The Watch by Dennis Danvers

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Synopsis

In 1921 Russia, a mysterious visitor from the far afuture comes to Peter Alexeivich Kropotkin's deathbed and offers the world-renowned activist/philosopher a new life. The being who calls himself Anchee Mahur has the power to tamper with history. Kropotkin -- the one-time prince who renounced wealth and privilege to embrace the cause of anarchy, the dying humanist who long suffered the torments of prison and official scorn -- can be reborn, if he so chooses. And he does.

Suddenly the year is 1999, the dawning of a new century, and Peter Kropotkin is in an airplane en route to Richmond, Virginia. Alone in a Southern city that still clings passionately to its Confederate past -- with no money, shelter, or plans of any kind, and in a body four decades younger than it was at his "death" -- Kropotkin must now build a second life from scratch. Love may be possible here, with the beautiful, caring social worker Rachel Pederson, perhaps. But first he must come to terms with undreamed-of technologies and strange urban cultures in a future where little of substance has changed.

Because the injustices Kropotkin dedicated his first life to combating have become more insidiously woven into the fabric of everyday existence. Meanwhile the hand of his inscrutable "benefactor" Anchee is everywhere -- manipulating realities for some shadowy, unspoken purpose; covertly driving ordinary events toward explosive confrontations; exploiting people and their foibles while treating all life and time as Experimental Art. And there is the unexpected tragedy of the "accidentals," unwitting time-travelers from other eras who have been carried forward in Kropotkin's wake, and for whom the anarchist-out-of-time now feels responsible.

Slowly, the darker edges of a miracle are coming into focus. For Kropotkin, there is no escape in the future from the past, and a stiff price to be paid for second chances.

There is more than one reality here -- and more than one story behind a great man's pursuit of a catastrophic prearranged destiny. But it will take uncommon strength and courage and will to remain sane and uncorrupted in a not-so-brave new world that suddenly threatens to devour Peter Kropotkin whole.

In a masterful novel of truly audacious conception, Dennis Danvers once again proves himself an author of rare conscience and daring, as well as one of the most skilled literary artists working today in the realm of speculation. Alternately poignant, funny, provocative, enraging, and inspiring, The Watch is an extraordinary feat of the imagination; a story that unabashedly celebrates commitment, love, and the indomitable spirit of humanity.

 

About Dennis Danvers

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Dennis Danvers is the author of the critically acclaimed novels "Circuit of Heaven, Wilderness, " and "Time and Time Again." He lives in Richmond, Virginia, and is currently at work on his next novel.
 
Published January 1, 2002 by Eos. 368 pages
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Watch

Kirkus Reviews

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Obviously, Anchee has his own agenda, manipulating Peter into creating the future that Anchee desires.

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Publishers Weekly

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He can either die or resume life as a young man, but in 1999, in Richmond, Va., Kropotkin agrees to a new life, but never loses his distrust of Anchee, a being from a future so far ahead that Anchee claims he could never adapt to it.

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SF Site

Peter has some advantages now: his knowledge of history, experience, and the use of the amazing watch that allows him to move through time.

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SFFWorld.com

Official reviewsWatch, TheBooksOtherCircuit of HeavenFourth World, TheWatch, The showLeft();document.write("Be the first to submit a comment");Very good science fiction novels place the reader in world that will make them consider...

Apr 04 2003 | Read Full Review of The Watch

SFRevu

Unlike most time travelers we know, Peter doesn't pop into his benefactor's time, but into a time closer to ours, and like most travelers to our time and place, he comes by jetliner..

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