Friday, July 16, 2010

The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch

Published in 2009. 338 pages.

Despite a couple lapses in the plot details, I thoroughly enjoyed this unique time-travel thriller! The book starts with Chapter 12, as the protagonist is given the opportunity to go back through time - one hour at a time - to prevent the murder of his wife. By the 13th hour - Chapter 13 - it will be too late! A quick read, I had a hard time putting the book down and, thankfully, had the time to finish it over just two days.

As a time travel geek, I had a hard time passing up this current Salt Lake County Library Reader's Choice nominee. The paradoxes of time travel fascinate me, the "what if"s and the "cause-and-effect"s:

He knew that every action he took had repercussions, no matter the nobleness of the intention. ... As each moment was modified it would ripple through time, having hundreds, even thousands of effects. If Nick made the wrong move, the wrong decision, it would reverberate through the future ... Who was to say that fate was even reversible? Was Julia destined to die this day no matter what? [page 289]

Another passage I quite liked (somewhat related to my recent thoughts about mindfulness):
Dreyfus turned away from Nick. He reached into his pocket, fumbled around, jingling this change for something, and then turned back.

He held out his tow hands, one clinched in a fist, the other, palm up, with a quarter resting in its center.

"Look at my hands," Dreyfus said. "Choose one but only one."

Nick looked at the quarter, then at Dreyfus's closed hand, and quickly touched it.

"That is what nine out of ten people do. They choose the mystery. Why?" he asked rhetorically. "For a host of reason. To learn what is there, always thinking the unknown is more valuable than the known.

"How many people live in the moment? A few? How many people live for tomorrow at the sacrifice of today?" Dreyfus opened his fist to reveal it to be empty. " ... When tomorrow is never a guarantee." [page 167]



  1. Oooh, that sounds really good! I'm adding it to my to-read list right now!

  2. I liked the passage about the quarter too. I could go crazy thinking about all the cause/effects of the tiniest decisions. It really does make you stop and think!

  3. Awesome! I've got this one sitting here... :)