©1998 Ken Grimwood; (P)2008 Tantor
World Fantasy Award, Best Novel, 1988
How would you live your life if you could start it over again?
Replay certainly makes you think about the choices we all make, and the events that form hinges in our lives. If we had our time again, would things be better, would we make smarter choices, or would things just be different, would we just value and cherish what we have with more love and care? Did the author of Time Travellers wife read this - I think so.........Its an interesting read, and should certainly keep you engaged for a long journey.
This is a very good story. That suffers from poor narration. It's better told or read by someone with more voice talent. Overtime that distracted from the book.
Replay starts with an interesting concept, but the execution is just okay. The book needed an editor--not for the writing, which was good enough to keep me relatively entertained, but for the narration: some of the pronunciation of words was completely wrong. Someone wears a "ma-DRAS" skirt, another woman is a "SO-see-a-lite," and I had to completely hoot when I hear Poughkeepsie pronounced "POOH-KEEP-see." Errors like made the whole thing seem less professional. I liked the narrator's voice well enough--earnest and young--but why didn't someone help him with this sort of thing? I also thought the sex scenes intrusive, but that's a personal preference.
I remember reading this book when I was a teenager. I think it has some very good life lessons in it. It was great "reading" it again. Audible books are awesome!
The premise and ultimate theme of this novel are profound. I found myself making excuses to get in the car and listen to more.
My only gripe is the narration. The narrator is outstanding in other contexts. But in this one, I felt like he was barely suppressing a laugh the entire time, like the book was a comedy. I found this to be distracting in light of the profound sadness and sense of loss that the author was trying to convey.
It's not easy to find a new twist on time travel, but Ken Grimwood hit on a truly creative premise. His characters don't just travel back to the past - they get to relive their lives over and over. And each time they use their previous experiences to relive it in a different way.
Where REPLAY succeeds best is in its examination of how ordinary people use those repeated second chances - for better and for worse. And it has a strong underlying message: most of us won't change the world, yet we can build rich lives by cherishing even the most ordinary experiences.
But it's that ordinariness that makes REPLAY a somewhat unsatisfying listen. Grimwood tries mightily to create an epic romance for the ages between his main characters, Jeff and Pamela. But, to be honest, their love story isn't especially interesting. And even over their many lives together, they barely face danger or conflict. I keep thinking how much more interesting REPLAY would have been if there were an evil "replayer" pursuing the couple through the ages - or some ultimate challenge they were forced to meet. Instead, too much of the book is concerned with mundane events (and far too many forced pop culture references). And I can't recall a single turn of events that was truly surprising; I caught on to the main plot twist far before it was revealed. Still, I was interested enough to hang in there so I could find out Jeff and Pamela's ultimate fate. I just keep thinking that if Grimwood had really pursued the science fictiony backbone of his story, he would have produced a far more satisfying book.
Narrator William Dufris has an engaging, animated voice, and his high register allows him to bring female characters to life in an unforced way. But far too many times he stopped me cold with baffling mispronunciations.
Bottom line - if you like stories with time-twisting love stories, try THE CONFESSIONS OF MAX TIVOLI. Or FLASHFORWARD, if you want harder sci-fi.
the writing is good, but it squarely falls into "the journey is the point" sort of thing. I realize this is sort of giving away the end, but if you're like me you'll listen to this whole thing appreciating the journey but hoping for some novel understanding of why it's happening. you will be disappointed. so much so that if I'd known I would've skipped this book. great narrator though...
l'enfer c'est les autres
I seldom read fiction, but I'm glad I read this one.
My favorite blog, Auxiliary Memory, recommended this book. The blog started off guessing what he would tell his 13 year old self if he got to go back in time. One of the things he recommended is that he would have given himself a copy of this book. That makes since. By the way, the blogs post on "how audible changed my life" is spot on and worth a read from any dedicated audible listener.
As for me, I would only have told my younger self to floss my teeth daily.
Any fiction book that makes you understand our place in the universe a little bit better seems like a good book to me, and this book does just that. Who are our real friends, what actions could we change to effect the future and what would those unintended consequences be, this book adds insights to those kind of questions.
I'm on the hunt for more good fiction books, but until then, I'll just keep reading my non-fiction stuff instead. I'll keep my eye open for other good fiction recommendations from Auxiliary Memory.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
30 years ago I picked this book up at a Library sell. This was early in my reading life and it was part of the reason I continue to read today. All my life I have wished I could go back in my life with the knowledge I have today and correct the wrongs I have committed to others and take advantage of the opportunities I missed in the past. I am not talking money, but personal relations, maybe take my foot out of my mouth and not say some of the stupid things I have said in the past.
This book explores these issues and more. It is not great literature and is a little depressing in parts, but still makes your mind itch. I would have loved this book even better rewritten by Robert Sawyer, but hats off to Grimwood for coming up with the idea. KG lets his liberal ideas flow a little too much and I think he has a sad outlook on life and marriage, but I love the book.
This has probably not been proclaimed as a underground classic yet, but I believe someday it will. It won the 1988 Fantasy award and I see that is continued to be reprinted from time to time. I understand he was writing a sequel, when he died.
I don't want to talk much about the story, because part of what makes the book so good are the surprises. If you have daydreamed about living your life over, then you will like this book. If you like this book then you will probably also like Flash Forward by Robert Sawyer. It is Replay in reverse.
The narrator I did not like so much and that just may be a personal flaw on my part. At times he sounds a little too comical. He is kind of the exact opposite of Scott Brick, who I don't like because he sounds to dramatic. Lots of people love Scott Brick. Just my personal taste.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
If you are old enough to remember the 80's you will like this time travel book. If you cannot remember a time before cell phones, internet and email, you may find this book unrealistic. I really enjoyed the plot and it was always a page turner. One of the best time travel novels I have read. I highly recommend this book because the characters are ones you care about, the plot constantly keeps you thinking ahead and also for the nostalgia it brought to me of that time period. I also would check out Lightning by Koontz and Schumann Frequency by Chris Ride. This book should be rewritten for contemporary times and it would be even better!
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