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An ingenious, dystopian novel of one young woman’s resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society, from the inventive imagination of Joyce Carol Oates “Time travel” — and its hazards—are made literal in this astonishing new novel in which a recklessly idealistic girl dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled (future) world and is punished by being An ingenious, dystopian novel of one young woman’s resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society, from the inventive imagination of Joyce Carol Oates “Time travel” — and its hazards—are made literal in this astonishing new novel in which a recklessly idealistic girl dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled (future) world and is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America — “Wainscotia, Wisconsin”—that existed eighty years before.  Cast adrift in time in this idyllic Midwestern town she is set upon a course of “rehabilitation”—but cannot resist falling in love with a fellow exile and questioning the constrains of the Wainscotia world with results that are both devastating and liberating.   Arresting and visionary, Hazards of Time Travel  is both a novel of harrowing discovery and an exquisitely wrought love story that may be Joyce Carol Oates’s most unexpected novel so far.


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An ingenious, dystopian novel of one young woman’s resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society, from the inventive imagination of Joyce Carol Oates “Time travel” — and its hazards—are made literal in this astonishing new novel in which a recklessly idealistic girl dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled (future) world and is punished by being An ingenious, dystopian novel of one young woman’s resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society, from the inventive imagination of Joyce Carol Oates “Time travel” — and its hazards—are made literal in this astonishing new novel in which a recklessly idealistic girl dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled (future) world and is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America — “Wainscotia, Wisconsin”—that existed eighty years before.  Cast adrift in time in this idyllic Midwestern town she is set upon a course of “rehabilitation”—but cannot resist falling in love with a fellow exile and questioning the constrains of the Wainscotia world with results that are both devastating and liberating.   Arresting and visionary, Hazards of Time Travel  is both a novel of harrowing discovery and an exquisitely wrought love story that may be Joyce Carol Oates’s most unexpected novel so far.

30 review for Hazards of Time Travel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Joyce Carol Oates writes a fascinating multilayered, and complex dystopian novel that raises the spectre of totalitarian, controlling and heavy surveillance societies such as that of Big Brother in Orwell's 1984 and the in vogue Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale with Trump as the US president. In a world where dissent is not tolerated, where obedience and conformity is expected and people disappear, 17 year old protagonist, Adriane Stohl, is already a person of interest, thanks to her father Joyce Carol Oates writes a fascinating multilayered, and complex dystopian novel that raises the spectre of totalitarian, controlling and heavy surveillance societies such as that of Big Brother in Orwell's 1984 and the in vogue Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale with Trump as the US president. In a world where dissent is not tolerated, where obedience and conformity is expected and people disappear, 17 year old protagonist, Adriane Stohl, is already a person of interest, thanks to her father, when she commits to writing a speech that challenges and questions the current societal norms. The speech is not delivered, but Adriane finds herself in hot water and having to pay a heavy price. She is punished by being sent back in time ' teletransported' to North America, Wainscotia, Wisconsin, to be reschooled in 1959. Adriane treads gingerly, understandably cautious about the nature of the world she finds herself in. Oates vibrantly brings alive this period of time, with its hair rollers, manual typewriters etc., all of which proves to be a revelation to Adriane. Love is to beckon in the form of a fellow exile as indeed does rebellion. These turn out to be turbulent times as questioning of society and challenging the status quo is everywhere. This is a time of the Civil Rights movement, women's rights, anti-war protests and more. Oates provides the opportunity to deduce parallels and connections to the madness in our contemporary world and the state of US politics, the nature of history and questions of what reality might be. Some people might find this a heavy handed read, but I found it thought provoking, if depressing, in its echoes of real life politics and divisions in our society. Many thanks to HarperCollins 4th Estate for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    Well, this is weird! As a huge JCO fan, one of the things that I love about her is that she's *not* simply re-writing the same book over and over - the variety in her output is hugely impressive. This one, though, is a bit of a puzzle... though a playful, slightly mischievous one despite the serious theme of political authoritarianism. It starts as a homage to 1984 with a kind of 'Sovietisation' of the US: acronyms of bureaucratic bodies abound, people can be 'disappeared' and free thought is se Well, this is weird! As a huge JCO fan, one of the things that I love about her is that she's *not* simply re-writing the same book over and over - the variety in her output is hugely impressive. This one, though, is a bit of a puzzle... though a playful, slightly mischievous one despite the serious theme of political authoritarianism. It starts as a homage to 1984 with a kind of 'Sovietisation' of the US: acronyms of bureaucratic bodies abound, people can be 'disappeared' and free thought is severely circumscribed. Adriane, our 17 year old narrator, upsets the regime by openly (and naively?) questioning their authority and is punished by being whisked back to university in 1959 Wisconsin (the place where JCO herself studied for her MA in the early 1960s). Cue some 'is that how people lived' scenes (typewriters! hair curlers!) and some interesting wandering down psychological theories of selfhood. JCO seems to be taking a swipe at the plethora of YA dystopias where a young woman falls in insta- love and leads a rebellion: in this book, that 'love' is subjected to a subtle interrogation and the rebellion segues into student politics of the 1960s: anti-nuclear weapons, pro civil rights. But then, things take a surprising turn and the final section reminds us that one of the qualities we love about JCO is her boldness. This is an allusive novel: 1984, Stalinism, the Divergent trilogy, The Matrix, The Handmaid's Tale, The Bell Jar, Trump's America and the concomitant nostalgia for the 1950s when, allegedly, pesky women/non-whites/communists/Jews etc. etc. were kept in their place (even as, ironically, western society was agitating for more inclusive, socially-just ways of being). There are places where this feels like it's lost its way; and then, bam, JCO hits us with a revelation that both amuses and also changes everything. I disagree with the early reviews I've seen which peg this as a YA novel: it may have a YA narrator and gesture towards some of the tropes of that genre, but it deconstructs as much as it re-uses and makes productive capital from the interactions. This is not JCO at her best and may not be the best place to start if you haven't read her before - but by the end, I was entertained and stimulated by her witty and rather wicked take on contemporary literary trends and modern US politics. Many thanks to 4th Estate for an ARC via NetGalley

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. A YA dystopian novel, where our heroine is transported back in time to the 1950s as punishment for free speech? Yes please. The synopsis for this sounded right up my street, and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed. The interesting storyline is supported with a well written plot that is reasonably well paced. We move quickly from the dystopian future to the past, as our protagonist Adriane must learn to adjust to her new surroun I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. A YA dystopian novel, where our heroine is transported back in time to the 1950s as punishment for free speech? Yes please. The synopsis for this sounded right up my street, and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed. The interesting storyline is supported with a well written plot that is reasonably well paced. We move quickly from the dystopian future to the past, as our protagonist Adriane must learn to adjust to her new surroundings while musing on the weird things that our ancestors had. I found it interesting to compare a future where free speech is oppressed with the 1950s of our past, where women didn’t necessarily have the freedom we have now. Almost a case of history repeating itself. Thought provoking indeed. I found Adriane quite endearing, if naive. She’s willing to say what she wants about her oppressive society, but I don’t think she fully understands the consequences until it’s too late. Her utter bewilderment in the past is quite funny as first, as she struggles to adjust, and I did warm to her personality. I just don’t think she was strong or engaging enough to carry the story. There’s also not much in the way of character development. and the romantic elements are extremely underwhelming. The secondary characters were all a little bland too, and I cared very little for them. At times I found the writing to be almost satirical, although it did come across as very juvenile. I want to believe this was done in a clever way, almost as though it was comparing itself to other popular dystopian YA novels and wasn’t taking itself too seriously. World building is also a little lacking, and not that well developed compared to other YA novels I’ve read. In a heavily saturated market, things like that really stand out, and I feel it could have perhaps made a bigger statement if more time had been spent describing the future dystopian world in particular. An interesting novel with some strong political notes, but lacking in character development and world building for me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates is a dystopian novel that gives a scary look into the future where everything you say and do is closely monitored. A young girl is sent to another time for four years as a punishment for going against the rules. I found this book disturbing and thought provoking. I would like to thank NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, 4th Estate, William Collins for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Britta Böhler

    Just finished and no idea how to rate it (yet). Some parts were brilliant but others left me deeply unsatisfied. After the re-read: No more dissatisfaction. Not a flawless book maybe, but overall: brilliant. 4,5*, rounded up to 5.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eric Anderson

    It’s a common trope in Young Adult novels to feature a teenage protagonist in a dystopian future who is penalized for fighting against an oppressive system. That’s exactly the story Joyce Carol Oates writes in her new novel HAZARDS OF TIME TRAVEL. However, this is not a Young Adult novel. Oates is certainly familiar with the form and nature of YA fiction having written several books in this genre. It’d be natural to assume that she’s utilizing her expertise in this form and is also making a depa It’s a common trope in Young Adult novels to feature a teenage protagonist in a dystopian future who is penalized for fighting against an oppressive system. That’s exactly the story Joyce Carol Oates writes in her new novel HAZARDS OF TIME TRAVEL. However, this is not a Young Adult novel. Oates is certainly familiar with the form and nature of YA fiction having written several books in this genre. It’d be natural to assume that she’s utilizing her expertise in this form and is also making a departure from her typically realistic fiction to branch into feminist dystopian fiction. There is a cycle of novels in this form particularly prevalent in literature today (as described by Alexandra Alter in a recent New York Times article ‘How Feminist Dystopian Fiction is Channeling Women’s Anger and Anxiety’ in which she cites Oates’s novel.) But the journey and outcome of Oates’s highly unusual new novel is much more startling and darkly subversive than any tale that could be categorized as Young Adult. Instead, HAZARDS OF TIME TRAVEL engages with ideas of behavioural psychology and Cold War politics to form an utterly unique commentary on society today. It also incorporates many autobiographical elements which surprisingly might make it one of Oates’s most personal and reflective novels yet. Read my full review of Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates on LonesomeReader

  7. 4 out of 5

    Umut Reviews

    Review coming soon.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    Just about the first thing you see when you open this book is a list of other books by Joyce Carol Oates. There are 41 of them! 41! Plus she also writes under not one but two pseudonyms! Starting in 1964 when I was 3 years old and pouring out of her ever since. How, I ask myself, have I got to be almost 58 years old, reading almost continually since I was knee high to a grasshopper and I have not come across any of them? My thanks to HarperCollins UK via NetGalley for an ARC of this book which I Just about the first thing you see when you open this book is a list of other books by Joyce Carol Oates. There are 41 of them! 41! Plus she also writes under not one but two pseudonyms! Starting in 1964 when I was 3 years old and pouring out of her ever since. How, I ask myself, have I got to be almost 58 years old, reading almost continually since I was knee high to a grasshopper and I have not come across any of them? My thanks to HarperCollins UK via NetGalley for an ARC of this book which I requested as it seemed an ideal chance to finally find out about such a prolific author. I am not quite so sure I would have requested the book if I had realised that it is very much "young adult" in story and tone. As mentioned above, I am far from being a "young adult" and I have to acknowledge that I rarely read that type of book. Adriane Stohl lives in a dystopian world where those who dare to engage in free thinking are exiled by being "teletransported" into the past. It is never quite made clear why the state chooses this form of punishment, but I assume it is because it is cheaper than keeping people in prison in your own time. Adriane writes, but never delivers, a speech that asks unpalatable questions and finds herself back in 1959. It would be unfair to say anything further about the plot as that would probably spoil the book for readers, but it (unsurprisingly) involves love. There’s an ending that makes you pause for thought, but it would clearly be wrong of me to discuss that here. Joyce Carol Oates is also prolific on Twitter. About this book, she tweeted: "If this novel--"Hazards of Time Travel"--had been published before 2016 it would seem like a dystopian future/sci-fi; now, a just slightly distorted mirroring of actual T***p US sliding, we hope not inexorably, into totalitarianism & white apartheid." Most of the book is Adriane’s experiences in exile, but there are often reflections back to the time and place from which she has been exiled. The book opens with an epigraph taken from "Science and Human Behavior" by B. F. Skinner: A self is simply a device for representing a functionally unified system of responses.. And it is this that the story focuses on. There are multiple references to experiments on both animals and humans investigating the area of free will vs. response to stimuli. Many parallels are drawn between these experiments and the way the totalitarian state watches (and conditions) its people. Adriane seems the kind of feisty young protagonist who inhabits a typical YA novel (at least, what I believe to be typical) as she seeks to assert her “self” against these oppressive rules. Except she isn’t all the time: she goes all weak and feeble in the presence of a man she yearns for. This surprised me and seemed out of character for her. Maybe this is a deliberate thing on the part of the author, but I am not sure I get it. This is probably a good YA book, but I am not qualified to judge that, as already mentioned. Reading it as an “old adult", it was OK but I couldn’t get excited about it. The story is rather predictable and the message about the totalitarian state a bit heavy-handed. I didn’t come out of it thinking "I must read more by this author", which is a shame as it would have given me plenty more books to read if I had! 2.5 stars rounded down to 2 for the disappointment of discovering it is aimed at people 40-50 years younger than me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gumble's Yard

    I’d even tried to write what were called “stories”—following the pattern of the Nine Basic Plots we were provided, along with vocabulary lists and recommended titles. We were not allowed to take books out of the public library marked A—for Adult; we were restricted to YA, Young Adult, which had to be approved by the Youth Entertainment Board, and were really suitable for grade school. My parents had had Adult Books at one time, but I had never seen them. My thanks to HarperCollins UK for an ARC I’d even tried to write what were called “stories”—following the pattern of the Nine Basic Plots we were provided, along with vocabulary lists and recommended titles. We were not allowed to take books out of the public library marked A—for Adult; we were restricted to YA, Young Adult, which had to be approved by the Youth Entertainment Board, and were really suitable for grade school. My parents had had Adult Books at one time, but I had never seen them. My thanks to HarperCollins UK for an ARC via NetGalley. I requested the ARC as I had seen this book listed as possible early contender for the 2019 Booker and as I understand that the author is a well known and well regarded literary author. Unfortunately to my disappointment this was a Young Adult novel, and very much at the young end of that market and not one with which I could interact. The first part of the book posits a totalitarian state, which emerged from the USA as a result of the crackdown on civil liberties arising from the 9/11 attacks. The protagonist of the novel (and I choose that word carefully as YA novels tend to have protagonists) is Adriane Stohl, already under watch due to her father, a Doctor who has been demoted to a lowly medical job due to subversive behaviour. When Adrianne – a dangerously unconventional student at a time when conformity and unquestioning obedience is expected – rehearses a mildly questioning speech – she is herself detained and classified as an EI (Exiled Individual) transported into exile – an exile which as the title of the book suggests is actually (backwards) through time to 1950s middle-America. In the first part of the book JCO (Joyce Carol Oates) in true YA (Young Adult) style describes in a FCW (Fairly Clunky Way) the DFW (Dystopian Fantasy World) she has created – one where the true horror seems to be the number of acronyms. A typical passage is There had been only a few DASTADs—Disciplinary Actions Securing Threats Against Democracy—taken against Pennsboro students in recent years, and these students had all been boys in category ST3 or below. (The highest ST—SkinTone—category was 1: “Caucasian.” Nevertheless the set-up was potentially intriguing – combining time travel (of which many great science fiction stories have been written but which is a trap for the unwary) and dystopian fiction. It is a potential that is largely wasted in the remaining 85% of the book – as Adrianne (now Mary Ellen) lives in a college and is amazed at things like typewriters, hairsets and smoking while pursuing a rather dreamy romance with one of the tutors, who she believes to be a link to the world she has left. There are some rather half-hearted attempts to link the future totalitarianism to the anti-communist views of the day, as well as some more involved attempts to link them to the research at the time into conditioning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant...). Overall a harmless book – which I can certainly imagine my 12 year old daughter enjoying as a light read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ron Charles

    Someone needs to check Joyce Carol Oates’s garage for a DeLorean. Her new novel, “Hazards of Time Travel,” seems to have slipped through the space-time continuum. Although Oates started writing it in 2011 and finished before the election of President Trump, the story feels charged by the horrors of our Orwellian era. Even the author sounds a bit freaked out by the prescient quality of this novel. Months ago, she tweeted, “Feeling strange that it will seem to be — obviously! — about T***p Dark Age Someone needs to check Joyce Carol Oates’s garage for a DeLorean. Her new novel, “Hazards of Time Travel,” seems to have slipped through the space-time continuum. Although Oates started writing it in 2011 and finished before the election of President Trump, the story feels charged by the horrors of our Orwellian era. Even the author sounds a bit freaked out by the prescient quality of this novel. Months ago, she tweeted, “Feeling strange that it will seem to be — obviously! — about T***p Dark Age; in fact, it was/is not since completed years before.” Perhaps that’s the special instrument of sensitive novelists: a flux capacitor that allows them to register what’s approaching on the horizon. In this case, Oates has recast our present moment as “an Interlude of Indecisiveness,” a period of strident debate about the need for PVIWAT (Patriot Vigilance in the War Against Terror). In the grim future she imagines, the Constitution has been. . . . To read the full review, go to The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entert... To watch the Totally Hip Video Book Review of this novel, go here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Flynn

    My favorite books about time travel, which include KINDRED by Octavia Butler and VERSION CONTROL by Dexter Palmer, are never just about time travel. Ideally it's a stealthy path into bigger ideas: about history, the role of art, free will, life itself. HAZARDS is such a book. It gave me a lot to think about, and I suspect this is one I will want to read again, sooner rather than later. It seemed to start off quite openly polemic in its dystopian vision, a 1984 for our times. But it turned into s My favorite books about time travel, which include KINDRED by Octavia Butler and VERSION CONTROL by Dexter Palmer, are never just about time travel. Ideally it's a stealthy path into bigger ideas: about history, the role of art, free will, life itself. HAZARDS is such a book. It gave me a lot to think about, and I suspect this is one I will want to read again, sooner rather than later. It seemed to start off quite openly polemic in its dystopian vision, a 1984 for our times. But it turned into something else, much harder to categorize: a meditation on the nature of reality, among other things. There were points where I thought it had lost its way and other stretches of sheer genius. The ending was brilliant, I thought.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Grace Malato

    I was so excited about the premise of this book and so so disappointed in the delivery of a book that I thought would be a wonderful midpoint of my favorite genre - time travel and dystopian adventure. The only way that this book makes the vaguest of sense is if it is a satire of dystopian fiction, written as insultingly terrible as a statement on her opinion of the genre... which I am in no way convinced that it is, given the summary, all the reviews, and the way it is written. The main characte I was so excited about the premise of this book and so so disappointed in the delivery of a book that I thought would be a wonderful midpoint of my favorite genre - time travel and dystopian adventure. The only way that this book makes the vaguest of sense is if it is a satire of dystopian fiction, written as insultingly terrible as a statement on her opinion of the genre... which I am in no way convinced that it is, given the summary, all the reviews, and the way it is written. The main character is a 17 year old girl who starts as meek and passive and is exiled when she 'accidentally' gives a practice speech for the valedictorian achievement, which she receives also on accident, because it is considered illegal and she is exiled to the past. From there she makes not one single decision in the entire book, everything just happens to her as as she is treated as a set piece. The only plot point in the whole book is that she is stalker level obsessed with a comic-book style creep and thinks about him constantly. She follows him, does his laundry and dishes, and is set dressing for his more interesting backstory.... is this a commentary on how women are often treated in science-fiction? maybe, maybe not, but either way you still have to read hours of a woman being used as an object with no autonomy, back story, thought, redeeming characteristics, or development of any kind.... The actual style is almost journalistic - it is just a list of what happens, there are very few 'scenes' where anything happens, anyone interacts or says anything or anyone makes any decisions whatsoever. A vast majority of the book is either the main character thinking to herself about how obsessed she is with this man she has barely met, explanations of the alphabet soup of the 'future' government, and in depth descriptions of the psychological principals which were outdated, disgusting, and never disputed or discussed in any meaningful way - for example the bigwig professor is setting up a center for electroshock therapy for gay people, which nobody (future travelers included) seems to think is wrong, or in any way worth discussing, it is just mentioned about 10 times and left there among the other over discussed psychological junk. The romance in the book is perhaps the worst part, the main character is obsessed with an assistant professor she barely knows, she follows him around and about half the text is her thinking about how much she 'loves him' and decides that the best way to get his attention is to just do whatever he says and be his house keeper to make him 'need' her. Eventually he convinces her to try and escape their imprisonment, which she has no opinion or thoughts on, she just goes along because she wants him to love her. In the end the only thing she ever does is fall in love fast, make herself subservient and in no way act as an active participant in her life. Once again this could be a satire of how fast characters often fall in love in the genre..... but I'm not convinced that this is the case, and either way it is painful and insulting to read I wish I could get a refund on the time and money I spent on this book

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cody | codysbookshelf

    What this book’s synopsis and set-up promise should have made for a classic in the Joyce Carol Oates oeuvre and a favorite new release of 2018: a teenage girl living in a near-future dystopian society is ‘banished’ to live in 1950s Wisconsin for daring to question her government in public. If any author could take that premise and not only fulfill it but twist it inside out, JCO could — or so I thought. What the reader gets, instead, is a too-short novel bordering on young adult territory, all wh What this book’s synopsis and set-up promise should have made for a classic in the Joyce Carol Oates oeuvre and a favorite new release of 2018: a teenage girl living in a near-future dystopian society is ‘banished’ to live in 1950s Wisconsin for daring to question her government in public. If any author could take that premise and not only fulfill it but twist it inside out, JCO could — or so I thought. What the reader gets, instead, is a too-short novel bordering on young adult territory, all while getting bogged down in philosophical questions and a bogus insta-love relationship at the sake of an enjoyable, riveting plot. What I’ve come to expect from this author — and I am not an expert on her works, by any means — is to be challenged, and rewarded. I was neither of those things. Oates fails to take advantage of the main gimmick, the time travel. A few passing references to the setting in which the main character finds herself are made, but she adapts fairly quickly — perhaps too quickly, considering she has been exhiled eighty years in the past. The main character is far too angsty and reserved and stuck in her own head to be compelling. I can’t help feeling this novel is Oates on autopilot. This is the literary lioness, so of course the writing is fine from a technical standpoint . . . but oh, it was such a challenge! The unlikable characters, the unrealized setting, the rushed ending. I can’t recommend this. This is a smart book, yes, but almost totally toothless. Yikes.

  14. 5 out of 5

    SueKich

    Forward to the Past. This opens at some point in the future with a typical rendering of a dystopian totalitarian landscape: an all-seeing, all-powerful state where freedoms are severely curtailed. In JCO's version, the citizens go to extreme lengths to appear utterly mediocre. Stand out at your peril - and this our likeable narrator Adriane, a bright and mildly rebellious 17-year old, does. Her punishment is four years’ Exile to Zone Nine. At this point the novel changes gear to a kind of Back to Forward to the Past. This opens at some point in the future with a typical rendering of a dystopian totalitarian landscape: an all-seeing, all-powerful state where freedoms are severely curtailed. In JCO's version, the citizens go to extreme lengths to appear utterly mediocre. Stand out at your peril - and this our likeable narrator Adriane, a bright and mildly rebellious 17-year old, does. Her punishment is four years’ Exile to Zone Nine. At this point the novel changes gear to a kind of Back to the Future scenario without the whimsy. As Adriane is ‘teletransported’ back to 1959, she finds herself a new student at Wisconsin’s idyllic Wainscotia College but her homesickness is beyond anything her fellow freshmen may be suffering. Adriane's life as she knows it has vanished along with most of her memories of it. “What is a human being except the sum of her memories?” Loneliness overwhelms her. If only she could talk to someone about what has happened... This was my first Joyce Carol Oates and I found the prose, well, prosaic. But the story-telling has been an immersive experience – as well as curiously disturbing. Towards the end Adriane asks: “Is this a long time ago, or now? Or has it not happened yet?” I could ask much the same. My thanks to 4th Estate for the ARC courtesy of NetGalley.

  15. 5 out of 5

    SueLucie

    A story of several parts, hanging together in a rather contrived, unconvincing way, and with characters that didn’t much engage me. We start with observation of a future totalitarian regime in America - interchangeable, faceless leaders, airbrushed history, strict rules for citizens’ behaviour and close surveillance of their obedience or dissent. All very ‘1984’ and the part of the book that worked least for me. I know Adriane is only 17 but, even so, I found her narration clunky, especially as A story of several parts, hanging together in a rather contrived, unconvincing way, and with characters that didn’t much engage me. We start with observation of a future totalitarian regime in America - interchangeable, faceless leaders, airbrushed history, strict rules for citizens’ behaviour and close surveillance of their obedience or dissent. All very ‘1984’ and the part of the book that worked least for me. I know Adriane is only 17 but, even so, I found her narration clunky, especially as she is supposed to be an unusually free thinker in a highly restricted society. Fast forward (or backward) to 1959 in a small Midwest college and I enjoyed this more. Shared dorm rooms, frat parties, female paraphernalia such as hair rollers and girdles, launderettes, manual typewriters, and smoking everywhere - old-fangled stuff but new to Adriane. Add in some anti-war protests, some tired old behavioural psychology experiments, a big dollop of romance and stir without much vigour or pace. The novel was rather too disjointed for me, and lacking subtlety in its messages about behaviour and society, though I thought the ambiguous ending wrapped it up nicely enough. A disappointment overall, though, as I have enjoyed JCO’s writing in the past, but I wouldn’t rate this as one of her best. With thanks to Harper Collins 4th Estate via NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Madeline Partner

    I wanted to like this, but wow I read maybe 20 pages and then gave up! While the premise is intriguing (being sent back to a town 80 yrs in the past) as punishment, the writing is just so juvenile, helping the main character appear as horribly naive, idealistic (in a bad way), and ignorant. How could she have knowingly committed a crime so harsh to be sent back in time if she can’t clearly articulate anything about herself or her surroundings? Some indirect quotes— “Wow my teachers say I’m smart I wanted to like this, but wow I read maybe 20 pages and then gave up! While the premise is intriguing (being sent back to a town 80 yrs in the past) as punishment, the writing is just so juvenile, helping the main character appear as horribly naive, idealistic (in a bad way), and ignorant. How could she have knowingly committed a crime so harsh to be sent back in time if she can’t clearly articulate anything about herself or her surroundings? Some indirect quotes— “Wow my teachers say I’m smart and sometimes I just try too hard!!” “Only black people at my school get punished and I’ve never rlly seen someone with super dark skin! HAha lol” “My dad told me xxxx, my dad told me xxxx” “Wow my dad is sooo smart but he doesn’t make a lot of money! Government is unfair!” Just wow!! How can a book be so surface-level, privileged, ignorant and racist in the first 20 pages? Yeah she’s young but she doesn’t have to be an airhead. No thanks... Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gio

    I loved the premise of the book: Adriane Stohl, a curious student living in a totalitarian state where every move and word is monitored by government, is sent back to 1950s middle-America for questioning authority during her Valedictorian speech. Cool! What happens next? Well, the first part of the book describes the horrors of the totalitarian regime Adriane leaves in. You'd think this part be scary and disturbing but the constant uses of acronyms to define people and organisations makes for a I loved the premise of the book: Adriane Stohl, a curious student living in a totalitarian state where every move and word is monitored by government, is sent back to 1950s middle-America for questioning authority during her Valedictorian speech. Cool! What happens next? Well, the first part of the book describes the horrors of the totalitarian regime Adriane leaves in. You'd think this part be scary and disturbing but the constant uses of acronyms to define people and organisations makes for a very dry reading. The second part focuses on Adriane getting to terms with her new life in a past world. This part is a mix of behaviourist psychological principles, attempt to link to the future to the anti-communist activities of the 50s and a lot of boring descriptions about college life at the time. The real problem is that nothing much happens in the book. You're waiting to see what happens next but 85% through the book you're wondering if this thing even has an ending. Well, it does and it's totally unsatisfactory. I'm not going to spoil it for you. Suffice it to say, I felt totally cheated. It's a harmless book - but also a pointless one. I wish Oates had developed the story more instead than using it as an excuse to rehash political views.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    The amazingly prolific Joyce Carol Oates has written her novel in response to President Trump. All totalitarian regimes are the same, and The Hazards of Time Travel is reminiscent of Orwell's 1984. It is the future, and North America has become rigidly authoritarian and has a form of apartheid. Adriane is caught thinking for herself, and is exiled to another time. Despite her punishment, Adriane is unable to be other than who she is. After a hideous depiction of her imprisonment and sentencing, A The amazingly prolific Joyce Carol Oates has written her novel in response to President Trump. All totalitarian regimes are the same, and The Hazards of Time Travel is reminiscent of Orwell's 1984. It is the future, and North America has become rigidly authoritarian and has a form of apartheid. Adriane is caught thinking for herself, and is exiled to another time. Despite her punishment, Adriane is unable to be other than who she is. After a hideous depiction of her imprisonment and sentencing, Adriane is marooned in 1959. She discovers she is not the only person exiled there. Oates, through the story, is telling us what the world could easily become if right wing populism continues its' march through the West.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy Zupancic

    Given the incredible reputation of Joyce Carol Oates for writing books that people love, I simply cannot believe how terrible this book is. I rarely rate books this low, but I can find nothing positive to write about this novel, honestly. (Oh, I guess I can say that I'm glad it wasn't longer?) Coming from a former school librarian who has read and loved hundreds of YA sci fi and fantasy novels, and who has graduate-level training (really!) in being able to "book talk" virtually any book in a posi Given the incredible reputation of Joyce Carol Oates for writing books that people love, I simply cannot believe how terrible this book is. I rarely rate books this low, but I can find nothing positive to write about this novel, honestly. (Oh, I guess I can say that I'm glad it wasn't longer?) Coming from a former school librarian who has read and loved hundreds of YA sci fi and fantasy novels, and who has graduate-level training (really!) in being able to "book talk" virtually any book in a positive way to encourage reading...admitting that I can find nothing positive to write about this novel is really a dramatic statement for me to write! The dystopian future world in which the book begins is poorly developed, with an alphabet soup of acronyms cluttering the pages that seem so forced and silly as to be laughable. The main character seems to be floating through the events that unfold with life simply happening to her, and when she does set about doing things in an active way, that's not a step in a positive direction. She sets about stalking her teacher, working like a slave for him doing his dishes and ironing his shirts hoping that he will "need" her because she believes she loves him. Sigh. The time travel elements are not interesting or well-explored, being treated only in an "oh gee" kind of manner. "Oh, gee...the young women in the 1950's type on...gasp...typewriters!" "Oh, gee...the young women in the 1950's sleep on...gasp...hair rollers!" "Oh, gee...the young women in the 1950's have salaries that are...gasp...less than men's!" Etcetera...ad nauseum. To top off all of the awfulness, the book ends with a badly written, yawn-inducing "cliff hanger" of sorts (although there's no precarious situation or difficult dilemma) where we are left wondering what the heck happened to the rest of the book. Did Joyce Carol Oates get bored writing it and just stop, unable to make herself finish because she was as tired of her characters as I was? Did she become ill while writing it and decide she just didn't have the strength to finish it? (Doubtful, since she's on social media 24/7.) Did she decide that she'd rather spend her time writing an actually good book and just quit writing this one because she realized she'd already wasted enough of her time on it? I don't have an answer for the terrible ending, but I do have some advice: Find a different book to read that isn't this one. There are hundreds of really great YA sci fi and fantasy novels out there, many with time travel elements handled much more skillfully. I wish I could have back the hours I spent reading this one. Consider saving you from reading this book my Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years gifts to you, potential reader.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    DNF @ 20%

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Keeton

    I loved this book. It was thought-provoking, thrilling, and oddly romantic. The ending was somewhat frustrating, because there were questions left unanswered, but that's life I suppose!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Meggan

    This is definitely a page-turner. It's definitely thought-provoking, and makes you wonder what the future really holds.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    So you find yourself in Zone 9. A new name assigned to you, memories leaving you, and there are rules in zone 9, two more front of your mind. 1.“The EI is forbidden to identify himself/herself except as established by HSEDB (Homeland Security Exile Disciplinary Bureau). The EI is monitored at all times.” 2.“Violations will insure that the EI will be immediately Deleted.” And so all you have is.. “In Exile you cling to what you have, that has not (yet) been taken from you.” But there is also deletion a So you find yourself in Zone 9. A new name assigned to you, memories leaving you, and there are rules in zone 9, two more front of your mind. 1.“The EI is forbidden to identify himself/herself except as established by HSEDB (Homeland Security Exile Disciplinary Bureau). The EI is monitored at all times.” 2.“Violations will insure that the EI will be immediately Deleted.” And so all you have is.. “In Exile you cling to what you have, that has not (yet) been taken from you.” But there is also deletion and that is.. “DI—“Deleted Individual.” If you are Deleted, you cease to exist. You are “vaporized.” And if you are Deleted, all memories of you are Deleted also. Your personal property/estate becomes the possession of the NAS (North American States). Your family, even your children, if you have children, will be forbidden to speak of you or in any way remember you, once you cease to exist. Because it is taboo, Deletion is not spoken of. Yet, it is understood that Deletion, the cruelest of punishments, is always imminent. To be Deleted is not equivalent to being Executed. Execution is a public-lesson matter: Execution is not a state secret.” This is a place that 1984, Handmaids Tale and Fahrenheit 451 probably gave birth to. With paranoia building you will be thinking.. “Why am I here, when will I be taken from here, who is watching me, who is monitoring me, is it this person who invites me to trust her? What will she report of me? What will be the summary and the judgment?” These statements, keywords, and rules in quotation marks, taken from this brilliant tale by Joyce Carol Oates, Hazards of Time Travel. A seventeen year old is in exile, an EI Exiled Individual in zone 9. The world is a strange new world, every word and manoeuvrings watched by powers that be, quashed peoples freedoms and thoughts. There will be some empathy for this EI named Mary Ellen Enright she will have to abide and survive through some major interceptions and conspirator movements, all ingeniously crafted, and sum of all fears potently realised before the reader with some bat shit craziness peoples worst fears of government control coming to fruition. Memorable, shocking and brilliant tale, a must read for this strange new world emerging with a possible cautionary vision envisioned by a great writer Joyce Carol Oates. HSEDB Homeland Security Exile Disciplinary Bureau Federal Execution Education Program (FEEP) NAS means North American States—more formally known as RNAS—Reconstituted North American States F.B.E./F.B.I. (Federal Bureau of Examiners, Federal Bureau of Inquisitors) Homeland Security Public Dissemination Bureau NSS Neurosurgical Security Services. Youth Disciplinary Division of Homeland Security HSPSO Home Security Public Safety Oversight DASTADs Disciplinary Actions Securing Threats Against Democracy Patriot Democracy scholarship Democratic Citizenship Award CI Condemned Individual MI Marked Individual status DI Deleted Individual AT Active Traitor SI Subversive Individual EI Exiled Individuals Smart Resist Deletion Vaporized “Re-education” and “Reconstitution.” “Re-educated” and “Reconstituted” Review @ https://more2read.com/review/hazards-of-time-travel-by-joyce-carol-oates/

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    2.5 Couldn't help but get the feeling this was written with the Trump administration in mind. There was a lot to like about the novel, particularly the time travel aspects of the story. I did feel, however, it feel a bit short of Oates' usual standard. This was an ARC in exchange for a honest review. With thanks to Netgalley and Harpercollins.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Miguel

    I really really wanted to like this book. On paper it's something that's right down my alley. It wasn't, though. I fought hard to get into it, but it just wasn't written for an audience that includes me. It has nothing to do with the book or with the writer. I just couldn't get into it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    Adriane lives in a future world that is completely controlled by the government where everything is monitored, pre-determined, and uniformity rules. She gains the unwanted attention of the authorities due to her free-thinking Valedictorian speech and is sent to an unusual prison of sorts. Her treasonous tendencies must be stripped away so they teleport her back in time to a boarding school in 1959 to spend her 4-year sentence under a new name. Mary Ellen, Adriane's new identity, is so terrified Adriane lives in a future world that is completely controlled by the government where everything is monitored, pre-determined, and uniformity rules. She gains the unwanted attention of the authorities due to her free-thinking Valedictorian speech and is sent to an unusual prison of sorts. Her treasonous tendencies must be stripped away so they teleport her back in time to a boarding school in 1959 to spend her 4-year sentence under a new name. Mary Ellen, Adriane's new identity, is so terrified that "Big Brother" is watching her every move that she barely speaks to anyone, doesn't try to stand out and doesn't try to make friends. She does find a kindred soul in another exile and does the unthinkable - falls in love and begins to think for herself. I found it very interesting that this future limited any free thought, ambition, and individuality and she is exiled to the late 50's/early 60's where women saw college as a means of finding their future husband but it was also the beginning of free speech and radical thought. The writing is choppy which fits Adriane/Mary Ellen and her intense fear of being singled out and extinguished. For those who favor HANDMAID'S TALE or VOX, this book will ignite a fire in you. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tory

    I haven't read enough of Oates to know if this is her typical writing style -- very old-fashioned with lots of dashes and commas, all separating thoughts from each other and constantly feeling like a run-on sentence you'd find in Frankenstein. Not a fan in the least! And I totally didn't get the ending. What a let-down.

  28. 4 out of 5

    carissa

    Straight-forward told tale that sends criminals back in time. Easy to read, like YA, Is it YA? It reads like it, so I was not as charmed as I had expected to be.

  29. 5 out of 5

    The Unseen

    It would be quite easy to say that Joyce Carol Oates’ Hazards of Time Travel is nothing more than a derivative warning of the course that western society and politics is headed. Dig a little deeper, however, and we find an interesting, if flawed, critique of what drives human behaviour. I found getting through the books first act to be somewhat of a struggle. With a young female protagonist living in an Orwellian-styled dystopia, I felt that Oates was flirting much too close to young adult territ It would be quite easy to say that Joyce Carol Oates’ Hazards of Time Travel is nothing more than a derivative warning of the course that western society and politics is headed. Dig a little deeper, however, and we find an interesting, if flawed, critique of what drives human behaviour. I found getting through the books first act to be somewhat of a struggle. With a young female protagonist living in an Orwellian-styled dystopia, I felt that Oates was flirting much too close to young adult territory than I care to find myself. Indeed, most of this first act involved little more than the protagonist demonstrating a worrying amount of naivety for someone living under such an oppressive regime. The overtly-transparent critique of contemporary US politics felt somewhat trite and it was tough to fully engage with any of the characters up to this point. “It has been observed, in laboratories, that animals in cages are sometimes fearful of leaving their cages, even when their doors are left open. Even when their doors have been removed.” The second and final acts, with the story shifted to the late 1950s and early 1960s, were both more interesting and enjoyable to read. As the protagonist studied contrasting theories of behavioural psychology in her university classes, we got to see these theories manifest themselves and struggle against one another regarding the choices that she had to make. I found this to be a novel and exciting method of character development that was also the driving force behind the ever-increasing paranoia running through the protagonist’s head. Truth be told, I even felt myself getting paranoid about the actions of each character that she encountered. “In the front yard are a 1949 Ford pickup truck with a smashed windshield and no tires, the remains of an ancient International Harvester tractor, an eviscerated 1947 Buick convertible, a child’s sled with badly rusted runners: these are not remnants of discarded, formerly functional objects but an elaborately constructed scrap-metal sculpture titled, by Jamie Stiles, Hazards of Time Travel.” Sometimes, when reading a novel, you come to a point where everything clicks and you feel that the writer’s intentions suddenly come into focus. Prior to reading the book, my thoughts on what the hazards of time travel might be centred on notions of chaos theory and how actions in the past would affect the future. However, Oates’ use of the books title within the story immediately got me to consider the title with a different question in mind; what would about the hazards of the natural forward progression of time? As with the earlier critique of contemporary US politics, Oates was far from subtle here. Objects, or perhaps even political ideas and systems, are not immune from the destructive power of time; they need care and attention (as well as the occasional replacement) if they are to survive… (3.5 rounded up to 4) theunseenlibrary.com

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lori L (She Treads Softly)

    Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates is a recommended dystopian novel about a totalitarian regime where being sent back in time is a punishment. Adriane Strohl is named valedictorian of her high school class, even after others tried to tell her that it is better to not stand out in the current political environment. When she practices her speech, which consists of questions, she is arrested, charged with Treason and Questioning of Authority, and punished by being sent to college. The colle Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates is a recommended dystopian novel about a totalitarian regime where being sent back in time is a punishment. Adriane Strohl is named valedictorian of her high school class, even after others tried to tell her that it is better to not stand out in the current political environment. When she practices her speech, which consists of questions, she is arrested, charged with Treason and Questioning of Authority, and punished by being sent to college. The college she is sent to is in Wainscotia, Wisconsin, and the time is in 1959, eighty years in the past. She is given a new name, Mary Ellen Enright, and has a chip implanted in her brain to ensure her cooperation and loss of past memories. The opening of the novel lists the rules and constraints Adriane is under for the time she is sentenced for rehabilitation. Obviously she should know that it could be dangerous when she becomes obsessed with and tries to talk to Dr. Ira Wolfman, a psychology professor. She is sure that he has also been sentenced to exile in 1959 Wainscotia. Oates has created an interesting dystopian world, but, in my opinion, it certainly reads like a Young Adult novel and is not as well-imagined or well-developed as other adult dystopian novels out there. It falls a bit short of making the political statement that Oates' desires. Adriane's paranoia and struggle to try to remember who she was before feels realistic, as does her inability to fit into 1959. In many ways it feels like this novel was rushed to publication as a political statement. It might have had a chance to make a bigger impact if more time was spent making it a better, more complete statement. There is one part which occurs later in the novel that was startling and elevated the novel above the ordinary - a bit - which is the basis for my three stars. The conclusion is enigmatic, in relationship to the information the reader has about Adriane's punishment. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Harper Collins. http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2018/1...

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