About this item

SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016OBSERVER SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016Not 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 the Author

Simon Garfield

British writer Simon Garfield is the author or editor of 20 books of non-fiction, including the international bestsellers Just My Type, On The Map and Mauve. His latest book is Dog's Best Friend: The Story Of An Unbreakable Bond.His other titles cover an appealingly diverse and unpredictable array of subjects, ranging from the award-winning history of Aids in Britain, The End of Innocence, to the hilarious oral history of the British entertainment The Wrestling. His celebration of letter writing, To The Letter, was one of the inspirations for the theatre show Letters Live with Benedict Cumberbatch, and spawned the BBC play My Dear Bessie with Cumberbatch and Louise Brealey. His other labour of love is A Notable Woman, the edited lifetime journals of the remarkable Jean Lucey Pratt, whom readers first met (when she was named Maggie Joy Blunt) in Garfield's three popular collections of diaries from the Mass Observation Archive. Jean began her journal in 1925 when she was 15, and maintained it until a few weeks before her death in 1986. Throughout she wrote lyrically, comically and honestly about her world and her friends (and particularly well about the disappoints of men) . She trained as a journalist and an architect, and ran a bookshop In Burnham Beeches for 20 years. Jean wrote well over a million words, and A Notable Woman, which contains about a quarter of her output, fulfils her long-standing dream that her writing would one day make it into print. Much of Garfield's work reflects a desire to reinterpret human history in an unusual and addictively readable way, and to look askance at topics we may often take for granted. To this end, Timekeepers examines the history of our ever-accelerating world, and In Miniature looks at our desire to bring that world down to size so that we may better understand it. His latest book is Dog's Best Friend: A Brief History Of An Unbreakable Bond, an engaging and moving investigation into our relationship with dogs. It begins with a simple question as he considers his own labrador - 'Why is he here? ' - and examines the reasons for domestication, and how we have named, trained, depicted and written about dogs throughout our history. The books also looks at the ability of dogs to heal and comfort us, the merits of designer dogs and performing dogs, and explains how we may best train a dog to provide a lifetime of happiness and love. Ahead of publication, the book has been highly praised by John Bradshaw and Andy Miller, among others. Simon Garfield was born in London in 1960. He lives with his wife Justine and dog Ludo near Hampstead Heath in London, and sometimes in St Ives, Cornwall. He misses live theatre and soccer, but still enjoys cycling and most things by Tracy Kidder, Ann Patchett, Elizabeth Strout, Nicholson Baker, Michael Chabon, Simon Armitage, The Kills, The National, Elvis Costello, Lloyle Carner and Jorja Smith.www.simongarfield.com

Read Next Recommendation

Report incorrect product information.