09 June 2009

Timeline - Michael Crichton

Today I review one of Michael Crichton’s many books, TimeLine, one of his best works and one of many that were later made into movies. The story is about a group of historians and archaeologists who, while studying a site in the Dordogne region of France, find a mysterious message buried in the earth, and the lens from one of the archaeologists glasses. Soon, Professor Johnston (the owner of the lens), who works for ITC, goes missing, and the rest of the crew travel back in time to the medieval towns of Castelgard and La Roque (which were believed to be located near the site where they were carrying out their research). Researchers Chris Hughes, Kate Erickson, Andre Marek, and David Stern, along with a marine travel back to 1357 to look for Johnston.
Here they come across many misfortunes. Chris meets Lady Claire, whom he helps to escape from the clutches of the evil Sir Guy. The men are forced to fight in jousts, and somehow manage to survive and win, to their surprise. The team finds that another person from the present has followed them into the past. It is Rob Deckard, an ITC employee and former marine, who has gone insane as a side effect of constant time travel. Deckard has remained in 1357 after his last travel back in time.
After a series of skirmishes, the team get ready to go back home through the marker beacon that Chris has managed to get from De Kere. Noble Andre stays behind with Lady Claire to help her people win the battle against Arnaut, another bad guy.
The team saves Professor Johnston and, minus Andre and some people who don’t deserve to live, return to the present. Chris and Kate fall in love and Kate is pregnant. They find the tombstone of Andre and Lady Claire and are happy to know that Andre lived a good life.
Crichton reveals the depths of quantum leap, and the theory of the multiverse. The theory is that time travels in different speeds in different universes and that when one person jumped from one universe into another, he would land in a different time, either in the future or in the past based on whether time moved faster or slower respectively.
Another important concept is that changes made in one universe affect the events of a future time of other universes. Crichton explains these theories in such a simple manner that any reader, whether familiar or stranger to scientific theories, can understand the principle behind time travel, albeit as Michael Crichton sees it.


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