Shel and Dave's Excellent Adventure!
I like time travel books and this one is no exception. McDevitt writes the novel in a light yet very interesting way, just as if he actually did write a work of fiction but it's in reality the only way to tell his actual adventures! The basic plot deals with Shel, a man who has just died (or has he?) and is narrated by his friend Dave. We find that Shel discovered his dad's time travel device with explicit instructions to destroy it. Rather than do that, Shel and later Dave discover the time stream. They also find that they're prevented from creating a time paradox. If you create one, you die! Oops! What was most fascinating about the book for me was the meeting with various historical figures. Some such as Socrates' hemlock maneuver (sorry, couldn't resist that one!) was a bit lighter than they assumed. They made friends with the head librarian at the Library at Alexandria before its burning and recorded many lost books on their digital devices. And they met some evil figures from history as well with predictable results such as their encounter with Cesar Borgia, the Inquisitor. The subplot of discovering lost Greek plays and giving them anonymously to a Greek scholar was interesting but McDevitt was not developing that much and I think that's very too bad. I liked that thread very much. Rather, this is a story of best friends, how they deal with this gift, the search for their father and also a search for a purpose to their lives, which seem pretty mundane after getting to know Columbus or Hemingway or going to parties with Ben Franklin or confronting racism at the march at Selma. Great insight into history and a realization of how rich we had it and what riches are to come. A must-read!
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