The Ministry of Time: A Novel (Hardcover)

The Ministry of Time: A Novel By Kaliane Bradley Cover Image

The Ministry of Time: A Novel (Hardcover)


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May 2024 Indie Next List

The Ministry of Time is a rare story that mashes up favorite time-worn tropes — from Star Trek to spy thrillers to Victorian romances — in a crucible of colonialism and the pitfalls of diversity in a near-future London. Oh, and it’s sexy as hell.”
— Amanda Qassar, Warwick's, La Jolla, CA


“This summer’s hottest debut.” —Cosmopolitan • “Witty, sexy escapist fiction [that] packs a substantial punch...Fresh and thrilling.” —Los Angeles Times • “Electric...I loved every second.” —Emily Henry

“Utterly winning...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.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

A time travel romance, a spy thriller, a workplace comedy, and an ingenious exploration of the nature of power and the potential for love to change it all: Welcome to The Ministry of Time, the exhilarating debut novel by Kaliane Bradley.

In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and is, shortly afterward, told what project she’ll be working on. A recently established government ministry is gathering “expats” from across history to establish whether time travel is feasible—for the body, but also for the fabric of space-time.

She is tasked with working as a “bridge”: living with, assisting, and monitoring the expat known as “1847” or Commander Graham Gore. As far as history is concerned, Commander Gore died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic, so he’s a little disoriented to be living with an unmarried woman who regularly shows her calves, surrounded by outlandish concepts such as “washing machines,” “Spotify,” and “the collapse of the British Empire.” But with an appetite for discovery, a seven-a-day cigarette habit, and the support of a charming and chaotic cast of fellow expats, he soon adjusts.

Over the next year, what the bridge initially thought would be, at best, a horrifically uncomfortable roommate dynamic, evolves into something much deeper. By the time the true shape of the Ministry’s project comes to light, the bridge has fallen haphazardly, fervently in love, with consequences she never could have imagined. Forced to confront the choices that brought them together, the bridge must finally reckon with how—and whether she believes—what she does next can change the future.

An exquisitely original and feverishly fun fusion of genres and ideas, The Ministry of Time asks: What does it mean to defy history, when history is living in your house? Kaliane Bradley’s answer is a blazing, unforgettable testament to what we owe each other in a changing world.
Kaliane Bradley is a British-Cambodian writer and editor based in London. Her short fiction has appeared in Somesuch Stories, The Willowherb Review, Electric Literature, Catapult, and Extra Teeth, among others. She was the winner of the 2022 Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize and the 2022 V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize.
Product Details ISBN: 9781668045145
ISBN-10: 1668045141
Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English
"[Bradley's] 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. . . You’d need a nuclear-powered flux capacitor to generate more charisma than Gore. . . His banter with the narrator crackles off the page . . . Readers, I envy you: There’s a smart, witty novel in your future."—Ron Charles, The Washington Post

"The Ministry of Time reads like a novel that was written for pleasure . . . this is the kind of summer romp that also sparks real thought. . . . [G]ive 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."—Ella Risbridger, The Guardian

“Bradley pulls off a rare feat. The Ministry of Time doesn’t stoop to easy answers and doesn’t devolve into polemic. It’s a smart, gripping work that’s also a feast for the senses. An assassination, moles, questions of identity and violence wreak havoc on our happy lovers and the bubble they create in London. Yet our affection for them is as fresh and thrilling as theirs is for one another . . . An edgy, playful and provocative book that’s likely to be the most thought-provoking romance novel of the summer. "—Lauren LeBlanc, Los Angeles Times

"A hilarious yet poignant take on dislocation, loss, and oddball community . . .  A twisty plotline that incorporates plenty of John le Carré and Mick Herron spy-craft references . . .  with the silly, incisive, and spot-on comedy of Douglas Adams."—Daneet Steffens, The Boston Globe

“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 Traveler’s Wife, or the big hit of 2022, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, [The Ministry of Time] will be right up your street . . . A rattling good adventure story too, the twists at the end [are] perfectly earned . . . Don’t wait for this tale to come to the small screen. Crack this book open and you’ll see how time can disappear.”Erica Wagner, Financial Times

“[The Ministry of Time] basically has everything you would want in a book in one incredible and exhilarating read that you'll definitely tell all your friends about.” —Cosmopolitan 

"A revelatory page-turner."People

“If you're a fan of Outlander, spy novels, time travel books, or just really innovative and fun storytelling, The Ministry of Time is definitely for you.” —Town & Country, "45 Must-Read Books of Spring 2024"

"This will be the book everyone is talking about this summer. Booksellers, social media, your parents, your teens. Everyone will simply love this time-traveling spy romance. It literally checks off all of the boxes for what a damn good book should be. Just go get it right now. Seriously."—Debutiful

"This is a lightning strike of a story that will appeal to fans of time travel, spy novels, romance, and bittersweet, satirical office drama alike. The result is part 'Kate and Leopold' and part Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.” —Polygon

"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." —Eleanor Catton, author of Birnam Wood

The Ministry of Time is 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." —Emily Henry, author of Funny Story

“Smart and affecting, full of ideas plus aslow-burning love story. It’s a wonderful debut.” —David Nicholls, New York Times bestselling author of One Day 

"Fantastically fun and unmistakably urgent, The Ministry of Time is an ecstatic celebration of fiction in all its vehement, ungovernable, mutinous glory." —Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning

"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." —Joanna Quinn, author of The Whalebone Theatre