I know at least a couple of you have read The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman. I don't see many discussions of individual books here, but I'm hoping that maybe someone here caught an undercurrent I missed because wow, I have rarely gone from liking a book to a total "WTF?" reaction so quickly.
The first 4/5 of the book was really entertaining. Some interesting looks at future societies, a bit of action, and a potentially really interesting character in Martha.
But wow, did it fall apart at the end with the Deus Ex Machina ending. So much was left unaddressed, the characters were summarily dismissed with summaries, and everything just wrapped up as if Haldeman suddenly realized he had a deadline and had to get the book turned in.
Just some examples:
Who were Jessie and the other time lord dudes? Why were they able to send them back in time, and able to communicate with them prior to that as they moved forward through time?
Who bailed out Matthew? Did our Matthew invest in the stock market and then send his great great grandson to do it? Or was another instance of Matthew?
There were allusions to other Matthews traveling in time, but no explanation, no confirmation, no definite tie-in with the bailout. There was no explanation of who the other time travelers were, either.
We meet Martha, we're given hints that she's very smart and independent and has lots of potential if she can get out of her fundamentalist society, and we start to see hints of that. Then, all we get is "she went to college, had babies, and died at 75."
Matthew spends most of the book trying to find a way to get back to his own time. Then he ends up nearly 200 years earlier, and isn't at all upset by that, nor does make any attempt to see if he can get back to his own time after this. Martha doesn't react to this either. His reaction is.... Get period clothes, get a job, and live life.
The first 80% of the book was entertaining, intriguing, and I was really enjoying it. Then whammo, super-quick Deus Ex Machina resolution, questions left unanswered, characters given summary wrapups, and book over.
I've read mediocre books before, but I've never seen a good book just fall apart at the end like this.
Was I reading too late at night? Did I miss stuff? Do you have explanations for all of this that will make me feel stupid and suddenly realize I liked the book after all?