©1998 Ken Grimwood; (P)2008 Tantor
World Fantasy Award, Best Novel, 1988
Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day
I have recommended it often in the past because of my affection for the concept and a strange sense of "aha" as if the story could be a reality
James Winston - because he's really the only one of two main characters who is male - and easy for me to empathize
This book has inspired me to write a very similar story of my own in preparation for the day an opportunity might be presented to do this in an afterlife.
A very general and obvious plot element below - but not a "spoiler" since it would be so unnatural to exclude it Anyone in a Replay would have to try to stop Lee Harvey O.
What would you do if you had a chance at a do over? You expire and come to consciousness in the afterlife clearing house where you can choose your own Heaven. So what would be heaven to you? Mine would be the opportunity to relive my life with full knowledge of my past life. I could certainly do a much better job than Jeff Winston did with his lives. His lame attempts to change the JFK assassination was not well conceived along with his predictable wasted replay in captivity by the CIA. I'm sure I could find a much more effective way to stop certain assassinations - and possibly arrange some others. You would require a much more important goal - like saving the Earth from climate change but the steps you could take with unlimited wealth and the political power of knowing your opponents moves before they do would give you a great opportunity to make that happen. Stop Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Tim McVeigh, Jim Jones, OJ and 9/11. Save JFK, RFK, MLK, Paul Wellstone, and John Lennon. Make certain Al Gore takes the office to which he was elected and that Ronald Reagan does not. Put every right wing Republican in thrall with Bernie Madoff and Bear Sterns while warning Speilberg, Bacon, Sedgewick, Malkovich and the Wiesels among others. Support candidates who agree to policies to decrease greenhouse gasses and weapon sales and who realize that the greatest redistribution of wealth in history has happened since 1980 with the wealth of the middle class redistributed to the wealthiest 2% of Americans. There is so much that could be done to make the world a better place while moving to save the Earth as we know it.
Am I so alone in my inclination to wish to make the world a better place? Jeff Winston wasted his gift and spent way too much time wallowing in a weird self-pity instead of making new friendships while altering the course of history for the better. What would be a more rewarding heaven than living with a great purpose and the power to make significant strides in achieving it? I would happily take all the replays I could get.
It is one of the best. I read this book when it came out and always remembered it but not the name. I stumbled on it when Audible had a 2 for 1 deal going and was hooked all over again.
Jeff. As he keeps reliving his life, he tries so hard to get it right despite all the loss.
If you could live your life again what would you change?
Avid audiobook addict!
This was a really great story. Extremely compelling. The narrator's Bill-Clinton-Esque sound and poorly done female voices was a little annoying, but in general a great, very interesting book.
William Dufris may be a wonderful narrator, but for this story, he was oh so wrong! I admit I nearly gave up during the first couple chapters because I found him soooo annoying, but the characters were already interesting and I wanted to know what happened to them. I'm so glad I kept going because the story is intriguing and one that will make you think long after you've finished it. If you've ever wondered how much better, richer, happier you would be if only you could go back and do it all again. Mmm hmmm..you should probably hear Jeff's story.
The storyline. Really well done.
Not a book. A movie. Groundhog Day.
No, first time.
Both laugh and cry.
Very surprised and how well done it is.
This story had a lot of promise but fizzled out. It was overly long and got repetitive. (no pun intended) The male/femaile "relationship" scenes were also not well written and too graphically repetitive.
No, I'll just try to find another one I like better. Probably turned me off from the author
I generally like William Dufris because of his pacing and ability to differentiate voices. I think the editing was bad as there were some obvious mispronunciations like "Boyer", "Pepitone"and "Savannah".
A very average book. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and this one was very average
I'm a giant sucker for all things time travel. One of my favorite novels of all time 11-22-63 by Stephen King focused on a very finite couple of years in time. Alternatively Replay by Ken Grimwood follows Jeff Winston who dies of a heart attack in 1988 at the age of 43 and wakes up as his 18 year old self. The twist of this time traveling novel is that their isn't a DeLorean to drive to the past but instead his life continues to rewind to his college dorm until October of 1988 where he will eventually die again of a heart attack and start over again.
Each Replay for Mark is vastly different. The world around him is the same but his decisions are vastly different. For example the first time he travels back he decides to bet big on sporting events (like in Back to the Future II) and starts his own financial company called Future Inc. The second time he goes for love and family, and so on and so on. The book feels like a cross between Back to the Future and Groundhog Day. But more then anything it really does make you think. If I was to wake up at 18 and have the ability to replay my life what would I do.
What's probably the most fascinating (no spoilers I promise) is the heartbreak. Just by telling you that Mark gets to replay his life means that anyone he loves in one life he will have to start over with at 18 years of age once he reaches 1988. A pretty crazy idea right?
To me though Replay is haunted by this amazing idea for a novel. Or in other words Ken Grimwood bit off more then he could chew. I think the 20+ year time frame that Mark gets for each replay is far to vast for him to make each replay compelling. And even with some twists half way through the story the end of the novel left me disappointed. The closure the book gives feels inconsistent with the rest of the novel. It felt like he had a great idea but couldn't figure a clean way to wrap it all up.
I truly enjoyed Replay more for the thought provoking concepts that it brings up rather then for the novel itself. Which is a shame because the base concept of the novel is beyond fascinating.
I recommend this book constantly as I read it at least once a year, it's that good! I read it first in the late nineties in paperback and I never forgot it. Even then (in my early twenties) I was telling everyone about it. When I first joined audible in 2005 I looked for it and it wasn't available, then audible got it and I am so thankful they did!
There are so many memorable moments! When Jeff goes back in time, lives this new completely different life, makes it all the way back to age 43 and then has the heart attack again and it starts all over...didn't see that coming. Then the most other memorable part is when Jeff sees the Spielberg-type movie and realizes there is someone else who is like him traveling back through time that wrote the movie...it's a woman. I want to see the movie that's described in this book. Don't want to give too much away it's so real imagining what you would do to make money since you know all the winners of ALL sports games, what stocks become huge (Apple, IBM)...and would you try to stop the assassination of JFK if you could?
Yes! Unforgettable! One of the best books I've ever read. It keeps you in the story without much effort next thing you know five hours have gone by.
Read this book! I don't give many reviews and I don't recommend just anything...so trust me when I say you will not be disappointed. Everyone I've told about this book that read it was in awe just like me.
I worried that this story might be a replay of ground hog day, where the same events keep repeating themselves. It wasn't though it does replay. Our lives happy or not are based on our choices. To make choices based on experience now that is a treat. This book was such a treat we listened eager to see how each scenario would develop. It was entertaining.
Sombody mentioned that this book was the concept behind the movie "Groundhogs Day." The difference being that in the movie the day kept repeating where this story the two people involved go back several years and re-live all those years. The male is at least 18 when he starts over but the female is fourteen so has to live under her parent's roof....The first couple times around anyway.
Granted once someone realizes what is happening then they also realize that their knowledge of the future can set them up with wealth just by knowing where to invest. Here's the big problem though.....Regardless how you live your life...You come back to do it all over again and again so you have to choose how you're going to direct you life each time. It might seem cool the first couple times, but then you realize that for the most part nothing is new...especially news wise. Imagine going back to the 60's like these people do and having to re-adjust to those norms so you don't appear either out of place or too extreme for the times. I know I'd be extremely frustrated by a lot of society dictates of those times.
This is a really interesting and actually fun book. I really enjoyed this going down the highway...
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