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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Would You Do It All Over Again?

When I have to fly, I like to have a fun novel to occupy my mind. Boy, did I win the lottery with my latest. It's called Replay and it's by Ken Grimwood. What a fascinating book. The premise is that a man dies in 1988 and instantly re-awakens as himself back in 1963 while he's a freshman in college. The whole world is still his oyster and his life still lies before him. He has the opportunity, essentially, to re-live every major aspect of his adult life and can choose to do things differently. What would you do?

But then when 1988 hits again, he dies like before and returns once more. What lessons did he learn from his last attempt? This time around, he makes completely different choices, always in the chase for that elusive prize: Happiness.

Like most consumers of pop culture, I've read numerous books and seen films about time travel or other fantasies about alternate lives (Sliding Doors, Run Lola Run, Groundhog Day etc.). But this one is certainly one of the most entertaining, substantive and thought provoking. I'm about 75 pages from the end and I'm dying to see how it concludes. If Grimwood spins as satisfying a conclusion as he has a body of the story, this will make my list for favorite books read this year.

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Peter said...

Well, I must say, the book makes good treadmill reading. So far, so good.

Kurt Onken said...

Hey, Scott. Thanks for highlighting this book. I read this post a while ago, but just now got around to reading the book (I'm about 7/8 of the way through). Quite a ride. I've always enjoyed time travel-fish out of water-alternate reality books, and this one didn't disappoint. Any others to recommend besides the ones you mentioned in the post? Have you ever read any of Harry Turtledove's alternate history novels?

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