Timeline By Michael Crichton – Review


Thank you for being here once again for my latest website update 🙂

Today I want to tell you about another wonderful book, Timeline by Michael Crichton. This science fiction novel was published in November 1999.

For the writing of this book, it can clearly be seen that Michel Crichton made a lot of research in Quantum Physics and Middle Age History.

The book was very successful and also later the story was offered to us on the big screen back in 2003, but more on that later.

Michael Crichton This is the story of a group of students who travel back in time to France in the 14th century in order to save their history teacher.

The story starts with a couple travelling through the Arizona desert and they stumble across a man. He is sick, tired, and far away from the nearest town.  They find out that this man is a brilliant physicist named Joe Traub and he is working for a company called ITC.

They try to save him but he later dies in hospital from a heart attack. After his death, an MRI scan is done and it reveals some abnormalities in his vessels.

Professor Edward Johnston leads a team of history students and archaeologists in Dordogne France, to study the remains of the medieval towns of Castelgard and La Rogue.

Feeling that something is not right about the fact that their funding company (ITC) knows so many details about this place, the professor flies to ITC based in New Mexico to find out what is really going on and what is the real reason they have chosen to fund their research.

While he is absent, the research continues and the archaeologists discover something rather difficult to explain: a parchment with the professor‘s handwriting asking for help. The disturbing fact is the writing is from 600 years previous (proved by the ink used) and a pair of glasses that seem to be his.

Right away Chris Hughes and some of the other researchers (Kate Erickson, Andre Marek, and David Stern) fly to ITC to find the professor to see what has happened.

There, they talk with the ITC founder Robert Doniger and find out that Professor Johnston has travelled in time, to Dordogne in the year 1357, using their quantum technology.

Unfortunately, he never came back.

 Back in time

time travel

Finally, they decide to go into the past along with two escorts to save the professor. Only Sterns remains behind to keep an eye on the process. The researchers wear the appropriate clothing for that period but when they ask about weapons they are forbidden to take anything modern, especially firearms.

They all travel with each one carrying a ceramic marker, their only means of getting home again.

See also  The Door Into Summer By Robert Heinlein - My Review

When they arrive in the past they are attacked by a group of English men led by a man called Sir Guy. The ITC military escorts are killed and they arrive back to the present holding a grenade, which explodes and destroys the transit pad within the ITC.

Kate and Marek are taken prisoners and taken to Castelgard by the English men, and Chris, separated from the others finds a boy, who leads him to Castelgard a little later. The boy is actually later identified as Lady Claire dressed as a man, not to be recognized

Chris and Marek are challenged to a fight with Sir Guy and Sir Charles de Gaune. Marek beats de Gaune and the Commander of the English Army, Lord Oliver, orders the death of Andre and Chris.

Kate helps them to escape, but they are followed by Guy and Sir Robert de Kere.

The Attack Starts

Professor Johnston is kept alive and safe because Oliver assumes that he can help him enter the impenetrable La Rogue through a secret tunnel. He also asks the professor to give him a secret weapon to win the over the French. Professor Johnston helps him but he knows that the English are supposed to lose the fight according to history. Arnaut DeCevole, the French leader, is now leading his army into war.

At the same time Chris, Kate, and Andre are looking for the tunnel (they know about this from archaeology research) and they realize that they are not the only time travellers. Robert De Kere is proved to be Robert Deckard. He reveals to them that he also was working for ITC.

After many quantum trips, Robert Deckard suffered many deformities to his body because of the ’transcription errors’ which have accumulated.

Meanwhile, at the ITC, Gordon and Stern try to fix the transit pad. They also find out that Doniger is trying to use the past for his own financial benefit.

Going back in 1357, Chris, Kate and Andre, are staying one step ahead of Arnaut’s men. Chris and Kate discover the tunnel and Andre enter La Rogue as Johnston’s assistant.

Oliver is suspicious that Johnston is hiding information from him and sends him to be tortured to find the truth, but he is rescued in time by Chris and Andre.

Kate finally kills Guy. Chris sets DeKere on fire when he attacks to take Chris’s ceramic marker, their only way to go back to their own time.

Happy Ending

Paul WalkerFinally, the landing pad is fixed just in time for the researchers to come back. Kate, Chris and Johnston return to 1999 but Andre decides that he prefers to live the rest of his life with the beautiful Lady Claire in the past. He doesn’t return to ITC.

See also  Chronicles from the Future - Review of a Strange Diary

At ITC, as a punishment for Doniger, John Gordon and his team of researchers and engineers send him in the past to 1348, the time of the outbreak of the Black Death.

The story has a beautiful and touching end. Chris and Kate are waiting for a baby together and the researchers find the graves of Andre and Lady Claire. A message is written for them on the grave for his companions that he always loved. Andre lived a nice and fulfilled life with his lady.

What after? Film adaptation

The book was very successful, capturing your attention from the very first page. This was the reason that Paramount Pictures decided to produce a film adaptation, made by George Nolfi and Jeff Maguire and produced by Richard Donner.

With a budget of $80 million, the movie was released on 26th November 2003.

Paul Walker

Wonderful actors Paul Walker (Chris), Gerard Butler (Marek), Billy Connolly (Professor Johnston) and Frances O’Connor (Kate) star in this film, but in spite of this the movie was not well received by audiences and critics.

But what about you?

 A few days ago I saw this movie for the first time and to be honest I was surprised that it didn’t enjoy big success. I enjoyed it very much; it really took me into the past.

I really felt the story, and a small part of me agreed with Marek to stay in 1357 :). I am sure I would have done the same thing. Would you?

Of course, reading the book is much more exciting, living every moment with the characters. In the book, you really travel in time without any device, just with Crichton’s excellent writing and your imagination.

What about you? Would you come back after such a journey? Or do you think Marek made a good decision to stay in the past?

I would love to know your thoughts on this.

For those of you that haven’t read the book, I strongly recommend it if you are ready to lose all contact with reality for a while and to experience the Middle Ages.

Thanks for reading, and as always your opinions and any question are welcome:)

==For further reading click below==



Cristina Boros
I have always been interested in time travel. From a very young age I was forever watching movies that would take me back in time.

I would love to hear from all of you who are also interested in this subject. Movies? Science? Book? Literature?

Whatever your interest is, I would love to meet you.


  1. Peter

    Sounds like fascinating story, Cristina. Yes, I think I would want to come back even if I fell in love with someone back there. But then again I don’t know how strong the “chemistry” would be that bonded me with the lover back there. It just seems to me my life would work better in the here and now that I am familiar with – but maybe I’m just not adventurous enough …..

    Cristina, why do you think the movie was not such a big success?

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      :))) thanks for reading:)) yes this depends from person to person:))) me I think I would :))

  2. LSeulu24

    hi there,

    I always find that the books are better then the actual movies. I probably would have come back, but who knows…I could have taken the glory for inventing something back then, become rich and live freely 🙂
    I love the way you have described the book. Your story definitely took me on a journey. Maybe I would come back.. too much I would miss :-0


    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      I am glad that you enjoy it:-)))soon I will bring more:-))

  3. Roopesh

    Hi Cristina
    I have always lived the concept of time travel.Whether it’s a story that I read, or movie that I watch, but it’s something that I find fascinating.

    Coming back to your review of Timeline, I have watched this movie, and I enjoyed it a lot. Now you have just wetted my appetite to buy the book.

    I think I know how I am going to spend my weekend….


    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      thanks for reading and I am glad that you enjoyed it :))) when you finish just tell me .. is true what people say, generally the books can’t compare to the movies?

      many books were the source of inspiration for some great movies but me personal, ok i love the movies but.. the book is something more… personal. let my fantasy fly :)))

  4. ariefw

    I never read the book but I have watched the movie. I enjoyed every minute of it.

    I love how a traditional way of living. But I do not know if I can survive a world without Internet, or any other modern form of communication.

    I might become a blacksmith or a “crazy” scientist at that era. Or even a captain of a ship trying to discover America.

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      yes:)) good idea:) don’t forget that for them you would be a genius with your hundreds years of knowledge:)))

  5. Alyssa

    Hi Cristina,
    I am a huge fan of Michael Crichton, but I can not remember if I read Timeline! I’m not sure if I would’ve traveled back in time and remained there or not. That’s a tough one. Love is love and it is timeless, so I guess if I’d fallen in love with someone a few centuries ago, I might travel back if it means spending the rest of my life with my forever love 🙂 Great review. Now I want to flip through the book to see if I’ve read it!

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      i am glad that you like it and i hope you will enjoy the book .me for sure I will travel for my forever love:)))anywhere:))

  6. Sim

    Really sounds like a good story. I love reading and while I enjoy time travel based movies, I never thought about reading such stories.

    I’ve read a couple of your articles so far and I can assure you that in the next couple of days I’ll be buying at least one of your recommendation.

    Could be nice that you add some affiliate links so that I can buy one.

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      Thank you for reading:) if you really want sent me an email on contact us which one you want and I will send you the link, I will put and affiliate soon:) thank you again and i am glad you like it

  7. Jeffrey

    Hello Cristina…I love the topic (the conspiracy side of me wonders if this is not already being done given the recent events around the Hadron Collider and a strange man that appeared and disappeared mysteriously around the device). In any case, great review. I am going to watch the movie this weekend.


    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      thanks 🙂 finally somebody who share my idea:) I really believe this and actually, I am sure that they know but in one way I understand why we don’t know yet. It will be a disaster if everyone could travel in time. but just I don;t like that they want to achieve this thing for war, for army and for gaining money . that’s all. :0 thanks for reading

  8. videre

    Hello Christina…i loved your site. It negotiates very well, has very good pictures, and you have filled the site with wonderful content.

    What I like the best about your site is that you do not have to be a physicist to read about time travel. You have added some interesting source material (Tesla definitely had overcome the energy issues with time travel) which more physics minded readers can delve into.

    I have book marked your site (my personal criteria for an excellent site) and will visit you often. Keep up the good work.


    PS: My family is originally from Hungary. Your last name gave it away:)

  9. Kevin

    after reading this now I’m going to have to see the movie! great review Christina, thank you 🙂

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      yes I am sure you will have a great time :)) tell me your impression when you see him :)) thanks for reading 🙂

  10. kevin

    I have both read the book and seen the movie, but truth be told I wouldn’t stay in the past . I like the modern comforts we have now too much ( lol ). And yes I like the idea of time travel, but I prefer to see the future, I would love to know where human kinds is going

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      I think we all know where is going. Destruction 🙁 I would love a lot to go back in time. More pure days :-)anyway the book was great. Thanks for your comment. See u in the future if sometime will be possible 🙂

  11. Dave

    Sounds like a good movie. I’ll look it up because I’m always searching for good movies to watch. Time travel is a fascinating subject and always a good premise for a film. If I was Marek I probably would have stayed in the past after all love is love. Is there an audio book available?

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      I will have a look for an audio video and i will send you the link if it is:)It is a good book actually:) I would stay in the past for sure. Much more easier.

      Thanks for reading my article and If you want more reviews..have a look,



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.