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Replay by Ken Grimwood
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Replay (original 1986; edition 1998)

by Ken Grimwood

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,068913,209 (4.16)1 / 79
Member:tamarajp
Title:Replay
Authors:Ken Grimwood
Info:Harper Paperbacks (1998), Edition: later printing, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:read for book club

Work details

Replay by Ken Grimwood (1986)

  1. 100
    Time and Again by Jack Finney (Kichererbse, browner56)
    browner56: Both of these are well-written stories that deal with the concept of time travel in an interesting way.
  2. 112
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (hyper7, ahstrick)
  3. 40
    11/22/63 by Stephen King (SJaneDoe, dltj)
    dltj: Shares a similar plot line that covers part of the same time period, and "Replay" even includes a story fragment about November 22, 1963.
  4. 31
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (Kichererbse)
  5. 21
    Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein (Kichererbse)
  6. 10
    Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer (freelunch)
  7. 00
    A Shortcut in Time by Charles Dickinson (GirlMisanthrope)
  8. 00
    The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (Alirob)
  9. 00
    Regression by Kathy Bell (infiniteletters)
  10. 00
    Flight by Sherman Alexie (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Reincarnation to learn a Life Lesson joins these works
  11. 01
    Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman (Daimyo)
  12. 01
    The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver (amysisson)
    amysisson: Another, very different examination on where our choices take us in life.
  13. 03
    The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg (ostgut)
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English (84)  French (4)  Japanese (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (90)
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
If you could do your life all over again, what would you do?
For Jeff Winston, that's not a hypothetical question.

Really solid scifi book.

As we go through this book, I really empathize with Jeff. Grimwood does a fantastic job writing about his emotions and his thought process. I find myself questioning what I would do in this scenario, and I feel like the confusion and attempts to gather information are spot on.

I love how he tries to adapt, but slips so many times. The anachronistic words (condo), the different styles of dance, etc.
The first time, we see intensity to do it right. But then with each repeat, we see more and more despair and confusion of what is going on.

It's interesting because in all of these books, the main characters always have a male and a female lead. But what would have happened if they were both male - or both female? The initial sexuality interest no longer binds them together (assuming they're not gay). There is still that depth and "no one else gets it" that connect them, but it's not "love" anymore. I feel like this would be an interesting idea to explore. Perhaps less interesting because there are consequently less avenues of relationship scenarios to discover, but it would be different.

The ending is perfect. Absolutely perfect.

4.5 stars rounded down. I docked half a star because this is a one-time read sort of book. It's interesting and brings up hypothetical thoughts, but I'm not particularly enraptured by it. Fantastic read though - so a very strong 4.5 stars. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
First Impressions:

In some ways Replay reminds me of the Groundhog Day film, where Bill Murray's character relived the same day over and over again. In the book, Jeff relives the last 25 years of his life at a random starting point as a junior in college up to when he gets a heart attack in 1988.

It's an interesting premise and one where we could fantasize what we would do ourselves. Jeff tries to stop the Kennedy assassination and fails, although he gets Lee Harvey Oswald arrested. Kennedy dies anyway. Why? Jeff figures that some large events cannot be changed. I don't agree with that. If a small change can occur then certainly a large one can.

Jeff's theory is further bunked by the middle of the novel where he and another "replayer," Pamela, make startling predictions that all come true up to a point. The US Government under Nixon start listening and soon Carter does not get elected and Reagan is bombing the Middle East! Oops!. Now tell me that's not big.

Jeff at first gets selfish and becomes a multimillionaire. In another replay, he gets married and has a daughter, Gretchen, whom he misses greatly in his next replay. In another, he tries to see if there are other "replayers" out there with dubious results.

As in Bill Murray's adventure in Groundhog Day, Jeff comes to an epiphany of sorts in regards his previous lives and the future that he eventually sees for himself. [Spoiler] The live-die-live-die every minute at the end was quite freaky! [End Spoiler].

Bottom Line:

The book is easy enough to read and you can get through it in a day. The mild sexual descriptions may raise the age to 18 on some scenes. What would you do? Could you relive the last 25 years knowing what you know now? Great story.

Other Books by This Author:

Breakthrough
Into the Deep

Related Material:

Biography - Grimwood, Ken(neth) (1945-2003): An article from: Contemporary Authors ( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
This one is just wonderful. One of the best time travel stories I've ever come across. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
Fascinating and thought provoking. I enjoy time travel, but this has a bit of an unusual twist. Imagine living your life over and over again. Would you learn? how would you do things differently or better? This one has stuck with me for years. Maybe it's time for a replay. ( )
  njcur | Mar 6, 2014 |
This is one of my all time favorite books. I've read it several times. Love it. ( )
  Blakelybennett | Jan 30, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my mother and father
First words
Jeff Winston was on the phone with his wife when he died.
Quotations
The future: hideous plagues, a revolution in sexual attitudes achieved and then reversed, triumph and tragedy in space, city streets haunted by null-eyed punks in leather and chains and spiked pink hair, death-beams in orbit around the polluted, choking earth...Christ, Jeff thought with a shudder, from this viewpoint his world sounded like the most nightmarish of science fiction.
"Chateaugay, at eleven-to-one odds.
He sold the Chevy, his books, stereo, and record collection....
...Now he had to place a bet, a large one. But how?"
All life includes loss. It's taken me many, many years to learn to deal with that, and I don't expect I'll ever be fully resigned to it. But that doesn't mean we have to turn away from the world, or stop striving for the best that we can do and be. We owe that much to ourselves, at least, and we deserve whatever measure of good may come of it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Rowland Damaris is NOT the author of Replay, Ken Grimwood is.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Replay is the account of 43-year-old radio journalist Jeff Winston, who dies of a heart attack in 1988 and awakens back in 1963 in his 18-year-old body as a student at Atlanta's Emory University. He then begins to relive his life with intact memories of the next 25 years, until, despite his best efforts at cardiac health, he dies of a heart attack, again, in 1988. He immediately returns to 1963, but several hours later than the last "replay". This happens repeatedly with different events in each cycle, each time beginning from increasingly later dates (first days, then weeks, then years, then ultimately decades). Jeff soon realizes that he cannot prevent his death in 1988, but he can change the events that occur before it, both for him, and for others.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 068816112X, Paperback)

Jeff Winston, forty-three, didn't know he was a replayer until he died and woke up twenty-five years younger in his college dorm room; he lived another life. And died again. And lived again and died again -- in a continuous twenty-five-year cycle -- each time starting from scratch at the age of eighteen to reclaim lost loves, remedy past mistakes, or make a fortune in the stock market. A novel of gripping adventure, romance, and fascinating speculation on the nature of time, Replay asks the question: "What if you could live your life over again?"

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Jeff Winston has many opportunities to relive his life until he gets it right.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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