Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

Navigate the site:

Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

Advertise: Rates & stats

Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Leith, William: The Hungry Years | Main | Gerritsen, Tess: Vanish »

Lee, Terence: Time Camera

  

Printer-friendly page! Use print preview to see how this page will appear.

Trafford Publishing © 2005, 315 pages [amazon]
2 stars

The idea behind Terence Lee's Time Camera is a clever one: the protagonist, 38-year-old Zak Endicott, invents a camera that is somehow able to slice through the fabric of time and film silent movies of past events. Initially the camera's range is limited to minus 300 years, but ultimately Zak can record anything that's happened in the last 2500 years, provided he has access to the location of the event in the present. The appeal of such a device is plain. The great moments and mysteries of the past are laid bare to the camera's operator--the identity of Jack the Ripper, the assassination of JFK, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The problem is that Zak also has the potential to uncover secrets with his camera that living people would prefer to leave buried. He could catch cheating spouses in flagrante, for example, solve innumerable unsolved crimes, uncover governmental conspiracies. All of which means that an awful lot of people would like to see Zak and his ingenious camera disappeared.

A camera that can film the Spartans at Thermopylae I accept, but no one would agree to upend their life as readily as Lucy does here.The setup of the book, then, is promising, high-tech gadgetry and the hero propelled at once into an inherently dangerous situation. The author throws in a love interest--Zak's agent cum girlfriend Lucy--and a potential rival for Lucy's affection, the military assassin type, Eric, who is assigned to stick with the couple once the U.S. government gets involved. The plot involves historical and modern-day conspiracies, terrorism, the occasional murder; and Zak's use of the camera allows the author to pepper the narrative with potentially interesting historical vignettes.

The problem is that, rife with possibility though the story idea is, the book never becomes more than an interesting intellectual exercise. It fails for two reasons that one is wont to read about in books about writing: (1) The author does not make his characters three-dimensional, and thus does not make us care about them. (2) Despite that the situation described in the book is a dangerous one, the author does not put his characters in peril. Indeed, time and again he passes up the opportunity to heighten the tension in a scene--Lucy's time alone in the apartment of a bad guy, say, or the denouement, in which the heroes are tracking a terrorist in a dark, confined space when a bomb is set to blow within the hour. Added to these major flaws is a substantial problem with credibility. We are to believe that within a few hours of meeting Zak Lucy agrees to give up her successful career as a literary agent, move in with Zak, and travel the world with him filming historical events so as to market them to television. A camera that can film the Spartans at Thermopylae I accept, but no one would agree to upend their life as readily as Lucy does here.

Time Camera has a lot going for it: the idea is good, the writing passes muster, and it is certainly well researched. It just needs to be infused with flesh and blood a healthy dose of suspense.

On this review see also "Now I'm Angry: Terence Lee's Time Camera".

Tags: ,

To read Haloscan comments on this post (from before the book-blog's move to TypePad from Blogger), click here. Please use the TypePad interface to add any new comments.

< Tweet it! | Reblog
https://www.book-blog.com/2005/11/time_camera_by_.html
Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments




Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In


About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






The Sunday Salon.com



Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.