Top critical review
Generally enjoyable, but disappointing having previously read "The Doomsday Book"
Reviewed in the United States on November 26, 2016
I enjoy the writing of Connie Willis. I was captivated by her Hugo and Nebula award winning novel, "The Doomsday Book" -- which shares its universe and some characters with "To Say Nothing of the Dog." Both novels are time travel adventures, steeped with history. They mix a Young Adult narration style with a mature plot. "To Say Nothing of the Dog" is, however a comedy, though not the laugh out loud variety (mostly). It has elements of mystery, romance, and history, although I frequently felt as if the novel was shifting genres inelegantly rather than providing a smooth blend.
I had trouble becoming properly engaged with the story because of a significant absence of character development. However, this shortcoming may be excused in part by its loose adherence to the early 20th century mystery genre. I would have felt better about this lack of depth in a shorter story but instead found myself impatient with its pace.
To sum up: it's a good novel with some fun aspects but it falls well short of quality of Willis's later work.