Somewhere In Time [NOOK Book]

Overview


Like What Dreams May Come, which inspired the upcoming 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 ...
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Somewhere In Time

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Overview


Like What Dreams May Come, which inspired the upcoming 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 whose fans continue to hold yearly conventions to this day.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The author who influenced me the most as a writer was Richard Matheson."—Stephen King

"Stylish and gripping, [Richard Mathsons's] stories not only entertain but touch the mind and heart." —Dean Koontz

"Richard Matheson is one of the most respected living American fantasy/science fiction/horror writers. . . . Matheson could not write a bad book if he tried." —Hartford Courant

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429913652
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 51,063
  • File size: 281 KB

Meet the Author


Richard Matheson was The New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend, Hell House, Somewhere in Time, The Incredible Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, The Beardless Warriors, The Path, Seven Steps to Midnight, Now You See It…, and What Dreams May Come, among others. He was named a Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention, and received the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has also won the Edgar, the Spur, and the Writer's Guild awards. In 2010, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. In addition to his novels Matheson wrote several screenplays for movies and TV, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” based on his short story, along with several other Twilight Zone episodes. He was born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, and fought in the infantry in World War II. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Matheson died in June, 2013, at the age of eighty-seven.
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Read an Excerpt


November 14, 1971

Driving down Long Valley Road. Lovely day; bright sunshine, blue sky. Past the three-rail fences painted white. A horse appraises me. Ranch country in Los Angeles. Down one side of a road dip, up the other. Sunday morning. Peaceful. Pepper trees on each side of the road, foliage stirring in the breeze.
Almost out now. Away from Bob and Mary, from their house, from my little guest house out in back; from Kit who came to visit while I worked, clomped hooves, sighed, nickered, groaned, and, all else failing to evoke attention and potential feed, bumped her nose against my wall. No more.
The last dip and the final speed bump. Up ahead, Ventura Freeway and the world. Adios Amigos printed on the sign above the gatehouse. Farewell, Hidden Hills.
* * *
Standing in the car wash. Strangely empty. Everyone at church? A beige Mercedes-Benz just inched by. Always meant to get one someday. Scratch another project. Drinking beef broth purchased from the vending machine. Here comes my dark blue Galaxie. Staid, acceptable, and moderately priced; my kind of car. The nozzles greet it, shooting out their long, thin streams of lather.
* * *
In the empty parking lot outside the post office. Last visit to my box. Won't bother stopping service. Mailed my last bill payments off to Ma Bell and The Broadway.
* * *
Waiting at the stop sign by Topanga Boulevard. An opening now. A quick turn left--ease over--right turn--up the ramp and onto the Ventura Freeway. Farewell, Woodland Hills.
A really gorgeous day. The sky bright blue; thin pale streamers of clouds. The air like cold, white wine. Past Gemco, past the Valley Music Theatre. Both behind me now, no longer real. Solipsism is my game now.
Flipped a coin before I left the house; heads north, tails south. Heading for San Diego. Odd to think that one more penny flip and I'd be in San Francisco late this afternoon.
My luggage is spare: two bags. In one, my dark brown suit, my dark green sport coat, slacks, a few shirts, underwear, socks, shoes, and handkerchiefs, my small zip case of toiletries. In the other suitcase, my phonograph, headphones, and ten Mahler symphonies. By my side, my faithful ol' cassette recorder. Clothes on my back; the works. Except, of course, the traveler's checks and cash. Five thousand seven hundred and ninety-two dollars and thirty-four cents.
Funny. When I went to the Bank of America Friday, and stood in line, I started to become impatient. Then it came to me. No need to be impatient any longer. I looked at all the people, feeling sorry for them. They were still subordinate to clock and calendar. Absolved of that, I stood becalmed.
* * *
Just missed the turnoff for the San Diego Freeway. No sweat. May as well observe my footloose scheme right off. I'll readjust, go downtown, hit the Harbor Freeway, and reach San Diego by another route.
A billboard up ahead commending Disneyland. Should I pay a final visit to the Magic Kingdom? Haven't been there since Mom visited in 1969 and Bob and Mary and their kids and I took her out there. No; Disneyland is out. The only attraction there, for me, would be the Haunted Mansion.
Another billboard. Blurb: Now Open--The Queen Recommends Long Beach. That sounds more like it. Never been aboard her; Bob went overseas on her in World War II. Why not take a look at her?
* * *
To my left, the obelisk, the big, black tombstone: Universal Tower. How many times have I been in there on appointments? Strange to realize I'll never see another producer, never prepare another script. Never again have to call my agent. "Hey, for Chrissake, where's my check? I'm overdrawn." A peaceful thought, that. Super timing too; to leave when hardly anyone is working anyway.
Nearly to the Hollywood Bowl. Haven't been there since late August. Took that Screen Gems secretary. What was her name again? Joan, June, Jane? I can't recall. All I remember is she said she just adored classical music. Bored her silly. Insignificant stuff too, Bowl-style. Rachmaninoff's Second Concerto? Joanjunejane had never even heard it.
You'd think that, after all these years, I would have met someone. Bad Karma? Something bad. To never, in your whole life, meet a female who gets through to you? Incredible. Something hidden in my past, no doubt. Obsession with my tricycle. Boo, Freud. Can't you just accept the fact I never met a woman I could love?
* * *
In heavy traffic near the Harbor Freeway. Cars surround me. Men and women everywhere. They don't know me, I don't know them. Smog down here. Hope it's clear in San Diego. Never been there; don't know what it's like. One could describe death that way.
The Music Center. Stunning place. Went there a week or so ago, B.C.--before Crosswell. Mahler's Second Symphony performed. Mehta did a brilliant job. When the chorus came in softly in the final movement, I began to tingle.
How many downtowns will I see? Denver? Salt Lake City? Kansas City? Have to stay in Columbia for a day or two.
Amusing thought. I'm going to be a criminal because I don't intend to mail in any more car payments. And you know what, Mr. Ford? I don't even care.
Jesus!
* * *
A truck just veered in front of me and I had to switch lanes fast. My heart began to pound because I didn't have time to see if anyone was close behind me in that lane.
My heart is still pounding and I feel relief at being safe.
How pointless can you get?
* * *
I see her three red, black-tipped smokestacks now. Is she cemented there? Already, I feel sad for her. Rooting such a ship in place is like stuffing an eagle. The figure may look impressive but its soaring days are over.
The Queen just spoke; a deafening cry that shook the air. How huge she is. An Empire State Building lying on its side.
* * *
I paid my money at the red booth, rode the escalator up, and now trudge slowly along the covered walk, approaching her. To my right is Long Beach Harbor, water very blue and moving fast. To my left, a small boy stares at me. Who's the funny man talking into a black box?
Another escalator ahead, very long. How tall is the Queen} Twenty stories, I'd estimate.
* * *
Sitting in the Main Lounge. Woodwork finish of the thirties. Odd they thought it chic. Broad columns. Tables, chairs. A dance floor. On the stage, a grand piano.
* * *
An arcade; shops around a tile-floored plaza. Overhead lights the size of truck wheels. Tables, chairs, and sofas. All this floated once? Amazing. What was it like on the Titanic? Imagine a place like this awash with icy sea. A frightening vision.
* * *
What I'd like to do is sneak below; to the dark part, where the cabins are. Walk along the silent, shadowed corridors. I wonder if they're haunted.
I won't, of course. I'll obey the rules.
Old habits die harder than those who follow them.
* * *
A blown-up photo on the bulkhead. Gertrude Lawrence with her white dog. Like the one they used in David Lean's Oliver Twist; ugly, squat, and pointy-eared.
Miss Lawrence smiles. She does not realize, as she strolls the Queen's deck, that mortality walks close behind her.
* * *
Photos in a case titled Memorabilia.
David Niven doing a Scottish jig. He looks quite merry. He doesn't know his wife is going to die soon. I gaze at that frozen moment and feel uncomfortably godlike.
There's Gloria Swanson in her furs. There's Leslie Howard; how young he looks. I remember seeing him in a movie called Berkeley Square. I recall him time-traveling back to the eighteenth century.
In a way, I'm doing something like that at this moment. Being on this ship is being partially in the 1930s. Even to the music piped around. It has to be music played aboard the Queen at that time; it's so dated, so magnificently ricky-tick.
An announcement on the board states, Christened by Her Majesty The Queen, 26th Sept., 1934. Five months before my birth.
* * *
Sitting in the Observation Bar. No business-suited men around me though, no drink before me on the table. Only tourists and black coffee in a plastic cup, an apple danish baked in Anaheim.
Does she mind? I wonder. Does the Queen accept her fall from grace? Or is she angry? I'd be.
Looking at the counter section. What was it like in those days? Give us a gin and tonic, Harry. A glass of white wine. J.B. on the rocks, please. Now, submarine sandwiches and ice-cold milk and burning-hot coffee.
Above the counter is a mural. People dancing, holding hands, a long thin oval of them. Who are they supposed to be? All of them are frozen like this ship.
I feel an odd sensation in my stomach. Something like the feeling I get watching a movie about racing when they show a point-of-view shot from inside the car; my body knows it's sitting still, yet visually I'm traveling at high speed and the irreconcilable contrast makes me queasy.
Here the feeling is reversed yet equally uncomfortable. I'm the one who's moving and the Queen's environment is fixed. Does that make sense? I doubt it. But this place is starting to give me the creeps.
* * *
Officers' Quarters. No one here but me, in between two tour groups. The sensation is intense now; something pressing at my solar plexus. Sounds enhance it; announcements made aboard the Queen back then: "Will Miss Molly Brown please contact the Information Bureau?" The Unsinkable?
A bell rings as I stare into the Captain's Dayroom. Were they smaller people then? Those chairs look undersized to me. Another announcement: "Angela Hampton has a telegram awaiting her at the Purser's Office." Where is Angela now? Did she get her telegram? I hope it was good news.
Invitations on the wall. Uniforms hanging motionless behind glass windows. Books on shelves. Curtains, clocks. A desk, a pale white telephone. All suspended, static.
* * *
Navigating Bridge; the Nerve Center they called it. Polished, bright, and dead. Those wheels will never turn again. That telegraph will never relay orders to the Engine Room. That radar screen will be forever darkened.
* * *
Had to leave the tour part of the ship. Still feel odd. Sitting on a bench in the Museum. Extremely modern here; out of sync with where I've been. I feel depressed. Why did I come here anyway? A bad idea. I need a forest, not a landlocked mortuary.
* * *
Well, okay, I'll see it through. That's my way. Never break off in the middle. Never put aside a book, however dull. Never walk out on a play or movie or a concert, boring though it is. Eat everything on your plate. Be polite to older people. Don't kick dogs.
Stand up, damn it. Move.
Walking through the main room of the Museum. Giant blow-up of a front page grabs my eye: The Long Beach Press-Telegram. The headlines read: congress declares war.
Lord. An entire division aboard this ship. Bob experienced it too. Ate off a partitioned tray like that one, with eating utensils like those. Wore a long brown overcoat like that, a brown wool hat, a helmet with a liner like that, combat boots like that. Carried a duffel bag like that and slept in a bunk like one of those stacked three high. That would be my brother's memorabilia of the Queen. No Scottish jigs or walking one's pointy-eared, white dog. Just being nineteen years old and crossing an ocean toward likely death.
* * *
That sensation again. A core of deadness hanging in my stomach.
* * *
More memorabilia. Dominoes. Dice in a leather cup. A mechanical pencil. Books for religious services; Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Christian Scientist--that old, familiar book. I feel as though I were an archaeologist excavating in a temple. More photographs. Mr. and Mrs. Don Ameche. Harpo Marx. Eddie Cantor. Sir Cedric Hard-wicke. Robert Montgomery. Bob Hope. Laurel and Hardy. Churchill. All suspended in time, forever smiling.
I've got to leave.
* * *
Sitting in my car again, depleted. Is this what psychics feel like after entering a house filled with a presence of the past? I felt it growing in me constantly, a drawing, twisting discomfort. The past is in that vessel. I doubt it will endure with all those people tramping through. Presently, it must be dissipated. But it's there now.
* * *
Then again, maybe it was just the apple danish.
* * *
Twenty minutes after two, on my way to San Diego, listening to some weird, cacophonous music; no melodic line, no content.
Lordy, there I go again. Held up by a camper, pulling out into the next lane, speeding up and passing, jockeying to gain position. Don't you get the point, R.C.?
The music ended. Didn't hear what it was. Now they're starting "Ragtime for Eleven Wind Instruments" by Stravinsky. Just turned off the radio.
* * *
Los Angeles has vanished now. So, too, has Long Beach and the Queen, San Diego is a fantasy. All that's real is here; this piece of highway unreeling in front of me.
Where will I stop in San Diego?--assuming it exists, of course. What difference does it make? I'll find a place, go out to eat; maybe a Japanese restaurant. I'll catch a movie, read a magazine or take a walk, I'll drink, pick up a girl, stand on a dock, throw stones at boats, I'll decide when I get there. Boo to schedules.
Listen, cheer up, kiddo! It's going to be a ball! There're months and months ahead!
* * *
There's a seafood restaurant. Think I'll start eating swordfish. Open my meals with bowls of Bon Vivant vichyssoise.
* * *
San Juan Capistrano is kaput.
A godlike feeling to uncreate entire communities with a stroke of will.
* * *
The clouds ahead are like mountains of snow piled into giant, castlelike shapes against the blue sky.
* * *
No character at all. Just turned on the radio again. They're playing Liszt's Les Préludes. Music of the nineteenth century suits me better.
* * *
Clouds look like smoke now. As though the world is burning up.
That feeling in my stomach is returning. Makes no sense now that the Queen is far behind.
I guess it was the apple danish after all.
* * *
The traffic is thickening as I enter San Diego proper. Got to get out of it.
Isn't there a place called Sea World down here? Think so. See a whale jump through a hoop. Downtown. Getting hemmed in. Billboards popping up like toadstools. Just past four o'clock. I'm getting nervous.
Why did I come here? It all seems senseless now. A hundred and twenty-eight miles for what?
Tomorrow I'll turn east. I'll wake up early, sweat out the headache, start for Denver.
* * *
Christ, it's like being back in Los Angeles! Surrounded by cars switching lanes, red lights blinking, angry driver faces.
Ah; a bridge ahead. I'll take it. Don't care where it leads so long as it's away from this.
Coronado says the sign.
* * *
Driving straight into the sun. It blinds me. Fiery, golden disc.
* * *
Cliffs in the distance; the Pacific Ocean.
* * *
What's that on the edge of the water? Huge, weird structure. I'll pay my toll and take a look.
* * *
Just turned left onto A Avenue. Looks old, this place. There's an English cottage on my right. No traffic here. A quiet, tree-lined street. Maybe I can stay here overnight. Has to be a motel somewhere. There's an old house like a mansion from the nineteenth century. Made of brick; bay windows, giant chimneys.
Is that it up ahead? Look at that red-shingled tower.
I don't believe it.
* * *
Just drove in the wrong way. Sitting in a parking lot behind the building. Must be sixty, seventy years old. Enormous place. Five stories high, painted white, red-shingled roof.
Have to find the front of it.
* * *
There's a motel across the way if this turns out not to be-- it is a hotel!
* * *
I'm in Room 527, looking out a window at the ocean. The sun is almost down, a vivid orange slice of it above the horizon to the left of a dark cliff line. No one on the strand of pearl-gray beach. I can see and hear the surf, a tumbling thunder. A little past four thirty. This is such a restful spot, I may stay here for more than one night.
Must look around.
* * *
Glazed by twilight, the patio looks unreal; huge, with curving walks and green manicured lawns. The sky looks like a painted studio backdrop. Maybe this is Disneyland South.
I drove up underneath the porte cochere before and an attendant parked my car, a porter took my bags; he looked a little startled at the weight of my second suitcase. I followed him up a red-carpeted ramp to the foyer, circled a white metal bench with a planter in the middle, stepped into the lobby, signed the register, and was led across this patio. Birds were fiercely noisy inside trees so thickly foliaged I couldn't even see the birds.
Now the trees are still, the patio is still.
* * *
I'm looking at it from the fifth-floor balcony; at chairs and tables with umbrellas, banks of flowers. This is a chimerical place. I'm looking at an American flag flying high above the tower. What's up there? I wonder.
* * *
Too hungry to wait for dinner service; six p.m. in the Prince of Wales Grille, six thirty in the Coronet Room. It's only five. If I drink for an hour, I'll be out of it and I don't want that. I intend to savor this place.
I'm sitting in the almost empty Coronet Room by one of the picture windows; asked and was told that I could still get limited lunch service. Adjoining is the massive Crown Room, used only, I gather, for banquets. Outside, I see the place where I first drove up. Was it only forty minutes ago?
This room is beautiful. Wall panels of red-and-gold-textured material, above them panels of richly finished wood curving to a ceiling three or four stories high. White-clothed tables, candles lit in dark yellow tubes, tall metal goblets waiting for the dinner guests. All most gracious-looking.
The waitress just brought my soup.
Eating now, superb, thick navy-bean soup with chunks of ham. Delicious. I'm really hungry. Which may be pointless in the long run but is something to be relished at the moment. This stunning room. This good, hot soup.
I wonder if I have enough money to stay here indefinitely. At twenty-five dollars a day, my pot wouldn't go very far. I imagine they have monthly rates but even so I'd probably be destitute before departed.
How long has this hotel been here? There's a sheet of information in my room I'll look at later. It's an old place though. En route to the lobby via a basement corridor leading from the Prince of Wales Grille, I passed through a marvelous old barroom with a palatial counter; I must have a drink there tomorrow. Also saw an arcade with a barbershop and jewelry shop, peeked into a side room filled with game machines, glanced momentarily at some period photos on the wall. Will take a look at them as well. Later, when I've fed my ravenous body.
Too dark now to see much outside. Shadowy trees nearby, some parked cars, and, beyond that, the multicolored lights of San Diego in the distance. Reflected in the window is the huge, hanging light fixture, a crown of lights suspended in the night. This is not like being in the beached and overrun Queen Mary. This is the Queen still ruling the seas.
Only one thing wrong: the music. Inappropriate. Should be something more genteel. A string quartet playing Lehár.
* * *
I'm sitting in a giant armchair on the mezzanine above the lobby. In front of me is an enormous chandelier with tiers of red-shaded lights and necklaces of crystal dangling from its bottom. The ceiling overhead is intricate and heavy-looking, dark paneled sections polished to a high gloss. I can see a massive, paneled column, the main staircase, and the gilded grillwork of the elevator shaft. I came up by another staircase. There was a silence on it I could feel in my flesh.
This chair is something else. The back is far above my head, two plump urchins flanking its scroll. Both arms end in winged dragons whose scaly serpent forms extend to the seat. Where the arms join in back, two figures loll, one a childlike Bacchus, the other a staring, fur-legged Pan, playing on his pipes.
Who sat on this chair before me? How many have looked across that railing down into the lobby at the men and women sitting, standing, chatting, entering, and leaving? In the 1930s, '20s, '10s.
Even in the '90s?
* * *
I'm sitting in the Victorian Lounge, drink in hand, staring at a stained-glass window. Lovely room. Lush red upholstery in the booths; looks like velvet. Paneled columns, paneled ceiling squares, a chandelier with hanging crystal pendants.
* * *
Nine twenty p.m. Showered, legs all tired, lying on my bed, looking at the information sheet. This place was built in 1887. That's incredible. And I knew that something about it looked familiar. Not déjà vu unfortunately. Billy Wilder used it filming Some Like It Hot.
Various quotations from the sheet:
"Structure resembling a castle."
"Last of the extravagantly conceived seaside hotels."
"A monument to the past."
"Turrets, tall cupolas, hand-carved wooden pillars, and Victorian gingerbread."
I'm listening to a sound I haven't heard since childhood: the thumping of a radiator.
* * *
Astonishing silence in the corridors. As though time itself has collected in them, filling the air.
Wonder if it fills this room as well. Is there anything inside it left from yesteryear? That speckled gold-brown-yellow carpeting? I doubt it. The bathroom? Probably didn't even have a bathroom then. The wicker chairs? Perhaps. Certainly not the beds or end tables nor the lamps; God knows, not the telephone. Those prints on the wall? Unlikely. The drapes or Venetian blinds? Nope. Even the window glass has probably been replaced. The bureau or the mirror hanging over it? Don't think so. The wastebasket? Sure. How about the TV set? Yeah, yeah.
Not much of the past at all in here. A shame.
* * *
My name is Richard Collier. I'm thirty-six years old, a television writer by profession. I'm six foot two and weigh one hundred and eighty-seven pounds. I've been told I look like Newman; maybe they meant the cardinal. I was born in Brooklyn on February 20, 1935, almost went to Korea but it ended, graduated from the University of Missouri in 1957, bachelor of journalism degree. Got a job with ABC in New York after graduating, started to sell scripts in 1958, moved to Los Angeles in 1960. My brother moved his printing business to L.A. in 1965 and I moved into the guest house behind his house the same year. I left there this morning because I'm going to die in four to six months and thought I'd write a book about it while I traveled.
A large amount of verbiage to get myself to say those words. Okay, they're said. I have a temporal-lobe tumor, inoperable. Always thought the morning headaches were caused by tension. Finally went to Dr. Crosswell; Bob insisted, drove me there himself. Big tough Bob who runs his business with an iron hand. Cried like a kid when Dr. Crosswell told us. Me the one who had it, Bob the one who cried. Lovely man.
All that less than two weeks ago. Up till then I thought I'd live a long time. Pop cut off at sixty-two only because of excessive drinking. Mom, seventy-three, healthy and active. Figured there was lots of time to get married, have a family; never panicked even though I never seemed to meet The One. Now it's done. X rays, spinal taps, the works confirm it. Collier kaput.
I could have stayed with Bob and Mary. Taken X-ray treatments. Lived a few extra months. Vetoed that. All I had to see was one look exchanged by them; one pained, awkward, and uncomfortable look which people always seem to exchange in the presence of the dying. Knew I had to cut. Couldn't stand to see that look day after day.
* * *
I'm writing this section instead of dictating it into my recorder. Bad habit I got into, anyway, doing scripts entirely on cassettes. To lose the feel of putting words on paper is a bad thing for a writer.
Can't dictate now because I'm listening to Mahler's Tenth with my headphones; Ormandy, the Philadelphia. A little hard to dictate when you can't hear the sound of your voice.
Amazing job Cook did orchestrating the sketches. Sounds just like Mahler. Maybe not as rich but indisputably his.
I know why I love his music; it just came to me. He's present in it. As the past haunts this hotel, so Mahler haunts his work. He's in my head at this moment. "He lives on in his work" is a trite phrase, rarely pertinent. In Mahler's case it's literal truth. His spirit resides in his music.
The final movement now. Inevitably, the loosening sensation at the corners of my eyes, the swallowing, the swell of emotion in my chest.
Has there ever been a more heartbreaking farewell to life expressed in music?
Let me die with Mahler in my head.
* * *
I'm looking at a face in a mirror. Not my face; Paul Newman's, circa 1960. I've been staring at it such a long time, I feel objective about it. People do that sometimes; gaze at their reflection until--zap--it's a strange face looking at them. Sometimes, a scary face too, so alien is it.
The only thing that keeps me coming back is that I see Paul Newman's lips moving and he's saying the words I hear myself saying. So I guess it's my face though I feel no sense of connection to it.
* * *
The boy who owned that face was beautiful; the word was used, he heard it all the time. What did it do to him? Grown-ups-strangers even--smiled at him and, sometimes, stroked his white-blond hair and stared at his angelic features. What did that do to him? Girls stared too. Obliquely, as a rule. Sometimes straight on. The little boy did lots of blushing. Bleeding too; bullies loved to punch that face. Unfortunately, the boy was long on suffering. It wasn't till they pounded him into a corner so tight that even he lost his temper that he fought back. Poor kid didn't ask for that face. He never tried to cash in on it. He was grateful to get older when most bullies change their tactics to less obvious ones.
Hell, I'm sitting here talking about my own face. Why play the third-person game? It's me, folks. Richard Collier. Very handsome. I can talk about it all I want. No one's listening at the keyhole. There it is, world. Da-da-a-a! And what good did it ever do the guy behind it? Will it save him? Will that face rise up and slay the treacherous tumor? No chance. So, in sum, that face is worthless, for it cannot keep its owner in this world one day beyond his measure. Well, the worms will have a pretty picnic--Jesus, what a rotten thing to say!
* * *
What a stupid, idiotic thing to say.
* * *
Almost midnight.
* * *
Lying in darkness, listening to the surf. Like distant cannons being fired.
* * *
These are the hardest hours.
* * *
I like this place but obviously I won't be staying more than several days. What would be the point?
* * *
In a few days, I'll get up one morning and start off for Denver and all points east.
* * *
And one point west.
* * *
Don't be maudlin, Collier.
* * *
Four twenty-seven a.m. Just got up to get a drink of water. Don't like that chlorine taste at all. Wish I had some Sparklett's like at home.
* * *
Home?

Copyright © 1980, 1998 by Richard Matheson
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    SIMPLY FANTASTIC

    This is, by far, one my most favorite of stories. The "true love" of soul mates joined and separated by the lending hand of fate. Richard Matheson is an excellent writer. This story derives straight from the heart and is volleyed back at yours with a clearity that takes you deep into the soul of his characters. The birth of this beautiful story is, in my opinion, the offspring of nearly every time travel, paranormal, romance story available today. If you haven't already, read the book. The movie verision hardly does it justice. I highly recommend this enchanting, and yet sad book to anyon

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    The possibilities are endless...

    Richard Collier is a 36-year old writer with a terminal brain tumor who falls in love with a beautiful actress, Elise McKenna. But there's one big problem. She's dead. She lived many years ago in another time. But that doesn't stop Richard who figures out a way to travel back in time and win her heart.<BR/>Somewhere in Time is an entertaining time travel/romance novel. It's at times, both, humorous and tragic. The only problem with the novel might be where it spends a bit too much time getting to the point where Richard travels back in time. In some ways this helps the novel because Richard uses mental will power to move through time and so the first part of the novel shows us how obsessed Richard becomes and lends believability to the story. The understated humor as Richard adapts to 1896 and in his encounters with Elise and her mother and Mr. Robinson (her manager) are well done. And Matheson has done an excellent job at creating the proper ambiance for the novel. I would have liked to have a more intimate portrayal of Elise McKenna. The first person narrative leaves her character a little less well drawn. However, this book is well written with lots of memorable detail. I love the time travel possibilities that leave us in wonder.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2008

    Good time travel fantasy!

    This book is similar in nature to Jack Finney's Time and Again. Though not quite as good as Finney's book, Matheson does create a fairly decent love story. The beginning is rather slow and it is only when Richard (the main character) finally travels to the past that the book starts to pick up. Richard in 1971 had somehow come across the photo of an actress from 1896 that intrigues him. He finds he must know her life and starts researching her. He finds that she is the same actress who he had met at a college function. When he met her, she had a very strange reaction to him like she had known him and then she died right after. Richard just gets more infatuated with the actress and is sure that he loves her. The more that he investigates her he becomes convinced that he somehow had gone to the past and met her. Richard starts to study theories on time travel and then uses virtually the same method used in Finney's books to travel back to 1896 to be with her. Richard's pursuit of her is hampered by her jealous manager (similar to Finney's character). Richard may get what he wants but a penny may be the cause of his undoing. The scenes described in 1896 are excellent as well as the dialogue. This is a very good, though not great, book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Somewhere in Time

    Matheson is amazing yet again. I must admit up front, it was hard not comparing the book to the movie of the same title, but it has been so many years since I last saw the movie it made it easier. BTW it is my mom's favorite movie, so I saw it quite a few times growing up. Regardless, the book is an amazing journey which keeps you routing for Richard not to be crazy, but really experiencing all that he is writing down. Elise is brought to life in a way which makes your heart break at all she goes through in the story. Matheson has brilliant execution of time shifts, plot development, character development and overall cohesiveness in the book. Many authors strive to obtain what Matheson has put out in many of books. This is my fourth book of his and I can't wait to read more.
    An A++ for this book (and I normally don't care for love stories but this one is good and not sappy)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2008

    I love this novel

    This book is like the ultimate romance. It Crosses time and two people so in love, but with a sadness as well. The two characters are soulmates, but from two different generations. I love how their lives change and they interact. The movie was great too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Classic and perfectly old-fashioned:)

    This was an enticing book that i strongly recommend. The first chapter is slow but it really turned out to be one of my favorites! It's a classic, old-fashioned love story that you will surely fall in love with as well. I even learned a piano piece that was in the movie that played every time Richard saw Elise;) (The piece was called 'Somewhere In Time' as well.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    Worth Reading

    And as much as I usually detest Richard Matheson's books, that's saying a lot. The ending is predictable, but the characters are nicely drawn, and the book has the gentle, melancholy air of a Victorian ghost story. For once in his dubious career as a writer, Matheson finally gets one right.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Excellent Read

    Enjoyed this very much!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2011

    Me

    My mom named me after elise mickina and my birthday is the same day he goes back in time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2008

    'True Love' At Its Finest.

    This is, by far, one of the finest 'love stories' of all time. This story will never grow old with me. No doubt, we've all wished for a better place and time in our lives. If you believe in the power of the human spirit and the undying love of soul mates than this book is a MUST READ for you. You will not be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2007

    ROMANTIC AND POIGNANT

    I saw `Somewhere in Time¿ with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour, first. I was thrilled to know that it was a based on a novel, `Bid Time Return.¿ The story is a little different from the movie, but the concept is still there. This is a doomed romance from the beginning. Richard Collier is a terminally ill man that falls in love with Elise, an actress of another century. He is staying at the Hotel Coronado in San Diego, and finds a way to travel back in time. The author leaves it up to you, if Richard truly traveled back in time, or if it was merely a delusion brought on by his illness. I¿d like to believe that Richard and Elise¿s souls traveled to a place where time was not an issue, and at last, their love could flourish. If you were passionate about the movie, you¿ll thoroughly enjoy the book by Richard Matheson. Sci-fi fans, romantics, fantasy lovers, or simply people that love a good read this novel is for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2005

    a beautiful journey

    As I stopped and wondered how could this be, perhaps it can. This book took the heart on a rollercoaster of love in a time when the world was beautiful and less complicated. After reading this book, I too, sat on my bed and hoped to return to such a place. No matter where we are or in what time, love and beauty will always prevail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2004

    An amazing, beautiful story!

    You will fall into this novel the moment you open the book. An amazing piece of literature--Richard Matheson's masterpiece!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2002

    A most excellent book!

    It was a most excellent book! I enjoyed it very much!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2002

    WONDERFUL!

    I had always loved the movie and so I was inspired to read the book. The characters are so well developed and "real". The book truly gives us so much to contemplate... has this happened, unbeknown to us mere mortals? I know this book will not disappoint you, it is romantic, historical and still but a fantasy . . . or is it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2000

    An excellent and enticing book that draws you in . . .

    After being a fan of the 'Somewhere in Time' movie for years, I was thrilled to finally nab a copy of the book. As with most books made into movies, there were some variations in the characters, the plot, and the scene sequences. I felt Richard Collier was portrayed as a much stronger person in the movie than the book, and Elise McKenna, in contrast, was presented more fully, her emotional development blooming as she slowly allows her strict Victorian morals (and those imposed on her) to open like a rose in the warmth of Richard's all-enveloping love. To his credit, Richard is consistantly persistant in his persuit of Elise's love and his growing need to be with her. Although the time range varies (1971/1869-book) & (1979/1912-movie) the reader is drawn into Richard's overwhelming sense of the shortness of time itself as he seeks to live between two era's. Overall, an interesting study in contrasts for those who have seen the movie. I have become a 'time traveler' enthusiast.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2000

    The original book mesmerized me

    I read BID TIME RETURN when it was first published, and something about it got under my skin. Somewhat like Richard Collier, I started doing research to see if there really WAS an Elise MaKenna. (She was modeled after the actress Maude Addams, almost to the letter), I went as far as to visit the Hotel Del Coronado, the original setting of the story. I even named my youngest daughter 'Elise'. Ok, I know...I'm obsessed...but it's the type of book that will stay with you long after the last page has been read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews

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