Picks and Pans Review: In This Sequel to His Imaginative Classic Time and Again, Published in 1970, Finney Resurrects Simon Morley,
updated 04/10/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/10/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Still determined to test Einstein's theory that the past exists even though we can't see it, Maj. Ruben Prien persuades Morley to transport himself back to 1912. His mission: Find the mysterious diplomat code-named Z, "a guy Roosevelt and Taft sent to Europe," and insure his safe passage home bearing a confidential dossier that could prevent World War I. To complicate things, Morley discovers that Z is scheduled to sail for New York aboard the Titanic.
Except for a few clandestine kisses, Morley's latest trip lacks the romance of his first, and his complicated plot relies too much on coincidence. But Finney has a dazzling way with descriptive passages and lets his talents loose recounting a topsy-turvy flight over Manhattan in a rickety biplane, a lively excursion into Broadway's theater district and a sail aboard the Mauretania, the famed ocean liner "with the manners and deportment of a great lady." Illustrations of old New York enrich this magical return to the early 20th century. (Simon & Schuster, $23)