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Replay

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  13,673 ratings  ·  1,813 reviews
Jeff Winston was 43 and trapped in a tepid marriage and a dead-end job, waiting for that time when he could be truly happy, when he died.

And when he woke and he was 18 again, with all his memories of the next 25 years intact. He could live his life again, avoiding the mistakes, making money from his knowledge of the future, seeking happiness.

Until he dies at 43 and wakes u
...more
Paperback, 311 pages
Published July 22nd 1998 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1986)
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The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. WellsTimeline by Michael CrichtonSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Best Time Travel Fiction
9th out of 1,033 books — 3,342 voters
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells11/22/63 by Stephen KingTime and Again by Jack Finney
The Best Time Travel Books of All Time
6th out of 351 books — 847 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

All poetic excerpts in this review are from Auguries of Innocence by W
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Nancy
Jul 02, 2014 Nancy rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of "The Time Traveller's Wife"
I had very high expectations for this 1988 World Fantasy award winner. The main character, 43-year-old Jeff Winston has a heart attack and dies, only to wake up in his college dorm room 25 years earlier with his current memories intact. He "replays" his life several times throughout the book trying to correct the mistakes of his "previous" lives. After the second "replay", I got tired of reading about Winston's miserable life and sexual escapades and wished he would just die and stay that way. T ...more
Eh?Eh!
There was a period of time where I made myself think through what I wanted, realistically, and how to achieve them, ultimately. Were you one of those kids who wanted to set the world on fire and initiate changes for the better, if not for fame then for purpose? I was saddened by how scaled back my plans became once I was a bit ground down by circumstances. Then I set it all aside and half-numbly addressed day-to-day tasks.

Recently, I was in a situation where a man-boy poured his little heart out
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Stephen
5.0 stars. I did not go into this book with high expectations, despite the numerous awards this book was nominated for and won. Well I just finished it and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!! Calling it the best "time travel" novel ever does not adequately explain the emotional depth of the novel. This was an incredibly well-written, extremely well plotted novel that is at times both gut-wrenching and uplifting. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

Nominee: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Nove
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George
This book crushed me. It sparked such a deep feeling of loss and regret in me. Made me examine my own life, my own decisions, missteps and regrets and wasted time and opportunities. Life is short, and this book will remind you of that. It will remind you of lost loves and what could have been. It will remind you that life should be lived to the fullest, that you shouldn't ever waste a single day. It will teach you about true loneliness. And finally, it will teach you about acceptance. I loved it ...more
j
With a setup that recalls Groundhog Day and Back to the Future II (a middle-aged man, Jeff, relives his life from age 18 to his "death" at 43 over and over, able to change things each time but never escaping the loop; going back in time gives him a chance to make a fortune betting on horse races), Replay promises to be a fun sci-fi wish fulfillment story, but winds up something else entirely, a wistful meditation on the relentless passage of time and the regrets we all carry about the choices we ...more
Mark
Reading this on a train journey where I was travelling to meet up with a friend and was very excited about seeing him could have meant that this book would rather have been like 'musac' going on in the background and ought not to have made any real impression but it did. It was a really clever concept of one man who dies of a heart attack at 43 but then keeps reliving the decades leading up to that moment. And each 're-life' is informed by what he has been and done in all his previous incarnatio ...more
Chris
Mar 09, 2008 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone aware that their future self is trapped in the past
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Algernon

Jeff Winston is a 43 years old radio journalist, trapped in a tedious job and a dysfunctional marriage, when he gets the chance of a lifetime: when he's having a heart attack, instead of dying he wakes up 25 years earlier, in 1963, with all his memories intact. I don't think there's any person on this planet who, approaching the 50 years milestone, has not fantasized about starting over with the wisdom that only age and experience can grant, and enjoy all the perks a young body and financial for
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Rachel
Apr 25, 2013 Rachel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adults wanting a quick, easy, thought-provoking read, but especially American Baby Boomer MEN!
The author does a great job of illuminating the main character's inner dialog and questions about his predicament. At each point in the novel, the protagonist responds to his situation sensibly and/or understandably, demonstrating smarts, will-power, perseverance, and human fallibility (his patience can and does reach a limit). I liked the plot twists and turns ... at least for the first 2/3 of the book, I really had no idea WHAT was going to happen next. I was hoping it wouldn't end the way it ...more
Leo
Jeff Winston, age 43, dies in 1988 at the start of this book. But he doesn't really. He awakes in his college dorm being barely 18 again. Ahead lies the chance to relive his life, change the things that went wrong, all with the future knowledge of what he has lived throughout the years. But 1988 comes again and Jeff dies again. And again and again. And the things he keeps doing in previous lives stop counting. Only he remembers them, but not the people he shared them with. He has to deal with th ...more
Chloe
Jun 22, 2009 Chloe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who has ever wanted a do-over
Recommended to Chloe by: Seth Ball
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
Replay is a book that had been lingering on my to-read stack for well-nigh three years before I finally got up the gumption to actually crack the cover. Once again I find myself a victim of the too-many-books-too-little-time syndrome which seems to plague all of us various Goodreaders and am kicking myself for waiting so long before reading this eminently enjoyable time travel romp.

I think that one of the reasons I avoided reading this for so long is that it is saddled under the unfortunate umbr
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David
This book is pure fun. It is a fantasy about Jeff Winston, a middle-age man with a marriage that has turned sour. He suffers a heart attack, and wakes up to find himself 18 years old again, in his college dorm room. He has retained all his memories. He figures out how to relive his life--differently. The story is sort of reminiscent of Groundhog Day, but instead of reliving a single day over and over, Jeff relives many years of his life, again and again.

With each replay of Jeff's life, he takes
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Jacob
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl
Lose yourself in it. Forget the science and just enjoy the characters and their reactions. Two of us here read it and we did discuss it afterwords - and a book that both of us (with our divergent tastes) are intrigued to discuss is a good book!

Reread for the Time Travel group, Dec. 2014. My opinions stand. :)
Leon Aldrich
Dec 13, 2011 Leon Aldrich rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves fiction!
Shelves: favorites
Book Description:

Jeff Winston, forty-three, didn't know he was a replayer until he died and woke up twenty-five years younger in his college dorm room; he lived another life. And died again. And lived again and died again -- in a continuous twenty-five-year cycle -- each time starting from scratch at the age of eighteen to reclaim lost loves, remedy past mistakes, or make a fortune in the stock market. A novel of gripping adventure, romance, and fascinating speculation on the nature of time, Rep
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Christine
A friend suggested this book to me years ago. Honestly, I didn't ever think I'd read it because sci-fi/fantasy really isn't my *thing*. I'm glad I gave in. Replay is one of the best stories I've ever read.

The main character of this book dies within the first few pages... and then returns to relive his life over and over with all of the knowledge his life experiences have given him. There are twists and turns throughout, keeping you guessing about what will happen, where Jeff's life will take hi
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Oscar
¿Qué harías si pudieras vivir tu vida otra vez, recordando todo lo anterior, si pudieras arreglar los errores cometidos en el pasado? ¿Y si volvieras a repetirlo?

'Volver a empezar' es sin duda una de las mejores novelas de viajes en el tiempo que he leído. La premisa que nos propone Ken Grimwood es muy original. Este libro, escrito en 1988, y ganador del Premio Mundial de Fantasía, nos propone viajar al pasado como nunca se había hecho. Estamos acostumbrados a un traslado tipo 'Regreso al futuro
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Nancy Oakes
Jeff Winston, as the reader finds out on page one, dies. Hell of a story opening, but then just as Grimwood is describing the pain exploding in Winston's chest, Jeff finds himself back in 1963, memories & knowledge of the future intact. So the first thing he does is to bet on the Kentucky Derby and win a fortune. He goes on to live a rich life then inexplicably, at the same time and on the same date in this life, he dies again. Then it starts over again...each time just a litle different. Ev ...more
Welwyn Katz
I read this book for a book club I'm in, and it surprised me that I hadn't heard about it before. I bought the book and I read it and I wanted to like it. There had been a lot of hype when it came out in 1986 and won the World Fantasy Award of 1988. I like fantasy. I write fantasy. But I don't think this book is actually real fantasy. I don't think it's science fiction either. I think it is a failed attempt to write a story where a human being finds redemption through an unusual method.

I feel i
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Kenneth Foreman
For me, Replay is perhaps one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. When I first read it, I remember being dismayed by the endless opportunity that Jeff Winston faced in replaying his life. I panicked a lot at the notion that any moment of my one-life was a mis-step or a mistake. Like listening to Pink Floyd's Time and thinking that you really were "ticking away the moments that make up a dull day". We don't all have the luxury of stripping back twenty years' worth of life and starting a ...more
Michael
Reading Ken Grimwood's Replay while revisiting the first season of Quantum Leap on DVD, I couldn't help but wonder if one influenced the other.

Published in 1988, Grimwood's novel starts off with 43 year-old Jeff Winston taking a call from his wife who says, "We need..." Jeff never hears the end of the sentence because he's struck by a massive heart-attack, dies and then wakes up in 1963 as his 18 year old self. Presented with the opportunity to live his life over, Jess takes a page from Marty M
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Alicia
This book is generally shelved as "Science Fiction" and "Time Travel," but don't let that fool you. This is a book about feelings. Yes, there is a time loop, but there is zero scientific explanation for the existence of it. No advance technology. No aliens. Nothing like that. Time repeats, and we don't know why.

I'm not saying it's a bad book. I actually enjoyed quite a lot about it. I think there's something to connect to here for folks who have been in love, had doubts about relationships, or w
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Shelli
I am SO surprised by the high rating this book has. I read the blurb and looked at the rating and decided to buy...yes buy, the audio. I'm very sad. I was over halfway through and just could not listen to another word. I thought maybe I would listen to the very end to see what happens, but guess what? I don't even care. I'll go look it up in someone's spoiler review. I would think in a story with this plot, we would expect to see change in the main character...growth, maturity, an example of gai ...more
Amy
Once upon a time (in the early 2000s), I was a huge Bookcrossing addict. I got this in a BookBox back then. Oh, those were fun. We'd fill a box with books, and send it to other BookCrossers who could take whatever they wanted as long as they replaced the books they took before sending it on their merry way ... back in the days of low media mail box costs. Ah. That was fun. Anyhow, now I'm re-reading this with the Time Travel group as our book of the month.

This review is copied from my LiveJourn
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Ed
While it won the 1988 World Fantasy Award, this novel has slipped into obscurity since then, I think, and that's a shame because it really is something special. It's about a man who dies in 1988 and wakes up in 1963, back in college at the age of 18, with all the knowledge he had accumulated in his previous life. This happens repeatedly, and in that sense there's some similarity to the movie Groundhog Day, but the similarities mostly end there. It brings to mind a lot of interesting questions of ...more
Reid
Oct 03, 2014 Reid rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This time travel novel is so understated and set in reality that at times it felt truly possible for me to relive my life over by making different choices. And, of course, that’s fairly true, with certain limitations, and it’s the message the author gets across fairly strongly. In between, we get to relive the historical years 1963-1988, vicariously through the main character, a man who dies at about age 43 and comes back to life again and again at age 18. Sounds like a pretty good fantasy, righ ...more
Christopher McDonald
Wow!! Okay... Normally when I finish a good book, I head to Amazon.com to read other readers' reviews. This process is sort of like an online book club for me. A few months ago after finishing Stephen King's time travel thriller "11/22/63," I immediately went to Amazon.com to read those reviews. During those readings, I noticed several people compared King's book to "Replay." Like I've mentioned before, there's no better genre for me than the time travel genre, and this "Replay" book fell right ...more
Donna
Sep 14, 2009 Donna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy & time travel fans
Recommended to Donna by: Cathy Rugeri
I don't read much fantasy, but for what it's worth, I really enjoyed this book. It's sort of like the movie "Groundhog Day", but instead of repeating just one day, the character relives 25 years of his life and then dies again on the same day/time and then starts over again...but he still remembers everything that happened to him in his prior life. After several cycles he meets another person who is also replaying their life. Great premise, good writing, a bit (just a bit) weak at the end. The s ...more
Elizabeth
I heard about this book on NPR in an interview (not with the author) about forgotten books that most influenced readers. Written in 1988, it might be classified as "science-fiction," but it doesn't fall in that category for me. It has no technology for example. It is about a man who dies one day at the age of 42 and wakes up immediately afterward in his college dorm. He gets to relive his entire life with the knowledge he had before and rectify mistakes....and then at the age of 42, he dies agai ...more
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Time Travel: REPLAY: December 2014 126 96 Dec 30, 2014 11:58AM  
What's The Name o...: SOLVED. 1980's novel [s] 5 56 Dec 24, 2014 06:31AM  
Replay 21 189 Nov 20, 2014 11:21PM  
... 5 48 Feb 10, 2014 07:26PM  
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Ken Grimwood (1944–2003) worked in broadcast journalism for a number of years before retiring in 1988 to write full-time. He wrote five novels, including the award-winning Replay, Breakthrough, and The Voice Outside.
More about Ken Grimwood...
Breakthrough Elise Into the Deep The Voice Outside

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“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.” 29 likes
“Jeff," she said, sobbing, "I'm scared! I don't want to die! Not … die forever, and—"
He hugged her tightly, rocked her in his arms and felt his own tears trickle down his face. "Just think of how we've lived. Think of all we've done, and let's try to be grateful for that."
"But we could have done so much more. We could have—"
"Hush," he whispered. "We did all we could. More than either of us ever dreamed when we were first starting out."
She leaned back, searched his eyes as if seeing them for the first time, or the last. "I know," she sighed. "It's just … I got so used to the endless possibilities, the time … never being bound by our mistakes, always knowing we could go back and change things, make them better. But we didn't, did we? We only made things different.”
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