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Replay

Average Rating 4.5
( 131 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 132 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted August 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fascinating read

    On the third week of October 1988, journalist Jeff Winston dies of a heart attack in the middle of a droning conversation with his wife and "wakes up" alive at age 19, back in his old college dorm room in 1963. He realizes he must now replay the next 25 years of his life. A few smart sporting wagers and 12 million dollars later, Jeff thinks he is set for life. Until he dies again on the same third week in October in 1988. And again and again and again.
    As Jeff replays his lives, he encounters his wife Linda in many forms and many different ways. Jeff uses his journalist's knowledge of major newsworthy events to make slight alterations in his favor and plays a major role in the Kennedy assassination, with surprising results. Careless conversation where Jeff inadvertently tells the future are giggle-inducing while the birth of Jeff's daughter inspires Jeff lives out all the various permutations that readers would expect: successful financial decisions, sexual abandon and drug use, isolation in the woods, scientific exploration, meditation. Until one day in one of his lives, he meets Pamela, another replayer.
    While this is a fantastical (yet philosophical) thriller, it is also a romance, as Jeff experiences the joy of being with someone who truly understands him.
    Jeff and Pamela enjoy the rest of their lives together, until that same third week in October in 1988. They find each other again, though at different points and with different memories. Why are they replaying? Will it end? What's the point of it all?
    Replay is for anyone who has wondered about our purpose, our paths, our choices as humans. But it's also great fiction. Easy to read, well-written and perfect for a book club as it will spark hours of "what if" conversation. Next to K S Michaels, this is on my top 10 shelf.

    16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    THIS IS AMAZING

    Even though I knew the twists and turns of the plot, the narrative continued to hold me. I had loaned the book to a close female friend in recent years who had commented that it had a lot of sex in it (which somewhat turned her off, as it was a very male-centric view of sex), which I hadn't remembered, but which I was aware of this time through. It definitely was male-centric, as it is Winston who provides the internal awareness throughout the first half of the book, and in one of his many replays he goes through a very hedonistic phase. Now that I'm over forty, Winston's actions actually seem more realistic than when I read it in my twenties. There's a reason for the June-December romance in our culture, where women are attracted by older men for their money--Winston, in his replays, is always able to make enough quick bets on sporting events to have a sizable bank account in his youth, which enables him to attract such women earlier in his life. What is revealing here is not that Winston seeks out sex in such a way, but that Grimwood makes it a point that such a lifestyle is as hollow as his first replay, where he simply accumulated a vast amount of wealth and prestige. When Winston discovers that there is someone else in the world who is replaying like him, he seeks her out and over time they become many-lives-long soul partners because of their shared experience. <BR/><BR/>Grimwood also was somewhat prescient about the U.S., terrorism, and how the latter could easily turn the former into a fascist state, by giving us one replay where Winston and Pam actually reveal themselves to the world, only to be co-opted by the government who disbelieves in their story, but keeps them under lock and key, including torture techniques, to get them to reveal the "secrets" of the world. Even though Jeff and Pam provide details that remove certain strong-man governments from power (in the 80s, when this was written, Grimwood's target was Qaddafi in Libya), new terrorist groups form based on the covert U.S. actions, thus starting an overall change in the timeline that Jeff and Pam are unable to provide any details for because it is unlike any replay they've been through. For me, that's the profound illustration of my objection to Bush's tactics since 9/11. Rather than capitalizing on the world sentiment and sympathy for that horrible day to truly direct world opinion against such meaningless violence, Bush and his advisors instead chose the worst possible options of vengeance (in Afghanistan) and pre-emption (in Iraq; let me remind you that Hussein had no use for Al Quaedi, nor that group for him, which seems to continue to be lost in the nattering nabobs of 24-hour opinion news). The atrocities committed in the name of the U.S.'s revenge have only strengthened terrorism, undermined our legal system, and removed any sympathy the globe may have had for us. It may have even contributed to our recent economic troubles, as the continued cost of the occupation of Iraq has been an awful drain. Grimwood saw such a possibility in the 1980s. <BR/><BR/>Ever since reading REPLAY for the first time, I've said that this is the most "life-affirming" book I know of, and it remains so.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic Time Travel

    Hard to believe this book was written in the 80s. It's as fresh as anything written today in the sci-fi realm. This was a book I couldnt stop reading until it was finished. It was a compulsion to follow the story to its end. I've recommended this to a lot of people of the years and everyone's been very happy with it. If you're even remotely interested in time travel, check this book out now.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Replay, a book I bought after seeing a review in The New YOrk Times.

    A very absorbing book, one I had never heard of even though it but was first published in 1986, I believe. The central theme is life after death by reliving your life over and over. It is a page turner, compelling and dark. The characters felt real but some of their lives seemed a little too fantastic but this may have been the author's intent. It is definitely thought provoking.
    I enjoyed it and I plan to read a some of Ken Grimwood's other books.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2010

    Awesome read

    I love anything that has to do with time travel, alternate realities, or changes in history, so this book appealed to me immediately. I'm in college, so I don't have that much time to read in between everything else, but I couldn't stop reading this book. The story was so easy to jump into and the pace of the story kept me interested all the way through. The only complaint I have about the story is the amount of sex in certain chapters. I know the book is for adults, and that sort of thing is common in adult literature, so I expected it to a certain degree, but in some places it was entirely gratuitous. That being said, I will probably read the book again in a few years, and would definitely recommend it to anyone that's not afraid to hang on until the last page for an explanation.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    A timeless concept that will leave you asking, "What if?"

    Ken Grimwood's Replay may have been written in the 1980s, but the fictional journey of its protagonist is one that we have all pondered in some form: What if we woke up in our own past with the knowledge of the future? Yes, the movie Groundhog Day gave us a glance at this hypothetical impossibility by having Bill Murray re-live the same day over and over until he got it right. However, Grimwood's version is more touching, more real, and more emotionally engaging. We find ourselves getting wrapped up in the multiple lives of Jeff Winston, a man who continually dies from a heart attack in his mid 40s, only to wake up in college at the ripe age of 18. The burning and obvious questions revolves around what Jeff must do to appease the heavens and have his conundrum terminated, but the story takes a series of twists and turns that whisks the reader away from the expected and into a fun, frightening, and epic adventure.

    Grimwood is so effective because of his ability to write simply and to humanize characters amidst a whirlwind plot that is both complex and filled with room for potential error. However, Grimwood never escapes from his own story by going too much into the science fiction of Jeff's phenomenon. Despite unintentional time travel and talk of parallel universes, the story at heart is about how to appreciate life, what to do with second, third, and fourth chances, and how to re-examine the mundane things we take for granted.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    Time Travel

    I bought this book for a friend of mine because it was recommended reading if you watch LOST. He enjoyed it very much.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Haven't I met you somewhere before?

    Jeff Winston, a 43 year old journalist of modest accomplishments going through the motions of a tired marriage, dies of cardiac arrest in 1988. To his shock, he returns to consciousness in 1963 in the healthy young body of his former 25 year old self. Without knowing the reason it has happened, he comes to grips with his situation and realizes that all his adult experience, wisdom and awareness of events to come remain intact. <BR/><BR/>With advance knowledge of the outcome of sports events and the growth of companies such as Apple and Sony, Jeff finds it simple, through strategic gambling and investments, to amass a fortune and become one of the wealthiest men in the world. After attempts to "re-meet" his wife fail, Winston opts for a life of sexual decadence with someone he meets in a Las Vegas casino. Despite the high life he now enjoys, Jeff recalls the pain of his "death" by heart attack and is careful to maintain the highest standards of cardiac health. But, like the events around which he accumulated his wealth, Jeff discovers that his death in 1988 is also unavoidable and he again dies with a painful heart attack. <BR/><BR/>Awakening again in 1963, Jeff realizes he is trapped in an endless cycle of death and re-birth and that, yet another time, he is faced with the choice of how to live the next 25 years of his truncated and ever-repeating life. In his second life, he meets Pamela Phillips, an acclaimed film-maker. Because of certain anachronisms that don't fit with his knowledge of how world history unrolls in the turbulent decade of the 1960s, Jeff realizes that Phillips is also a "re-player", another person trapped in her own cycle of death and re-birth. Pamela and Jeff discover their love for one another, re-discover that love in one "replay" after another and make the best of the opportunities offered them to improve their lives and the lives of those around them! <BR/><BR/>The subjective moral of Grimwood's text in "Replay" is clear enough! Strike an appropriate balance between a hedonistic self-centered life focused on the present versus a life focused on what might be and the benefit of family, friends and the world around you. The difficulty with this balance rests with the realization that life is both tenuous and finite. We never know when the ending will arrive.<BR/><BR/>The objective message, easier to understand but perhaps equally difficult to implement in a real world setting is to twist your knickers only around those issues over which you actually have control. Nothing else is worth dwelling upon in terms of mental or physical stress and effort! <BR/><BR/>There has been debate over whether "Replay" is better labeled "sci-fi" or "fantasy". I'll opt for fantasy as Grimwood made no attempt to hypothesize a mechanism for the re-playing phenomenon. At the same time, I'm going to deduct one star from its rating for a sci-fi quibble. Grimwood chose to fix Winston's and Phillip's baseline of experiences, knowledge and history at the level of their first life. As a fan of the multi-worlds concept, I didn't see any reason to favour one world over another. As both Phillips and Winston re-played their lives in a linear fashion, there was no obvious fundamental reason to suggest that, of necessity, they would be re-born in their "first" universe. Why not their second, third or indeed a universe that they had yet to experience? <BR/><BR/>"Replay" is a heart-war

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    It's No Groundhog Day

    Whenever I've tried to tell people about this book they always say, "It sounds like that Bill Murray movie" which kind of annoys me because this book is so good. I loved reading it and pondering the possibilities the hero has before him each time and imagining "what if." Great book. Great story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Thought provoking

    The choices the author makes might not be the same as my own, but very thought provoking book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    LOVE IT

    I love this book, I've often wondered what I could do if I could relive my life. The book is fantastic, from the first page until the last one. I would recommend this book to everyone, it really makes you think. I could read this over and over again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A Thrill Ride

    A moving thrill-ride of time-travel, lives and loves lost, regret, and what we'd do if we could live our lives all over again. A page-turner that I couldn't put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    A Time Travel Phenomenon

    This is my all time favorite time travel book. I first read it in 1987 and have read it every year since. What a great story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2006

    A zany journey we all wish we could take ourselves!

    I no longer have my copy of Replay because I loaned it out about eight years ago and miss it sorely! Replay begs to be read in one sitting, you just can't wait to find out what will happen next. This is a book I will purchase again (although I am still stalking the friend I lent the original hardcover to!). You will want to read Replay several times, there is always something you might have missed during prior reads.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2006

    twelve years ago

    Twelve years ago, in 1994, when I was deployed to Central and South America as a young Marine, I found this book and could not put it down. The book was incredible amd I read it several times over the six months I had it. Very easy to read and gripping at the same time. This book truly personifies the notion that we often put ourselves into the main characters place in the book...and there are many things the main character does that I think many of us would do!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 1999

    Grimwood 's Magical (Un)Mystery Tour

    Ken Grimwood's novel, REPLAY, is a triumphant exercise in storytelling. He takes a tired old fantasy cliche - time travel - and turns it around, upside down, sideways in a manner that leaves the reader breathless. Grimwood ignores the 'reasons' for the time travel. Instead he focuses on the people involved in this spacetime loop. What would YOU do if you knew everything of importance over the next 25 years? Highly recommended! I end up having to buy new copies every year because I loan them out to friends, and they loan it to other friends. Maybe Grimwood owes me some money :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Good Read

    It was a good read. The ending didn't quite have that climax that I would have expected, but it was good all the way to the end.

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  • Posted April 30, 2014

    The only book I have ever finished reading and then immediately

    The only book I have ever finished reading and then immediately turned back to page 1 to read again. I read voraciously and so rarely reread books, but Replay makes it back into my hands about once a year- each time I discover something new, or some scene resonates with where am I in my life. A genuine classic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    2nd Review

    This captivated me so that it stokes an imaginative wishfull suspicion that it isn't fiction. There was definitely LIFE breathed into the story and characters. I was constantly worried that the story would end so much that i kept glancing at the page numbers....or that any ending at all could not possibly do justice to the story...it does, but that doesnt stop me from wishing for the sequel the author is said to have been working on at the time of his passing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Great for a Book Club

    This would be a great book for a book club as it is thought provoking and would make for a good discussion. The author fit in a great deal of detail into Jeff's lives which kept the story moving and held my interest.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 132 Customer Reviews
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