At long last, I have read The Time Traveler's Wife.
Out of all the recommendations I get from friends and readers - and believe me, I get more than I can ever read - Audrey Niffenegger's novel about a time-traveling librarian and the woman he loves is the one most suggested to me. I don't know why I resisted it so long. Maybe, despite my protestations to the contrary, I harbor an innate prejudice against what we think of as "book club books" which as we all know is a code for "books chicks like." But that can't be it; I like Lisa See, for example, and her novels are the very definition of a book club pick.
So perhaps I just didn't have time. But since I'm seeing the film version Monday night, I thought I'd at least pick up the book and skim it to get a sense of it. Five hundred and thirty six pages later, I was sniffling and quite content that I'd made the time. It's a good book. There. I said it. It's GOOD.
I guess I thought it would be sappy, but while it's romantic - it is a love story, after all - a solid core of unsentimentality runs through it, possibly because of its sci fi elements. Also, the hero, Henry, is a punk - how I love that the couple slam dances to the Violent Femmes! - and he's not above using his trick to win the lottery or make money in the stock market (wouldn't we all?) And Niffenegger never romanticizes the ugly side of her particular form of time travel. Henry arrives places naked, starving and dying for caffeine (I particularly relate to that part). Also the naked bit gives me high hopes for the movie, which stars Eric Bana, although I suspect the filmmakers might try hard not to be explicit about that aspect.