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The Ministry of Time

On sale

7th May 2024

Price: £24.99

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Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781399726382

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The Time Traveller’s Wife meets David Mitchell meets Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow meets Kate & Leopold in this debut novel from an award-winning writer.

There are several ways to tell a story.

A boy meets a girl. The past meets the future. A finger meets a trigger. The beginning meets the end. England is forever; England must fall.

A civil servant starts working as a ‘bridge’ – a liaison, helpmeet and housemate – in an experimental project that brings expatriates from the past into the twenty-first century. This is a science-fiction story.

In a London safehouse in the 2020s, a disorientated Victorian polar explorer chain smokes while listening to Spotify and learning about political correctness. This is a comedy.

During a long, sultry summer – as the shadows around them grow long and dangerous – two people fall in love, against all odds. This is a romance.

The Ministry of Time is a novel about Commander Graham Gore (R.N. c.1809-c.1847) and a woman known only as the bridge. As their relationship turns from the strictly professional into something more and uneasy truths begin to emerge, they are forced to face the reality of the project that brought them together.

Can love triumph over the structures and histories that shape them?

(P)2024 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Reviews

Alice Winn, author of IN MEMORIAM
I gobbled this up in twenty-four hours: I simply could not stop reading it. Kaliane Bradley writes with the maximalist confidence of P. G. Wodehouse, but also with the page-turning pining of Sally Rooney. It's thought-provoking and horribly clever - but it also made me laugh out loud. And it's got a cracking plot! I loved The Ministry of Time and I can't wait for everyone to read it so I can talk about it more
Mark Haddon, author of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
A fantastic debut: conceptually brilliant, really funny, genuinely moving, written in the most exquisite language and with a wonderful articulation of the knotty complexities of a mixed-race heritage
Francis Spufford, author of GOLDEN HILL
Sly and illusionless in its use of history, lovely in its sentences, warm - no, hotter than that - in its characterisation, devastating in its denouement. A weird, kind, clever, heartsick little time bomb of a book
Eleanor Catton, author of BIRNAM WOOD
An outrageously brilliant debut with a premise that just gets more and more original. The Ministry of Time pulls off the neatest trick of speculative fiction, first estranging us from our own era, and then facilitating our immigration back into the present; but it is also a love story, exploratory, sensitive, charged with possibility, and powered by desire, reminding us that history is synonymous with human beings, and that we all have the ability to change it. This is already the best new book I will have read next year
Joanna Quinn, author of THE WHALEBONE THEATRE
There aren't many books that are as funny as they are clever as they are compelling. The Ministry of Time is hugely enjoyable: ingeniously constructed, beautifully written, and unexpectedly sexy. It is the rarest of creations: a boldly entertaining page-tuner that is also deeply, thoughtfully engaged with our past, present and future. A weird and tender time-travel love story. A brilliantly original debut. Your next crush is a long-dead Arctic explorer
Max Porter, bestselling author of SHY
Holy smokes this novel is an absolute cut above! Kaliane Bradley leaps into a storytelling league of her own. This book is a deadly serious speculative fiction but it is also one of the funniest books I've read in years. It is exciting, surprising, intellectually provocative, weird, radical, tender and moving. I missed it when I was away from it. I will hurry to re-read it. Make room on your bookshelves for a new classic.
Vanessa Chan, author of THE STORM WE MADE
What a stunning and remarkable wonder! What if time travel were run by a bureaucracy? It would give us The Ministry of Time - a book that takes the history of colonialism, the British Empire, Cambodian genocide, and other terrible moments of history, and reminds us we are still living with the remnants of these troubled pasts. But also, it's filled to the brim with laugh-out-loud humour, and possibly the best description of a dingy pub I've ever read in my life. There's something for everyone - world history, side-splitting humour, lusty tension, brilliant prose, and characters to root for desperately. Bradley describes someone in the novel as being "sweaty and vibeless", but I want to counter with this: The Ministry of Time is the most vibe-forward book I have ever read
Kate Mosse, bestselling author of THE GHOST SHIP
Within the first couple of pages I was gripped. The novel is clever, witty and thought-provoking, asking the question of what any of us might do if we could engage live with people from the past. Kaliane Bradley is a wonderful writer and I can't wait to read what she does next
Julia Armfield, author of OUR WIVES UNDER THE SEA
The Ministry of Time is a feast of a novel - singular, alarming and (above all) incredibly sexy. An astonishingly assured debut, offering weird and unexpected delights on every page. I will be running towards whatever Kaliane Bradley writes next
Katie Goh, Fiction to be excited for in 2024, i-D
A delightfully audacious screwball comedy
Nathan Filer, author of THE SHOCK OF THE FALL
Funny, moving, original, intelligent, beautifully written and with a thunderous plot
Emily Henry, author of HAPPY PLACE
As electric, charming, whimsical and strange as its ripped-from-history cast. (Extremely.) I loved every second I spent wrapped up in Kaliane Bradley's stunning prose, the moments that made me laugh and those that made my heart ache. This is a book that surprises as much as it delights, and I'm already impatiently waiting for whatever Bradley concocts next
Unmissable books for 2024, Stylist
An assured and fun debut . . . one of our books of the year
40 best books of 2024, Sunday Times
A thrilling time-travelling romance about a real-life Victorian polar explorer who is brought from the past into 21st-century London as part of a government experiment
10 exciting books to look out for in 2024, Dazed
Wildly original . . . How horny can a speculative fiction novel be? Bradley's debut is at once an outrageously fun comedy while also providing keen analyses on the nature of colonialism, power & bureaucracy
Diana Reid, author of LOVE & VIRTUE
With its ingenious concept and gripping plot, The Ministry of Time is the most fun you could possibly ever have while engaging so seriously with history and our place in it. Bradley has a gift for locating our common humanity in people's irreducible eccentricity. This is a book to read and re-read: you'll want to fall in love with these characters over and over again
Novels to look out for in 2024, Grazia
Social media is already aflutter about this one, a time-travelling love story
10 best new novelists for 2024, Observer
With a thoroughly offbeat love story at its heart and subtly interwoven musings on the UK's imperial legacy, it's fast moving and riotously entertaining, a genre-busting blend of wit and wonder
The best books of 2024, GQ
Bradley's compelling debut novel asks the important question: What if the sexiest guy in the history book moved into your flat? . . . Part romantic comedy, part speculative thriller, the novel weaves together commentary on colonialism, bureaucracy and government with carefully drawn characters and gradually unfurling relationships. Don't start it right before bed unless you want to see the sun come up
45 of 2024's most anticipated books, BBC.com
One of the year's most exciting debuts is The Ministry of Time . . . a genre-bending romcom about a Victorian polar explorer and a millennial civil servant who end up as housemates thanks to a government experiment in time travel
Sharlene Teo, author of PONTI
Unputdownable, endearing and mind-bending . . . what more could you want out of a contemporary novel? Kaliane Bradley is a timeless talent. Whip-smart, empathetic, and totally original
Megha Majumdar, author of A BURNING
Fantastically fun and deadly serious, The Ministry of Time is an ecstatic celebration of fiction in all its vehement, ungovernable, mutinous glory
Alice Slater, author of DEATH OF A BOOKSELLER
Sharp, sexy and utterly self-assured, this is the rarest jewel of them all: a book you can press into the hands of everyone you know, and guarantee it will grab them firmly by the lapels. A truly compulsive debut, packed with humour, heart and heat - we are lucky to exist in the same timeline as Kaliane Bradley
Daisy Johnson, author of EVERYTHING UNDER
I haven't enjoyed a book this much for a very long time. A wonderful, joyful, intelligent and hilarious read. I underlined as I read and felt a strong sadness at finishing because I could not read it for the first time again
Panashe Nyadundu, Elle
One of the most anticipated debuts of the year
Book of the Month, Bookseller
Bradley writes with sparkling vividness and precision, infectiously capturing the mind-bending effects of love. Whizzing up time-travel, romance, espionage, friendship and loss with dazzling assurance, this riotous journey into the British empire and establishment reckons with our colonial past, our myopic present and our fragile future
Georgia Summers, author of CITY OF STARDUST
Compelling, clever, sexy and heartbreaking, The Ministry of Time is one of those books where you reach the end and immediately start again because it's just too hard to let go. Every single page thoroughly delights
Jenny Colgan, author of LITTLE BEACH STREET BAKERY
My favourite debut novel in a very long time - sexy, sad, funny and clever. I read it in a in absolute rush
David Nicholls, author of YOU ARE HERE
Smart and affecting, full of ideas plus that slow-burning love story, it's a wonderful debut
Sarvat Hasin, author of THE GIANT DARK
A rare book with very good bones: sharply funny and heart wrenching, a rollicking good time about love, power, politics and time travel
Jessica Andrews, author of MILK TEETH
The Ministry of Time gave me back the joy of reading. Heady, compulsive and heartbreaking, Kaliane Bradley deftly balances humour and magic with an interrogation of colonialism, nationalism, otherness and climate fear. Simultaneously wild, irreverent and state-of-the-nation, this novel asks us to consider the histories that have led us to the present moment, in order to salvage our uncertain future
Best summer reads for 2024, Evening Standard
The Ministry of Time is set to take you on a seismic literary journey spanning past, present and future . . . Think: 2024's answer to Outlander
Susan Barker, author of THE INCARNATIONS
An exhilarating rush of a novel; ingenious, funny, heart-wrenching, dazzlingly written and bursting with unforgettable characters and ideas. Compulsively readable to the last page, The Ministry of Time captures the utter strangeness of our modern world, and of our possible future too, with one of the most audaciously clever and twisty endings I've ever read
Woman & Home
This funny, compelling novel is not to be missed
Good Housekeeping
The perfect mix of witty, sexy and moving
Los Angeles Times
It's a smart, gripping work that's also a feast for the senses . . . Bradley's written an edgy, playful and provocative book that's likely to be the most thought-provoking romance novel of the summer
Ron Charles, Washington Post
Her utterly winning book is a result of violating not so much the laws of physics as the boundaries of genre. Imagine if The Time Traveler's Wife had an affair with A Gentleman in Moscow . . . Readers, I envy you: There's a smart, witty novel in your future
Ella Risbridger, Guardian
What a thrill to come to Kaliane Bradley's debut, The Ministry of Time, a novel where things happen, lots of them, and all of them are exciting to read about and interesting to think about . . . give in to the tide of this book, and let it pull you along. It's very smart; it's very silly; and the obvious fun never obscures completely the sheer, gorgeous, wild stretch of her ideas
Johanna Thomas-Corr, The Times
I loved its combination of extreme whimsy, high seriousness and cool understatement - and migration-as-time-travel is a clever conceit
Martin Chilton, Independent
A high-energy story with thoughtful things to say about belonging
Erica Wagner, Financial Times
Terrific, moving . . . Bradley's writing is clear and stylish, her dialogue dry and sprightly; the serious matters of love and mortality are cloaked in humour, but never too heavily. If you loved Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveller's Wife, or the big hit of 2022, Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, this will be right up your street . . . don't wait for this tale to come to the small screen. Crack this book open and you'll see how time can disappear
Francesca Steele, i Newspaper
This is extraordinary writing, with unforgettable characters and a spine tingling love affair, and manages to be both a serious look at the weight of history and an absolute riot. A true original
Evening Standard
A powerfully drawn love story, an insider's takedown of murky bureaucracy, an action thriller . . . It's a fun ride
Book of the Week, Stylist
Comedy, betrayal and romance collide in a story that explores everything from climate change and colonialism to friendship, hope and forgiveness. Start backing out of your weekend plans now . . .
Sara Lawrence, Daily Mail
A triumph
Best summer books, Financial Times
One of 2024's best debuts so far, the book is both goofy and emphatically serious - a time-travelling romcom that's also a subtle rumination on the legacies of empire and colonialism
Five of the year's best summer reads, Observer
The debut of the year by a distance . . . propulsive and exhilarating
The best new books for summer, Evening Standard
The smartest, most fun kind of time travel fiction
Times Literary Supplement
History collides delightfully with contemporaneity . . . intriguing