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Somewhere In Time by Richard Matheson
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Somewhere In Time

by Richard Matheson

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5591517,833 (3.88)26
  1. 10
    The Time Traveller's Wife (DVD) (aliklein)
  2. 00
    The Little Book by Selden Edwards (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
  3. 00
    Maude Adams;: An Intimate Portrait by Phyllis Robbins (myshelves)
    myshelves: The actress in the novel is based upon Maude Adams. This is the book the main character reads, containing the photos he describes.
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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
What a wonderful story of how love knows no time. Richard finds love in the place he least expected and Elise learns to find love. I recommend this book to any romantic.

On a side note, the original name of this book is "Bid Time Return," and I'm not sure if others said this or not but, the correct names of the stars in the movie are: Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour ( )
  SLamkin | Jan 2, 2014 |
A little reminiscent of the author's What Dreams May Come, this novel is about a young man in his 30s, Richard Collier, who is dying of some fatal disease. While staying in a hotel in California, he becomes obsessed with a photograph of a long dead stage actress, Elise McKenna, who stayed at the hotel on a certain night in 1896, to the extent that his desires enable him to travel back in time to 1896 to be with her. Stated thus, it may sound rather lightweight, but it has some interesting things to say about the nature of love and obsession. Collier himself came across to me as a rather selfish character whose whole world is shaped by his desires; given his terminal condition, this may be understandable, though that condition is cured by his having travelled back in time. Elise has been told that she will meet a man who comes out of nowhere, so after initial resistance, she accepts him. However, due to a chance trivial incident at the end of the novel, Richard is abruptly transported back to 1971, the spell is broken, and he quickly declines and passes away, having left a manuscript of his experiences to be published by his sceptical brother. The whole episode takes place over a rather unbelievably short period of just a couple of days and this was perhaps the least satisfactory aspect of the story, coupled with the abruptness of his forced return to the present day. Still, a haunting novel overall. ( )
  john257hopper | Jul 23, 2013 |
I don't know, it was really creepy. But engrossing. Kind of like Twilight, where the author thinks they are being romantic but actually they are just being creepy.
Like, okay, you're this guy who is dying, and you see a picture of this actress from 75 years ago, and you decide you're in love with her, so you figure out this like, hypnosis method of time travel, right?
And then you show up in 1896, and there she is on the beach, and she's all, "Is it you?" and you're like, yep! and pretty much like that you fall in love because there was a gypsy or somebody who told her she would meet the love of her life on a beach in November. Despite the fact that you are basically acting like a completely insane person and also refusing to explain that you came from the future because that might "alarm" her, as if the whole situation isn't alarming enough as it is.
And then after you have sex, you get sucked back to the future and die of a broken heart or possibly the brain tumor and maybe it was all a hallucination. The End. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
I have always been fascinated by the concept of time travel and I have read many novels that include time travel as part of their story. Therefore, Somewhere In Time, by Richard Matheson, has been on my reading list for many years. However, I just could never convince myself to read it. Of course, I knew something about the story, i.e., I knew it was a love story. I had heard, and read, about the movie, although I don’t believe I ever saw it. I guess the fact that Somewhere In Time is primarily a love story, was a significant factor in my neglecting to read it. However, I had read and liked other novels and short stories by Richard Matheson and this novel does involve time travel. Therefore, I finally decided that it was time for me to read it. I was not surprised that I found it to be very well written and interesting. The protagonist, Richard, is a man in his late 30s who is diagnosed in 1971 with a fatal disease and decides to drive to Denver from his home in Los Angeles as a sort of final adventure. However, he detours to an historic hotel in San Diego where he sees an old photograph of an actress who performed at the hotel in 1897. He becomes obsessed with the woman in the photograph, researches her life, and falls in love with her. He convinces himself that he can (and must) travel back in time to meet her, and he accomplishes the journey to the hotel in 1897, where he meets the love of his life. Time travel enables him to have a love affair in 1897. However, the focus of this book is certainly not time travel. It focuses on his love for Elise and her love for him. Again, Matheson created a well-developed and well-written story. He also provided much interesting information about life in 1897. I found this book to be a tolerable read, but it was certainly not one that captivated me. I don’t like to think that I’m romantically deficient, but I would have preferred a more scientifically structured time-travel methodology and more action, adventure and/or violence to accompany the romance. However, I believe the book was worth reading and I found that the ending mitigated some of my disappointment with the story. Overall, I am not sorry I read it. ( )
  clark.hallman | Oct 9, 2011 |
I haven't seen the film, with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, but the premise - man travels back in time after falling in love with the photograph of a nineteenth century actress - somehow seeped into my brain anyway. Perhaps because the theme of 'love across time' has always intrigued me. The novel, however, is sadly disappointing, considering that Richard Matheson is usually a neat, inventive author. Another story of his, I Am Legend, impressed me by being so effective in so few words, but perhaps that is the failing of Somewhere in Time, which is basically a short story padded out with purple prose.

The idea is sound, and the trick layers of the narrative, told by a man suffering from a terminal brain tumour, offer both a romantic fantasy and a rational explanation. In 1971, Richard Collier takes off in his car, aware that he is dying. Fate seems to guide him to the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, where he instantly feels a connection with the 'past' (the constant harping on 1896 makes the late Victorian era, if such a term can be applied to American history, sound like the stone age). In the hotel's 'museum', he comes across a theatre programme from 1896, featuring a portrait of an actress, Elise McKenna, and becomes obsessed - sorry, falls in love - with her. Although I can understand his drive and ingenuity as a writer to research Elise's life and the history of the hotel - I also love to dig up knowledge on obscure topics myself - Richard's emotions are less than convincing. In fact, this is the point in the story where I decided to go with the theory that this is a man suffering from hallucinations and blackouts, on the verge of death, and not a tale about time travel and romance at all. Richard is constantly stumbling around, shouting out, swooning and passing out completely, even when he supposedly returns to 1896 by way of self-hypnosis, so the harsh reality is always present. The section of the book explaining how he trains himself to believe that the date is November 19, 1896, is tedious and unnecessary, but what follows is just silly.

Now, I like to think of myself as a romantic, to the point where I fell hook, line and sinker for the same gimmick in the 1984 film Terminator, but Matheson must surely have been mocking the florid writing of Victorian potboilers when he penned this. Richard 'wakes up' in 1896, and proceeds to stalk Elise around the hotel. Instead of freaking out, Elise is unaccountably drawn to this stranger who accosts her alone on the beach, calls her by her first name uninvited, and then announces 'Please don't leave me, I have to be with you'. Apparently, an old Indian woman and her gypsy maid once told her that she would meet the love of her life on the beach, so that's OK. Richard and Elise forge a wholly unlikely relationship in two days, despite the Machiavellian devices of her manager, based on little more than the psychological effects of Richard's brain tumour and the predictions of a fortune teller! Nothing really happens, apart from Elise's play, Richard's comical abduction and a lot of overblown prose, which jars with Richard's earlier blunt dictation. His narrative jumps from the staccato sentences of a man having trouble focusing, to the rambling diction of a bad poet.

The dialogue is similarly disjointed, and the love scene is straight out of a 1970s soft porn film - 'You don't have to thank me, I was there in heaven with you', Richard tells her, to which Elise replies breathlessly that she has been 'rejuvenated in his arms, reincarnated as a woman'. The ending also seems rushed and awkward. Richard keeps promising to tell her of his journey through time, but never does. Elise insists that she is a modern woman - for 1896 - and will not give up her 'career' for him, but then declares that his love has awakened the woman inside her, or some such lofty nonsense. And the discrepancies between 1896 and 1971 that Richard notes are like those of a patronising anthropologist - these people use fountain pens and have electric lights, and I must remember never to use contractions in my speech! I'm sure the author did his research into the hotel, and the actress upon whom Elise is based, but his concept of the recent past is simplistic.

I'm sorry, I really wanted to like this novel, and I did find it easy and quick to read, but Mr Matheson should stick to sci-fi stories and leave saccharine romance to the ladies at Harlequin or Mills and Boon. Richard and Elise leave me cold. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jul 1, 2011 |
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Epigraph
O call back yesterdays,
bid time return
--Richard II, Act III, Sc. 2
Dedication
With grateful love
for my mother

Recollection of our past together
is the happiest of time travel.
First words
I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing on having my brother's manuscript published.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765361396, Mass Market Paperback)

Like What Dreams May Come, which inspired the movie starring Robin Williams, Somewhere in Time is the powerful story of a love that transcends time and space, written by one of the Grand Masters of modern fantasy.

Matheson's classic novel tells the moving, romantic story of a modern man whose love for a woman he has never met draws him back in time to a luxury hotel in San Diego in 1896, where he finds his soul mate in the form of a celebrated actress of the previous century. Somewhere in Time won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and the 1979 movie version, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, remains a cult classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:02 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A dying young playwright staying in a turn-of-the-century hotel becomes captivated by a painting of a beautiful stage actress from the 19th 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?… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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