Saturday, 10 March 2018

Time Was.

"A queer love story across time" is how Tor, the publisher, described the story between the covers of Ian Mc Donald's new book. " A love story stitched across time and war, shaped by the power of books, and ultimately destroyed by it." Time Was tells the story of two men, Tom and Ben, who fall in love during an era when being a Nazi seemed more socially acceptable (I know, I am being overly defensive there but and that was not how most people in the era in question thought or felt, but the demonization and persecution of gay men and women during this time, and for some time after it, strikes close to the bone. No excuse for persecution has any validity under the sun but the lunacy of hating people for because of how they love, that is a special kind of evil.) During an experiment to render allied ships invisible to enemy radar they are displaced, separately, through time. What follows is a heart breaking search across time and some of the worst battlefields and conflicts in the twentieth century. As they follow clues seeded down the years at the mercy of amok years.
             It is a fantastic book. Beautifully written with more going on per chapter than most epics in literature have going on. Its incredibly vivid writing, wringing emotion from scientific uncertainty. Its bloody hard enough to find someone to love only to then lose them in a linear maelstrom. Heartbreaking.
             Time Was works on so many levels including the meta levels of actual searching going on within its pages.  Ben searches for Ben and someone, will not say who, searches for them both, its gripping, while we observe all, searching for a place where all the disparate threads will weave together.
              Started reading it again as soon as I finished it.
              That is the way time works, does it not?