Friday, October 21, 2011

Felix J. Palma's The Map of Time

I’m always a bit wary when I see ‘international bestseller’ sticker on a book as I know it’s either going to be fantastic or terrible.

Luckily, Felix J. Palma’s The Map of Time is a fantastic read. It’s an intriguing mix of genres, an interplay between old fashion story telling and post modern ‘meta fiction’.

Set in Victorian London, the book is jam packed full of famous people with Jack the Ripper, HG Wells, Joseph Merrick (the Elephant Man), Bram Stoker and Henry James all making appearances.

The book has three intertwining stories, starting with Andrew Harrington whose true love, the prostitute Marie Kelly, has become Jack the Ripper’s fifth victim. Connecting all three stories is the figure of H.G. Wells, who plays the part of a reluctant hero.

I won’t give too much more away, as the joy of reading this book is the often unexpected twist and turns in the story.

The Map of Time is a fun, absorbing and witty meditation on time travel, love and what it means to be human.

I really enjoyed the character’s debating about whether you can change the past, what happens if you met a future you and consequences of parallel universes.

This is the first of Palma's books to be translated and published in English, so I can't wait for the others.

I’m off to read the original H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.

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