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From Boyhood to Beyond: Books About the Passage of Time


The Time Keeper

Richard Linklater's new movie Boyhood was filmed with the same cast over the course of twelve years. As such, not only does it tell the story of the life of a young man named Mason from ages 5 to 18, it allows us to watch him grow up before our eyes. Here are some novels that also concern themselves with the passing of time, from Proust's masterpiece Swann's Way to contemporary popular fiction like Mitch Albom's The Time Keeper.

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer
Gretta Wells finds herself transported to the other lives she might have lived.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
No matter what he does differently, his actions, his decisions, Harry always ends up on his deathbed (again) with the knowledge of the life he has lived many times before.

The Traveler by Daren Simkin
A boy named Charlie packs up all his time, his years and months and minutes, in a suitcase and sets off to find a something better to spend his time on.

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
God punishes the inventor of the clock by banishing him to a cave where he is forced to listen as visitors come to him seeking more days and years.

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
At their holiday home in Cornwall, a distant lighthouse holds a haunting attraction for the members of an Edwardian family as disillusionment, turmoil, and a world on the brink of war plague the family's relationships.

Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
An unnamed man recalls the details of his unremarkable, but idyllic in memory, life as a boy in France.

Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
In particular, "The Garden of Forking Paths," a short story focused on the infinite structures of time.


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