Timekeepers by Simon Garfield
How the World Became Obsessed with Time

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It is all enjoyable fare. Garfield is an engaging writer who has stuffed Timekeepers with some fascinating material. Sometimes he strays from his topic – Prince Charles’s Poundbury estate and the joys of slow food are rather unwelcome intrusions – but the overall impact is thoroughly enjoyable and illuminating.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Not so long ago we timed our lives by the movement of the sun. These days our time arrives atomically and insistently, and our lives are propelled by the notion that we will never have enough of the one thing we crave the most. How have we come to be dominated by something so arbitrary? The compelling stories in this book explore our obsessions with time. An Englishman arrives back from Calcutta but refuses to adjust his watch. Beethoven has his symphonic wishes ignored. A moment of war is frozen forever. The timetable arrives by steam train. A woman designs a ten-hour clock and reinvents the calendar. Roger Bannister becomes stuck in the same four minutes forever. A British watchmaker competes with mighty Switzerland. And a prince attempts to stop time in its tracks. Timekeepers is a vivid exploration of the ways we have perceived, contained and saved time over the last 250 years, narrated in the highly inventive and entertaining style that bestselling author Simon Garfield is fast making his own. As managing time becomes the greatest challenge we face in our lives, this multi-layered history helps us tackle it in a sparkling new light.
 

About Simon Garfield

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Simon Garfield is the author of fourteen acclaimed books of nonfiction, including Just My Type and On the Map. He lives in London and St. Ives, Cornwall.
 
Published September 29, 2016 by Canongate Books. 368 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Timekeepers
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Robin McKie on Oct 03 2016

It is all enjoyable fare. Garfield is an engaging writer who has stuffed Timekeepers with some fascinating material. Sometimes he strays from his topic – Prince Charles’s Poundbury estate and the joys of slow food are rather unwelcome intrusions – but the overall impact is thoroughly enjoyable and illuminating.

Read Full Review of Timekeepers: How the World Be... | See more reviews from Guardian

Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Katy Guest on Sep 30 2016

Timekeepers suffers from an excess of footnotes, an over­reliance on lists...and, for a book about time, a somewhat slack attitude to chronology...However, for those with time for diversions there are some interesting ones along the way.

Read Full Review of Timekeepers: How the World Be... | See more reviews from Financial Times

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