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Replay (1986)

by Ken Grimwood

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,9261283,586 (4.15)1 / 114
In 1988, Jeff Winston dies of a heart attack only to wake up at Emory University in 1963, now only eighteen. Much seems the same, but the only difference is he remembers what happened during his life and what the future holds. He's not sure how this happened, if it will happen again, or what to do with the lifetime of knowledge he has acquired.… (more)
  1. 120
    Time and Again by Jack Finney (Kichererbse, browner56, sturlington)
    browner56: Both of these are well-written stories that deal with the concept of time travel in an interesting way.
  2. 132
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (hyper7, ahstrick, HoudeRat)
  3. 100
    11/22/63 by Stephen King (SJaneDoe, dltj, HoudeRat)
    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. 70
    The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (Alirob, BeckyJG)
    BeckyJG: A protagonist who lives his life over and over, remembering the entirety of it each time, with the opportunity to do things differently, as well.
  5. 30
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Life after Life and Replay feature characters who live multiple lives against their wills; the complications of dying and coming back to life form the core of each novel and create moving, sometimes funny, always thought-provoking situations.… (more)
  6. 42
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (Kichererbse)
  7. 10
    Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer (freelunch)
  8. 10
    A Shortcut in Time by Charles Dickinson (GirlMisanthrope)
  9. 00
    Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (jordil2)
  10. 00
    Flight by Sherman Alexie (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Reincarnation to learn a Life Lesson joins these works
  11. 00
    Regression by Kathy Bell (infiniteletters)
  12. 11
    The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver (amysisson)
    amysisson: Another, very different examination on where our choices take us in life.
  13. 01
    Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman (Daimyo)
  14. 12
    Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein (Kichererbse)
  15. 03
    The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg (ostgut)
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English (121)  French (4)  Japanese (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
What can I say? I am a sucker for time-travel books. It's been a few years since I read this, but I remember liking it quite a bit. I also remember thinking that it nevertheless didn't hold a candle to the two best time-travel tales I knew. One of those is the short story "By His Bootstraps" by Robert A. Heinlein; I'm pretty certain that's in the collection "Assignment in Eternity", and is my all time favorite time twister. The other is the novel "The Man Who Folded Himself" by David Gerrold. If this was at all enjoyable for you, I highly recommend either of those items. ( )
1 vote JohnNienart | Jul 11, 2021 |
A much better version of "Groundhog Day" (written long before the film) where the protagonist dies in the middle of his life only to find himself reborn with the same consciousness, only to die again at the same precise moment. Ok, it's not just like Groundhog Day, but it scratches the same itch.

Truly loved this novel. ( )
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
Loved this. A great story that bore the telling over and over again. It's hard not to compare time travel stories with others but if you liked Groundhog Day and the Time Traveller's Wife, you will probably enjoy this too.
( )
  joweirqt | Jan 15, 2021 |
Replay is not a typical time travel book. Sure, the main character travels through time in a way, but he has no power over it. This is a book about second chances, about reliving your youth over and over again. It's a book about love, life, death, money, power, friendship and inevitable loss that waits at the end of the way.

Read this book and enjoy the ride! ( )
  jakatomc | Dec 27, 2020 |
Interesting idea, what if you could relive your life with your current memories, what would you do? This is exactly what happens to Jeff Winston. He falls down dead over his desk in 1988 and wakes up the next moment in his dorm room in 1963.

As unlikely as it is that something like this would happen to the reader, it is hard to not think about what to do in such a situation, and how to respond to it.

Try to make money from knowledge? Accelerate technical progress? Change the path of history? Or smaller, change some bad decision? Save a marriage before it's too late?

We get to see Jeff try several of the ideas above with various consequences, but mostly it seems he make sure to have as much sex as possible. This is maybe significant for my conclusion. The idea is more interesting and better than the execution. It is absolutely not a bad book and I did enjoy it, but I don't think it's a great book. It doesn't go into any depth on the philosophical aspects, nor the technical ones. Same with physics or religion. Maybe he wanted the reader to explore those areas unaffected but why then write a book?

Further more, the relationships are superficially described and in many cases even described as superficial. There is character growth. Barely. And so on. All in all, an interesting book. I'm happy I've read it, but I wonder if there is someone that has done something on this theme in a better way (apart from the movie Groundhog Day). ( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ken Grimwoodprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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 (1)

In 1988, Jeff Winston dies of a heart attack only to wake up at Emory University in 1963, now only eighteen. Much seems the same, but the only difference is he remembers what happened during his life and what the future holds. He's not sure how this happened, if it will happen again, or what to do with the lifetime of knowledge he has acquired.

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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.
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