A Tale of Time City. It’s wonderful! And I don’t just mean that in the sense of it’s being “great” or “amazing”–it’s full of all sorts of wonders that surprise the reader at every turn. If I could do so and return safely home, I would love to get to tour Time City myself. I’d love to meet Vivian, too. She’s the perfect balance of a credible b [...]

    8. In preparation for German bombing, children are evacuated from London. Vivian Smith is discontentedly waiting to be picked up by her unknown cousin Marty when an older boy commands her to follow him. Moments later, she finds herself in a strange plastic&metal room. Vivian has been kidnapped through time and space to Time City! Her kidnappers, Sam and Jonathan, are positive that she's the Time Lady who is destroying temporal reality and Time City itself. Vivian, of course, has no clue what th [...]

    9. All the other Diana Wynne Jones books I've read until now were the favorites of a pal who did me the great service of lending them so I could get hooked. This one looked interesting but it has taken me a while to get into the story. About halfway through I am finally warmed up to it and love some of the concepts such as the kids who live in Time City but are fascinated by what it is like "in history" when they're quizzing the heroine about WWII and 1938 LondonNALI finished it but it wasn't an e [...]

    10. Can't believe it took me so long to get hold of this one! It is, of course, very good. I love that we keep seeing the children who are evacuated from London, and there's so much detail about what it's like to be one of them on a hot train carrying a gas mask and going to live with people you've never met. DWJ was evacuated herself during the war, so this all rings incredibly true.Also, who but she could write a scene with three separate people named Vivian in one room and make it not only clear [...]

    11. This is my absolute favourite Diana Wynne Jones book, which is saying a lot because I adore DWJ. But this one always caught me and held me and has me rereading it regularly to this day (and I plan to continue doing so). I couldn't tell you precisely what makes this one beat out Archer's Goon or Howl's Moving Castle or Cart and Cwidder or A Sudden Wild Magic or But it is my favourite. I highly recommend it for ANY age.

    12. This is a young adult book and it's a fun book to read for any age. This book would be appropriate to readers as young as 10. This is a fun time travel story of kids being kids and wanting to help the grown ups, on their own and without permission of course.

    13. One of my all-time favourites. DWJ’s books had a huge influence on my reading tastes and I still reread my favourites often and find they’ve held up incredibly well.Vivian Smith is a young evacuee leaving London at the beginning of WWII when, due to a case of mistaken identity, she is kidnapped out of time by Jonathan and Sam, two boys from “Time City.” Time City is a city positioned outside of time to make sure time runs as it should. Except Time City is falling apart and finding the pe [...]

    14. What's the trick with Diana Wynne Jones? She was so prolific that quite a lot of her books necessarily fall below the highest standard, and several of them are quite formulaic - this is one - but I have now read at least 20 of her works and cannot say that I regret reading any, even those I 2-starred as "just ok".Perhaps I'm touched by the way she sets up her universes. She never wastes much space worldbuilding, and frequently it all comes off as heavily underexplained, but all the time you feel [...]

    15. 3 1/2 Sterne!Endlich habe ich das Buch durchgelesen (nach 2 gescheiterten Versuchen im Sommer und nun 5 langen Abenden im Herbst)! Streckenweise fühlte sich es schon fast wie ein Stück harte Arbeit an. Aber ich denke es lag nicht allzu sehr am Buch selbst, als vielmehr an meiner momentanen Lesestimmung.Im Großen und Ganzen hat mir die Geschichte sehr gut gefallen, ich mochte die Charaktere unheimlich gern und auch die Idee von Time City, einer Stadt außerhalb von Geschichte und Zeit, gefiel [...]

    16. Originally posted at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.I will write it again: Diana Wynne Jones is a genius. Really was there any limitation on what she could write? Her ability to bring to life all manner of ideas from her most amazing mind leaves me awestruck. A Tale of Time City, I confess, is not my favorite of her books. Still. Saying one of her books doesn't live up to its fellows still puts it above almost everything else out there.Some of my aloofness toward this book may come from my love [...]

    17. I enjoyed this book much more when I read it 10 years or so ago. It does start off nicely with 3 children time traveling, trying to save Time City, and eating butter pies. But by the end I didn't care so much about who was trying to steal the time caskets and whether or not the kids would save Time City. Everything sort of frantically piled up at the end with confusing action scenes that I had to make myself keep reading. I guess I just wasn't in the mood.Maybe I just shouldn't re-read books I o [...]

    18. WWII evacuee Vivian Smith is shocked when she is unceremoniously kidnapped from a railway station by two boys and taken to Time City. There she learns that although the city was built in order to keep history moving along as it should, something seems to be going wrong, and the boys, Jonathan and Sam, have mistaken her for the mysterious Time Lady, who they think can fix the problems. The plot is on the convoluted side, involving multiple time travel trips, but Jones keeps it moving along with a [...]

    19. I've often heard of Jones and was not aware that i had even read any of her books. I'd always planned on reading one though. Anyway, I just came across this book and recognized the name and then found this, the exact same edition i had as a child. I don't remember much about the story but i do remember i loved it at the time. So, i guess i have read one of her books and now i'm intrigued to revisit her writing. So sad, I just went to see her author's page and saw that she passed away just a few [...]

    20. A fascinating sci-fi novel in which a young girl is mistakenly abducted as she is being evacuated into the country in England at the beginning of World War II. She is kidnapped by two young men who believe that she is an ageless woman responsible for the collapse of Time City, a city anchored apart from history and filled with only the brightest intellectuals of all ages. Be introduced to intriguing ideas like time locks, time ghosts and the strange mythology of the City as the children try to k [...]

    21. This was remarkably wonderful. I inhaled it in several days; the pace is crackling and compelling. There are some flaws - the ending is rushed, and there are leaps of logic you just have to ignore - but despite these it was original and fascinating, and ridiculous in all the best ways. I would rather like a butter-pie now, too.Note: the kindle edition was full of typos - distracting and annoying. I would not recommend that version.

    22. Most of Jones' books have delighted me. This one was just "eh". maybe because I was sick, maybe because the cover was so bloody hideous and eye-damaging and stomach-churning. Hard to say, really. The book is better than this cover, but then, so are books I would never read because I loathe the idea behind them.Library copy.

    23. This was a delightful romp through "history," almost as fun as the Chrestomanci books, but I drop a star because the resolution at the end seemed hasty and they were a bit blase about V.S. maybe never going home or seeing her parents again was weird.

    24. This was the first DWJ book I ever read -- back in 5th grade? -- and it has been a favorite/comfort read ever since and has made me seriously consider how to fabricate my own goluptuous butter-pies.I've lost track of how many times I've re-read it.

    25. I first read this when I was an exchange student in New Zealand. Since then I've read it several times.I haven't read it recently so I can only say that as a 17 year old I really liked this book.

    26. Oh, gosh. I adored Howl's Moving Castle and Castle in the Sky, but this one was difficult to get through. I feel like certain details are intriguing, and the idea of Time City is great, but she didn't quite pull everything together clearly. It was all very jumbled, with few moments where I felt grounded in the setting. She even uses the word "thing" to describe vehicles or other technology, and I couldn't decide if this was more Vivian's way of describing what she saw, or if Diana couldn't choos [...]

    27. "If you call me V.S. once again," she said, "I shall scream - I warn you!"Sam patted her arm. "You need a butter-pie," he said kindly.A Tale of Time City is no doubtly one of Diana Jones best works including the Homeward Bounders and probably also my favourites from her. In this beautiful, imaginary world history is mixed up with distant worlds/times, time travelling, adventure and great humour.We get to meet Vivian Smith who is from the 20th Century and Jonathan and Sam Lee who are from Time Ci [...]

    28. This book is kind of a mess. While the world-building is interesting, too many characters and rules of the world interfere with the ability to trust DWJ with the story. While the pieces fit, she's juggling too many of them, and so the entire picture is not satisfactory. Suspension of disbelief, particularly when it comes to characters' ignorance (for example, about Vivian Smith's true identity) , is also problematic.Like many DWJ books, physical abuse is a factor in this book, with children bein [...]

    29. Even though this book is older had a very interesting story time since it was not your traditional time travel book. Two of the main characters are from Time City, which is a city outside time. This city has the technology to allow individuals to travel to any time and observe what happens. However, time city is starting to break apart, causing the two young city natives, Sam and Jonathan, to travel in time to try and find Vivian Smith, who they believe is the wife of the founder of Time City. T [...]

    30. I don't have any problem with books written for kids and from the perspective of a kid or teenager, but it is really hard to read something that reads as if it were written by a teenager. The motivations of the adults in the story and their general cluelessness don't make a whole lot of sense. The world itself wasn't built out very well either. I'm also not sure if this was just the Kindle edition, but the book seemed like it was missing a few pages. Ended super abruptly. There were some fun and [...]

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