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Somewhere in Time | [Richard Matheson]

Somewhere in Time

A dying young playwright staying in a turn-of-the-century hotel becomes captivated by a painting of a beautiful stage actress from the previous century. Obsessed, he begins to study everything he can about the woman and her time and becomes convinced he belongs with her. Through self-hypnosis, he transports himself to 1896, where he finds the soul mate he was fated to meet. But will he be able to stay?
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Publisher's Summary

Written by one of the grand masters of modern fantasy, Somewhere in Time is the moving, romantic story of a modern man whose powerful love for a woman he has never met allows him to literally transcend time.

A dying young playwright staying in a turn-of-the-century hotel becomes captivated by a painting of a beautiful stage actress from the previous century. Obsessed, he begins to study everything he can about the woman and her time and becomes convinced he belongs with her. Through self-hypnosis, he transports himself to 1896, where he finds the soul mate he was fated to meet. But will he be able to stay?

Somewhere in Time won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and was the basis for the 1980 cult classic movie starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

©1980 Richard Matheson (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“The author who influenced me the most as a writer was Richard Matheson.” (Stephen King)

“Stylish and gripping, [Richard Matheson’s] stories not only entertain but touch the mind and heart.” (Dean Koontz)

“Richard Matheson is one of the most respected living American fantasy/science fiction/horror writers…Matheson could not write a bad book if he tried.” (Hartford Courant)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (107 )
5 star
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3.5 (82 )
5 star
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1 star
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Story
3.5 (81 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    R. E. Jones 08-26-11
    R. E. Jones 08-26-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth Returning To Again and Again"

    Bid Time Return (the original title of this book) has been one of my favorite books for over 3 decades. I first read it when it was published in 1975 and I've read it many times since. In fact, I own 3 tattered paperback copies and treasure them all. Apparently after the lovely Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour movie, Somewhere In Time, was released it was decided to change the book title to match the movie for future editions. That's okay. If familiarity with the movie title will get more people to read this very moving, gentle story, it gets my vote.

    It is the story of a young man, terminally ill, who takes one last road-trip. He has no real destination in mind. He's just driving. On a whim, he stops at the Hotel Del Coronado for the night. While there he explores the hotel. In 'The Hall of History," he falls in love/becomes obssessed with the photographic portrait of an actress, Elise McKenna, from the late 19th century...and there the tale truly begins.

    I am always hesitant to listen to a book I already love in the print edition. Seldom do they meet my expectations of how the voices should sound or words be delivered. However, Scott Brick gets 5 stars all his own for his narration. Somewhere in Time is a first-person story. It is utterly dependent on the reader/listener believing the narrator *is* the speaker. Don't believe the narrator, the story, no matter how well written, will fail. So you can only imagine how stunned I was when I started listening and realized I was actually hearing Richard Collier's voice the way I had imagined it for over 30 years. It took my breath away. Mr. Brick isn't narrating the book, he *is* Richard Collier.

    I know that I will listen to this book again and again, once I stop crying over the ending. According to Scott Brick, he had to re-record the last 3 pages because he was crying, too. What more can you ask of a beautiful, romantic story than to be carried away by the emotions it invokes.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CLAUDIA México, Mexico 06-28-11
    CLAUDIA México, Mexico 06-28-11 Member Since 2009

    Chego

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another thumbs up for Richard Matheson"

    Wonderful love story by Richard Matheson. As usual much richer than the film made from the book. Lots of romance, great character (Richard Collier) and Scott's Brick's narration is impecable. Highly recomended audiobook

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Santee, CA, United States 11-03-11
    Mark Santee, CA, United States 11-03-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Another great one from Richard Matheson"

    I've never seen the movie that was spawned from this novel, but I remember my mother enjoying it when I was a child. I've always been a fan of Matheson's sci-fi and horror work, and given my mother's love of the film's version of this story decided to give this a try. I'm so glad that I did. Its not a page turner, its more of a slow boil that heats up gradually, and is a wonderful story of love at first sight. I'd recommend this for someone looking for a slow romance from the man's point of view, which is drastically different than the normal female perspective that we usually get in romance novels.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Bremerton, WA, USA 05-15-14
    Bonnie Bremerton, WA, USA 05-15-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Not a good listen. Shame for a Matheson novel."
    Where does Somewhere in Time rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Writing was good. Narration bad. Probably falls in the middle to low. Strange because I've only gotten a couple bad reads.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I looked forward to listening to this novel for quite some time. Somewhere In Time was one of my favorite movies. I even pestered Audible for about a year to get it (under the novel's name of Bid Time Return). Why not, since they already had I am Legend, The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, and quite a few others. I had finally given up when I ran the author's name and saw the book listed as Somewhere in Time. I've listened to the whole book. Over all, I'd say I liked it. The only part I objected to was the way it was read. He was good at male and female voices, but the constant tremulous voice of the protagonist was really irritating. It came across as a small, fearful person. And maybe my recollection of Christopher Reeve in the roll made me think that this was not the way it should be. But I also don't think that a person portrayed in that manner could attract a strong, female character like Elise McKenna. I don't think you can talk like that for so many hours in real life. I understand that the protagonist was worried; but not to that degree.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I think they already did that. :)


    Any additional comments?

    Beyond the problem listed above, the writing was good so it was still a pleasurable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Louisville, KY, USA 05-14-14
    Tracey Louisville, KY, USA 05-14-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Scott Brick makes my ears bleed!"
    Would you try another book from Richard Matheson and/or Scott Brick?

    The book was good. The narration was hideous! I don't tend to care overmuch for Scott Brick but this was just syrupy misery.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Brick’s performances?

    Sometimes I force myself to if. I really want the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy Dawson 04-17-13
    Troy Dawson 04-17-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Snore...."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. I couldn't wait for it to be over. I used the 2x speed just to get to the end faster.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Richard Matheson again?

    YES. He has many other fine books, like I Am Legend. This was hopefully just an anomaly.


    What aspect of Scott Brick’s performance would you have changed?

    The narration was fine, but couldn't save this dull, dull tale, which had no point whatsoever.


    Was Somewhere in Time worth the listening time?

    Nope.


    Any additional comments?

    Would be great to fall asleep to...zzzzz....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Campobello, SC, United States 08-06-12
    James Campobello, SC, United States 08-06-12
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    "The narrator can make it or break it"
    What disappointed you about Somewhere in Time?

    The movie was good , the book was good but this narrator just killed this audio book for me . Just sounded like he was whining and crying through the entire book . I just wanted to slap him and tell him to get a grip and to stop acting so silly


    If you’ve listened to books by Richard Matheson before, how does this one compare?

    My first and prob last


    How could the performance have been better?

    The whining and crying is fine in some parts where it's needed but not the whole book


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I reccomend books narratored by Frank Muller

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Hainesville, IL, United States 04-26-12
    Debbie Hainesville, IL, United States 04-26-12 Member Since 2011
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    "The movie was better"

    It took about half the book to finally get to the main story line. The pace of the story just to slow for me. I was tempted many times to turn it off and switch to another book, but I kept hoping it would get better and speed up. It didn't. The Narration didn't help much either. The main character came off as whiny, and pathetic. So it was difficult to get on his side, and 'cheer him on.' If you love the movie like I do....save yourself the trouble and just go watch it again rather then listen to this book. This is the first Audible.com purchase that I don't plan on ever listening to again.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Masha Portland, OR, United States 02-01-13
    Masha Portland, OR, United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Great Listening"
    What made the experience of listening to Somewhere in Time the most enjoyable?

    It's a great fantasy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Somewhere in Time?

    It's very magical when he awakens in the distant past.


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    You can feel his emotions in his voice.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It left me with a sense of longing for the past and its apparent simplicity.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a lovely story whether you read it, hear it, or see it on film.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Peer Australia 08-27-12
    A. Peer Australia 08-27-12 Member Since 2003
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    "So So"

    Interesting story, but I agree with another reviewer that the tone of the narrator was too whiny. I like Scott Brick's narration normally, but I felt that his interpretation of the tone for this audiobook was not ideal. The storyline anyway seems a bit too old-fashioned and slow for my taste.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Sara
    Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
    2/24/11
    Overall
    "Gentle and original story"

    I saw and enjoyed the film many years ago, and have since become a Richard Matheson fan, so when this book became available, I leapt at it. The book does not disappoint and the film did the book justice. It is a touching love story told in the first person, like so many of RM's books, although the story is in the form of diary memoirs discovered by the protagonists brother. The brother regards the story as the wishful or deluded writings of a dying man, and I suppose this poses the possibility to the reader too. It is a beautifully narrated love story at heart and I would highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Adam
    Lambourn, Berkshire, United Kingdom
    5/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An interesting story let down by its narrator"

    The story is fine, it's not that. For those of you that don't know, it involves a young writer willing himself to go back in time after he falls in love with the picture of a woman who died decades previously. The fact that he is dying of a brain tumour adds to the conceit that he may be imagining the whole thing. I certainly know which side of the coin I ended up on.

    The problem with this adaptation of Matheson's story is that the narrator, Scott Brick, reads the whole thing in a breathy, affected tone throughout the novel. It becomes so irritating that if it hadn't been for the fact that I was so interested in the plot, that I would have stopped listening, although it was a grind. Honestly, I kind of wanted to throttle him. His voice fades down the end of most words, and intonates inappropriately at every opportunity.

    For an example of unaffected, trained and solid audiobook acting, try Jake Gyllenhaal's reading of The Great Gatsby. There you'll find an actor comfortable to let the text do the work. I'm afraid that Mr Brick seems to want to put too much of his own stamp on the text, which is a shame.

    From researching him, I can see that Mr Brick is an experienced audiobook actor, however, after this experience with his work I will be thinking twice before purchasing any book he narrates.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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