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Doomsday Book
Doomsday Book
Author: Connie Willis
For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the r...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780553562736
ISBN-10: 0553562738
Publication Date: 8/1/1993
Pages: 592
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 280 ratings
Publisher: Spectra
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Leigh avatar reviewed Doomsday Book on + 378 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
This is one of the most inventive tales of time travel I've ever read. The plot is well-researched, giving an incredibly detailed history of The Plague. In addition, it addresses the sticky issue of paradox in a satisfying way.
reviewed Doomsday Book on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
A must read by a great author. She really studied her history for this one. I always enjoy her books, but I understand why this was a Nebula Award Winner. Dive into the 578 pages and enjoy this stunning novel. I would never part with this book, but some how I ended up with two copies.
mazeface avatar reviewed Doomsday Book on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
n 2048, history student Kirvin decides to do an on-site study of fourteenth century life. Now, by 2048, time travel is possible so on-site means an actual trip back to the fourteenth century. It's a dangerous time: the black plague is scheduled to occur twenty years after the year for which Kirvin is scheduled. But guess what? Something goes wrong and Kirvin finds herself smack in the middle of this terrible plague anyway. What's a girl to do?

Connie Willis spent five years studying for her novel Doomsday Book and it shows. The description of the living conditions of the time will shock the reader. Willis also won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for this book, a rare feat.

This novel is already a SF classic and a standard on many "must read" lists of SF books. I know it's one of my favorites.
SmiLynnLady avatar reviewed Doomsday Book on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
History and future wrapped in great writing. Experience vicariously the horrors of the Black Death, and discover how easily history might repeat itself. Kirvin and Dunworthy are well-drawn characters the reader begins to care about. Collin, a young boy swept up into both their tales, adds a atouch of humor and youthful exuberance that keeps things from becoming overwhelming. Not a "horror story," not a dry "history text" ... just two good stories that carry the reader along into what is imagination today, but might too easily be reality in the future.
paigu avatar reviewed Doomsday Book on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I found this a bit darker than "To say nothing of the dog" but then again, this book is about the Plague. Written in a semi-serious tone, though, and there's an interesting parallel/contrast situation going throughout comparing the 14th century to the 21st. The impact really doesn't hit until after you finish reading. Without giving away too much plot, there are two pandemics, one the aforementioned black plague and the other a modern-day plague. It was saddening and a bit laughable that, in the modern-day scenario, you have a bunch of self-righteous bell ringers complaining about missing their concert, whereas during the Plague, the bell tolls meant something much more ominous. Anyway, this book has moments of irony, horror, humor and history. It's sci-fi "lite"!
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royaltech avatar reviewed Doomsday Book on + 126 more book reviews
For me, this was a bit on the "in-depth" type of book, since we were constantly going from the "now" time of 205? and the past time via a time machine of 1348, the time of the Black Plague or Bubonic Plague as it was also later known as.

The characters were definitely well defined and outlined. The interaction between them all was very enjoyable. There was a lot of emotion as well as the facts, which made it all the more enjoyable. You felt like you were really there when things went wrong, and you felt the excitement when things when right.

If you are wanting a good solid read, not a flimsily written, read in an afternoon book, this fits the bill. Good plots, great characters, enjoyable time lines. Great if you want to really sit and get absorbed in a story and fall deep into the plot.
soelo avatar reviewed Doomsday Book on + 23 more book reviews
What a great story, even in the slow or sad parts! There is plenty of action and dialogue but also some very detailed prose. I find it easier to listen to longer books and this was no exception. The metaphor near the end about the responsibility we feel when sending others to a place with unknown dangers gathers the whole narrative together.
reviewed Doomsday Book on + 9 more book reviews
I read this many years ago and never forgot it. I love all of Connie Willis's books - great characters, situations, fast paced with a nice touch of humor, and always topical. This one has become incredibly topical!! Some parts really hit home in light of the current pandemic. Just read it! Although I can't seem to rate this, I would give it a 4 out of 5.
canewen avatar reviewed Doomsday Book on + 17 more book reviews
I found this book to be a little dry. I really didn't like the UK type English spoken by the people of the futuristic side of the book. It does get better towards the end, and I found myself unable to just put it down because I wanted to know what would happen in the end. I have read better science fiction than this one, but this one is O.K.
reviewed Doomsday Book on + 72 more book reviews
good read

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