Seriously what's with all the hype about this book? It was overly indulgent and took a concept that could have made a phenomenal story and totally flattened that. Like sitting on a whoopee cushion and not getting a fart noise.
After finishing this, I have a pretty good idea of what Audrey Niffenegger's ideal man is like. He must love punk rock as evidenced by the author's incessant need to name drop punk bands, be a cool city boy, know how to cook and eat with class, and likes using the same German phrase over and over again. Enough already! We get it, Henry likes punk...really likes punk without being a poseur about it. She doesn't have to beat us over the head with all the band names.
This book was entirely too long. All the parts about Clare making paper and whatever art project were unnecessarily detailed and torturous to read. And it seems that the author forgot about the show not tell part of writing. There were so many monotonous parts of minutiae that could have easily been omitted saving at least 100 pages. The repetition of that German phrase und so wieter was too much and the paragraphs in French or other languages left untranslated gave this a snooty feel.
My librarian friend wants to know how the hell Henry was able to keep his job while disappearing for lengthy periods of time and reappearing naked while many real life librarians are hoping to avoid being laid off due to huge budget cuts.
Up until the part about all the miscarriages, I just wanted to punch Clare. Of course she is a trust fund brat, and an artist, and the house she grew up in has books written about it. Oh and her family has hired help (insert stereotypical ethnic persons). And she meets a naked Henry when she's just a kid. If I saw a naked guy appear out of nowhere when I was 6, I would have run screaming for my life. The multiple miscarriages struck a chord in me and that was the only part of Clare that I identified with and liked (slightly). It was also the only time Clare felt real. Although being a trust fund brat, she could have easily afforded fertility specialists that us regular folk can't afford and insurance won't cover. Of course she still gets her baby Alba, since Clare is perfect.
The only positive in this book and the only reason why I gave it a full star instead of a half was largely due to the time traveling mice that Kendrick cloned and the Kendrick character himself. Time traveling mice! It would have been a major feat for the author to screw up time traveling mice. And I have to give her credit for keeping track of the times and dates during the story. Other than that this book was a huge disappointment.