Listen free for 30 days

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Time Traveler's Wife cover art

The Time Traveler's Wife

Written by: Audrey Niffenegger
Narrated by: Fred Berman,Phoebe Strole
Try for $0.00

$14.95 per month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for $37.59

Buy Now for $37.59

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36. They were married when Clare was 23 and Henry was 31. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

Clare and Henry's story unfolds from both points of view, depicting the effects of time travel on their marriage and their passionate love for each other. They attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals: steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

©2003 Audrey Niffenegger; 2005 HighBridge Company (P)2003 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.

What the critics say

  • Alex Award Winner, 2004

"Highly original first novel....Niffenegger has written a soaring love story illuminated by dozens of finely observed details and scenes....It is a fair tribute to her skill and sensibility to say that the book leaves a reader with the impression of life's riches and strangeness rather than of easy thrills." (Publishers Weekly)

More from the same

What listeners say about The Time Traveler's Wife

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    112
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    117
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    107
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn't listen to this.

i did not get very far into this book because the narration really got on my nerves

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exactly what I hoped

Ignoring all the criticisms about what is or is not appropriate in this story- I still truly love it and it is one of my favourites.

The way the voice actors tell it is beautiful and easy to follow, heart wrenching and lovely. Say what you will about the story, but I still love it to this day.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not a favorite

The story is based on an interesting concept, but the characters don't have the depth to pull it off. It's definitely too long to support its weirdness. (I stayed to the end but was irritated that I did.)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic book

it was a fantastic book. it keeps you on your toes and has unexpected twists and turns. highly recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

thought provoking

What is time but a human construct or is it Devine. Time will tell if there is enough time.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Outlander-light

Interesting premise. Decent execution. Poor plotting. Bland characters.

Picked this up without knowing anything beyond what's in the blurb. Was not really a fan, but in hindsight, I don't think I'm the target audience for this book. If you enjoy Outlander or possibly the 50 shades series, you should probably give this a read. If you don't, I doubt you'll like this one either.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good

Lovely performances by the narrators. The construction is absolutely fantastic, the story is engaging with an intriguing premise. I preferred Henry's story and I thought the time traveling much more interesting than the love story which I didn't connect with. Clare wasn't particularly believable and I found the sexualization of her as a child unpleasant.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved every minute of it!!

I was hooked from the beginning! It is read by a man and a woman which I think was key for this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read!

I loved it and could hardly put it down. took me a little bit to follow the transitions but then it just got better and better.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

listened over and over again

this is one of my favorite books. plus the narration is a actually amazing. even my husband has listened to this a couple times over. just love love love this book

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joey
  • Joey
  • 2008-01-13

One of my favorite books

The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my favorite books. That's not to say that it's perfect or a work of fiction that will change the face of American literature, but I found it very engaging and hard to put down. I think the idea is really fresh and well-executed. I read the book in paper when it first came out and just listened to it again. My only real problem with the transition from paper to audio is that the book frequently tells you what date it is and how old the characters are (this changes a lot since one of the main characters is a time traveler). When looking at the book I could take the time to stop and absorb the date whereas it was kind of hard to catch the date and ages when read. It's kind of a convoluted storyline (this is necessary and is part of what makes it interesting) and I suspect that if I hadn't read it before I'd have done a lot of pausing to think about what just happened and rewinding of complicated parts. The narrators are pretty good, although the woman's voice was sometimes annoying to me, but that's probably just me. In sum, this is not a book to get if you're looking for something you don't have to concentrate on, but it's a great story so if you don't mind thinking a bit, give it a shot.

121 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lucy in the Sky
  • Lucy in the Sky
  • 2009-11-25

A superficial romance with a time-travel twist

Even though this book is already heavily reviewed, the opinions are so divided I had to put in my 2 cents. Any story with time travel is going to have some logical problems, so I was willing to go along and accept all the inevitable cause-and-effect paradoxes. What I found annoying were the other plot devices the author used in an attempt to spice up the story. Many times Henry had no problem telling others about his time traveling affliction, but at other times (when it made the story more interesting) he couldn't. Sometimes Claire and Henry felt free to tell each other what would happen in the future; other times (when it heightens conflict), they didn't. Sometimes he knows when he will return to his own time, but at other times (when it adds dramatic tension) he doesn't. None of this is ever explained. Good scifi writers know that if they expect their readers to accept a different world, they need to set up clear rules within that world and stick to them. This author doesn't do that.

I found the idea of this book interesting and was initially enthusiastic, but the single-minded romantic focus wore thin after a while. (Will they or won't they get together? We already know they will. Do they have any other interests in life? Apparently not.) This could have been an interesting meditation on love and the inevitable loss we all must go through, but the superficiality of the characters undermined those larger themes. I suspect that the long descriptions of Henry's musical tastes and Claire's artwork were an attempt to flesh out the characters a bit, but it didn't work for me. They just came across as hip, vacuous, self-centered yuppies with a time travel problem. Read this if you absolutely love romances, have lots of time, and don't mind sad endings. Otherwise, give it a pass.

115 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2012-03-31

Forget the Movie!

This book is an absolutely MUST listen for anyone who loves a good love story with some flights of fantasy thrown in for good measure. The story is captivating, funny, poignant... and probable.

I saw the movie trailers for this story and thought about seeing the movie, but when I saw it available on Audible, I decided to give the book a listen first. Now I don't think I ever want to see the movie. I simply don't believe it could ever be as good as the performance given by Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole. Berman and Strole don't just narrate the story, they bring Henry and Claire to life and it is Henry and Claire telling their own story in their own voices.

I can't imagine a better way to tell this story than through these two voices, so well chosen and well suited to their characters. I can't imagine a better introduction to audible books!

102 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jim
  • Jim
  • 2008-05-10

Interesting Time Travel Tale

For those who haven't read this book yet, some quick tips:
* You might feel like you missed something early on, and feel the need to back it up and listen again... Don't bother. You will quickly get used to the author's approach to the time traveling technique.
* It's more of a love story than a real sci-fi time travel story.
* The author must have felt her readers need to have vulgar, graphicly described sexual acts for us to picture a love making scene. Sadly, her high-schoolish and flagrant use of "locker room language" served to detract from scenes. She used words I haven't heard in real conversatoins since I was 16 years old.
* Her originality in her take on time travel is wonderful.
* The story begins well, and continues to build and keep your attention until about 3/4 of the way through and then she seems to lose focus and starts to fill in with artsy/craftsy stuff that add nothing to the plot. I found my self yelling at my MP3 player to "hurry up and get back to the story". I can find a book some other time on how to make paper.
* Be prepared to be left hanging on a couple of things that are never resolved.
* The story is read well, but the female narrator doesn't do men's voices that well and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to when they switch from male to female narrators.
That being said, it was one of the better books I have listened to this year.

86 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stephen McLeod
  • Stephen McLeod
  • 2009-04-03

Extraordinary

This is one of the two best books I've read or listened to in a long time, and the performances are superb (The other is "Lush Life".) It is the story a guy named Henry who has a sort of disease - unique to Henry - called "chrono-displacement disorder." Henry, it turns out, is more or less taken, at various times in his life, against his will, out of the present, and spit out (usually) into the past. Henry never knows when or where he is when this is going to happen, but it usually happens at moments of great stress for present Henry, and great importance in Henry's past. (There is some travel to the future, but only in a couple of critical places.) And during all of this, Henry, like Odysseus, just wants to go home to his wife and stay there.

And it is the story of his non traveling spouse, Clare who, very self-consciously like Penelope in the Odyssey, waits patiently for her husband's return, again and again, all the while pursuing in earnest the hard work of being and becoming herself. Weaving, in Penelope's case; visual art in Clare's.

This is a novel about life, death, the nature of time, and intimate love, and most importantly, what it means to be a continuous and continuously human person, what George Eliot called the "persistent self." And It is most assuredly a love story, but not in the slightest bit sentimental. At first, the novel's conceit - time travel - is a bit confusing. Partly this is because the author unpacks the concept of time travel piece by piece, in order to take it to many of its logical conclusions. But pretty soon, the reader figures it out more or less, and forgets that some people have called it "science fiction" or "fantasy," or, most ominously to my mind, "romance." And once figured out, the author's cleverness - brilliance really - and wit are revealed as grace after grace. To use a cliche: it makes you think.

82 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Deborah
  • Deborah
  • 2009-09-19

Did we listen to the same book?????

"Fun" "dreamy" "well read"!?.... This book was painful in so many ways. The concept was intriguing and the collection of characters was great. BUT... the author could have done so much more to create tension between the contrasting intimacy of Clare/Henry and his disconnect with so much of life trapped in linear time. Also - Henry's nudity problem in time travel was so tedious and repetitive and distracting I could hardly stand it. Added NOTHING to the story.

The author's descriptions of the relationship between Clare and Henry alternated between sublime,poetic at some points, and utterly crude at others. One of the terms Clare used in describing her own body is so viscerally pejorative that I stopped liking her then and there. And what was up with the "love scene" in the kitchen with Gomez and Clare? I actually really liked Gomez until this jarringly ugly scene.

As for the readers - Clare was tone deaf; Henry was gratingly nasal and too often sounded bored and condescending. The biggest problem I had with them though was the amazing frequency of mispronounced words. Where were the editors???? In one chapter, Henry pronounces a word incorrectly the first go-round, then corrects it later on.... Huh? Go back and edit the damned first mispronunciation! It seemed so lazy.

80 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Scott
  • Scott
  • 2010-03-28

Epic Drama & Love Story through Time Travel

This is a "must read" for original and vital usage of time travel as a "plot device". Most Time Travel books are more about SETTING (distant futures or pasts) and TECHNOLOGY (plot devices) which limit the importance of what makes a good story GOOD CHARACTERS!
The two time crossed lovers of this book (excellently narrated by the man & woman team, still, a real treat in the business of audio books.) with excellent editing (no mouth sounds.)
I really truly can't understand the fuss some people make about a scene or two. You'd think there was some kind of hard core porn. In fact I'd probably have missed ENTIRELY it I hadn't been alerted to expecting something of that sort.
Also brilliant is how the author cuts through the possible complexities of time travel with one simple premise which rings true. "Things only happen once." You have free will in real time from your past choices to the future you choose.
It very much simplifies the concept of time travel. No alternate universes, no changing history.
That the traveler has no control over where or when he goes or even for how long, landing naked desperately needing clothing quickly - it makes him a very tragic figure.
Lastly, I liked the way each chapter keeps track of the two main characters and their respective "real life" ages to make the main story easy to follow as the poor protagonist is whipped through back and forward without any control, into heart rending scenes.
Excellent. A truly original concept. I couldn't stop listening. Not to be missed. This is a beautiful love story that unfolds with "flash forwards" and "flashbacks" that keep you guessing and glued to your earphones.

60 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael
  • Michael
  • 2012-10-10

One of the Best

This was a great book. It is destine to become a classic. I am not easily brought to tears but I was sobbing, and literally wailing, while doing the dishes as I listened to one of the poignant scenes of this unique and wonderful novel. My wife rushed in with a worried look asking what was wrong (fearing I had cut off my thumb). I popped out an ear bud and replied "good book". It was; it was a very good book. I listened to it a second time as soon as I had recovered from the first listen, then my wife, my child, and I listened to it again on a long drive. We all laughed and cried together as we drove. Interestingly, although many of these reviewers were brought to tears by this book, it is not at all sad. It is just very poignant. I left the book with a strong feeling of joy for life and the importance of love. The book contains some strong language and adult situations, but I think it is fine for most teens.

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for GH
  • GH
  • 2014-10-29

Complex tale that hits you in the heart

I wasn't sure about this book at first. I really had no concept of how the plot could be held together. The story opens up on the slow side, in my opinion, but rapidly you are drawn into the work. At first you might be thinking the novel is about Henry but then you might change you mind as you get further. Knowledge is power and the shifting tides of time of this novel help you understand how power ebbs and flow with the seasons of life. I was surprised by how central sex was to this novel, of course it was handled tastefully, but the the author did not gloss over how relationships and emotions intertwine with the characters.

This book is more about the relationship between them than time travel. Time travel is a vehicle to bring poignant moments into focus. Indeed, time travel is the author's tool for cutting out the mundane and focusing on the interesting. There is not a science fiction novel -- this about about two people who find each other and grow. This is about love and despair and sacrifice. I think you should give it a read even if you are little shy about science fiction. It will be enjoyed, in my opinion, by those who have experience with relationships. It more of a coming of age novel than anything else. By the way, I hear there is a squeal in the works.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for LAURA CHAPIN
  • LAURA CHAPIN
  • 2009-08-08

Robert and Laura

Well, well, well, I have been an avid reader of fantasy/sf since 1952 and I believed I had read the best and there was nothing that would capture and hold my attention again as stories and books did in my early years. I was captivated by the wonderful people and their lives. I was in love again while at the same time I was contemplating my own mortality. What a wonderful surprise
Thank you Miss Audrey

36 people found this helpful