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Somewhere In Time
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Somewhere In Time

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  4,173 ratings  ·  347 reviews
Richard Collier, a man of the modern era, becomes obsessed with a woman of another time, a celebrated actress at the turn of the century. His fascination with Elise McKenna proves strong enough to physically trasport him back to 1896, where he meets and woos the woman of his dreams. But for how long can their passion resist the relentless tide of history.

The World Fantasy...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Tor Books (first published 1975)
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Algernon

A beautiful romance from the pen of a writer more famous for his horror thrillers. How far are you willing to go for the woman you love?
Richard Collier has never met the woman of his dreams. And now, at thirty-six, it might be to late, as he is diagnosed with an unoperable brain tumor. As a screenwriter he should know better than most how dreams are created out of thin air, yet in his vulnerable state of mind he is not immune to flights of fancy. While staying overnight at a luxury hotel near S...more
Michael
Part fantasy novel, part romance novel, Richard Matheson's "Bid Time Return" finds dying writer Richard Collier falling in love with a photograph of a turn of the century actress Elise McKenna, becoming obsessed with her and then finding a way to travel back in time to meet her.

On the surface, the premise sounds absurd, but really no more so than your standard romance novel. It's the story of two people falling in love and overcoming obstancles to be together. In this case, it's the gulf of time...more
Buggy
Opening Line: "Driving down Long Valley Road. Lovely day; bright sunshine, blue sky."

This week has been one filled with romantic tragedies for me. First I went to the see the re-release of Titanic in 3D (oh Jack) and then because I hadn’t had quite enough heartache I decided to revisit one of my all time favourite romances with Somewhere In Time (Bid Time Return.) It’s been years since I first read this as a teenager, -god knows how many times I watched the movie starring Jane Seymour and Christ...more
Kandice
I want to explain my rating. The first 1/3 of the book was worthy of 5 stars for me. The second 2/3, only worth 3 stars, but I can't justify an over all rating of 3. In addition to a foreword from the "author's" brother, there is an afterword that bumps up the quality of the story from those 3 stars.

As a teen, I must have seen this movie a hundred times, so I went into the book looking for those same feelings of love, romance, nostalgia and melancholy. They were all present, but the movie had a...more
Joshua Ludeker
What can I say? Many people know of this book because of the movie with this same title. The book was originally published under "Bid Time Return", which I like much more. Richard Collier falls in love with a photo of an actress from 1896, his year being 1971. He attempts time travel back, she falls in love with him, and then they live happily ever afer in 1896? That would only be too easy.

Richard Matheson is that type of author who grips me with such force that I can't find what's real and what...more
Amy
5, 5, 5 stars. More if I could. I read another 5-star review that described the book as 'emotionally draining.' Yes, it is. It's also one of the only 'period novels' where I actually felt to be IN the time period itself. It's written in first-person narrative, reminiscent of the heightened awareness of environment and physical self of Kafka's Metamorphosis, and the dramatic inner dialogue of Camus' The Stranger. And it's romantic and touching and BELIEVABLE. Just a wonderful book.
Heather
Jul 30, 2008 Heather rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vacationers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bill M
The book and movie are both very good but to me reading the book is emotional draining. The book gives the reader a better understanding of Elise, what her beliefs and how much she had to struggle with herself and her feelings about Richard. It also seems she may have know that Richard would leave her in the end.

Richard seems unsure of himself most of the story but he was dealing with his imminent death, traveling in time and the unknowns of his realtionship with Elise plus her mother and manage...more
Jacob
I'm somewhat inclined to favor this book: the female love interest in the book is modeled after my near-ancestor, and it takes place in San Diego, a location close to my heart.

Richard Matheson is a very good writer, though, particularly when writing from the first person perspective. You can understand the protagonist's thoughts and actions, even when they are clearly making a mistake (this excellent first person perspective was also present in _I Am Legend_). This is mostly a love story involvi...more
Kitty
I read this under the original title "Bid Time Return", before the movie was released. I've re-read it several times since (and will read it again). I wish I could give it more stars. This is probably my all-time favorite book ever, and I read a LOT.

The book is a million times better than the movie, and I really like the movie. The book was written in such a believable style that honestly, I was looking for some proof after I finished it that it was, in fact, fiction. I was completely captivate...more
Linda Hilton
Read the paperback edition shortly after publication and loved it, even though I thought the actual time-travel technique had some logic holes, which is why I just couldn't give it five stars.

The ending, however, was a superb example of storytelling virtuosity. The book ended not only the way the plot had to end, but in the particular process that ended it.

Yeah, I refer to it a lot. ;-)
Ameliedanjou
I read this back before the movie came out -- bought it at the Grand Hotel in Mackinac MI because they said it was set there. So I didn't remember that the book's time travel actually takes place in California - since I was reading it at the Grand, that's where it took place. (The movie is filmed at the Grand.)
However, I remember the music references very well. I remember being disappointed when the movie music was Rachmaninoff -- yes, I understand it's lush and romantic, but not what's in the b...more
Haili
This romantic story sets place in 1896 San Diego at a luxurious hotel with lots of history buried beneath it. The main character: Richard Collier who is struggling with a brain tumor has decided to run away and he lands in San Diego where he time travels to meet his one true love. The issue in this book is that Richard Collier has fallen in-love with a woman who is dead and has been dead for 75 years. This makes him kind of a creeper because he does all this research on her and keeps a picture o...more
Ross
I was pretty unimpressed with this book. A story about a man transporting himself backwards through time by love's inspiration is pretty great, and the way in which it's delivered is clever. I enjoyed the components of the story much more than the story as a whole. But what drew me out and became difficult for me even to endure was the main character's peevishness. I was constantly distracted by the seemingly foolish, brash, unthinking, short-sighted, ignorant decisions or conversations the main...more
Kressel Housman
Aug 05, 2008 Kressel Housman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fantasy and romance
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
I read this book because I saw the second half of the movie at my parents' house one day, and was so charmed by it, I had to know the whole story. It's a beautiful time travel romance, but if it hadn't been for the movie, I probably would have given up in the middle of the first chapter because I didn't like the choppy writing style. In the second chapter, we get an explanation for it: the protagonist is driving in his car, talking into a tape recorder. The rest of the book is traditional narrat...more
Bettina
The original title of this book was actually "Bid Time Return." The film based on it, however, became so well-known that it began being published under the cinematic title instead. Reading this book after having been exposed to the film with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve was a bit backwards. Usually you read the book and then see the film only to be let down by the changes made to the original text and storyline. It was the exact opposite for me because the love story in the film is the pro...more
Mohammed
Matheson showed me again how well he does first person stories.

It was a very beautiful story because of how personal it was. Normally i'm weary of love stories like this but in the hands of a quality writer the characters had emotional depth that made the story believable.

In the hands of a weaker writer it would be cheap melodrama story that used time travel just as new gimmick to tell a love story.
Francesca
I have seen the movie years ago and I loved it.The book seemed even better.The love story of Richard and Elise is so powerful and emotional, it is meant to stay with you long after you finish the book. It is so romantic, and surprisingly believable.I have to admit that I read lots of pages with tears in my eyes.But I loved every single one.Absolutely a 5 star novel.
John Porter
Sorry, no. I'm a Matheson fan, and I expected to be a fan of this. It's like a warmed over, less interesting version of Jack Finney's Time and Again. It would be fine if it just wasn't quite as good--because the Finney book is truly wonderful--but the fact is, I was alternately bored and uninterested for almost the entire book.
Chiara
Is that you?
Yes

This is the story of the impossible love between Richard and Elise. Richard lives in 1971 , Elise in 1896, but they manage to get together nonetheless and know, though for a very brief time, the true love of their lives. Such a tender and brave tale, it was really worth reading!
Kate
Wonderful. Just amazing. It made me laugh, it made me cry and I completely felt for Richard and Elise in this beautiful story of love, longing and loss. Time travel at it's finest.
Lady of the Lake
This book was SO MUCH BETTER than the movie they had made from the book!
Oscar
La trama de ‘En algún lugar del tiempo’ es, a primera vista, sencilla. Richard Collier es un guionista al que se le ha diagnosticado una enfermedad terminal, que le lleva a dejarlo todo y viajar sin rumbo. Una de sus paradas le lleva a un hotel en el que descubre una fotografía fechada en 1896 de Elise McKenna, una antigua actriz. Richard queda cautivado por este retrato, y a partir de este momento su máxima obsesión consistirá en encontrar la manera de trasladar su mente y su cuerpo a dicho año...more
Don Incognito
Fantasy romance novel, as other reviewers have noted. I like it, but I'm not sure how much I like it; and I find it hard to judge, because I've probably never read anything like it. Spoilers ahead.
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The protagonist is Richard Matheson himself, depicted as a fictional "Richard Collier." The story is told in first person, but technically told by his fictional brother Robert after hearing Ri...more
Charles Adkinson
This book takes itself extremely seriously. It was written in a very believable and straightforward style, but the subject matter is somewhat out there. It's basically about a fellow in the 1970s who feels disconnected from both the time in which he lives and the people around him (he's never fallen in love), who then sees a picture of an actress from the 1890s and falls immediately and obsessively "in love" with her. I know this sounds shallow (because it would have to be in order to make any s...more
Katsumi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judy Meed
Richard Matheson is a fantastic author. Somewhere In Time is what brought me the Time travel penchant. Similar to K S Michaels, Matheson has a genuine way of feeling the characters, knowing their thoughts and experiencing their pain and joy. I loved this book because the romance was so deep and captivating. Though the ending was sad, the story was well written and certainly a page turner for me. Don't forget the tissues when reading this masterpiece.
Lori
The movie of the same name is one of my favorites, so I really wanted to like this book. The characters are more developed, and the story is more tragic than the movie, though it is the same imaginative premise of time travel to reach the one you love. The longing Richard feels for Elise is real and tangible. But I thought the obsession with which Richard pursues Elise was disturbing. He seems desperate, not devoted. I couldn't see how Elise could allow him in to her heart, the way he carried on...more
Duane
I almost always read the book before I see the movie but not so with Somewhere In Time. The movie starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour is one of my all time favorite movies. I was expecting a lot out of the book and it was very good but fell a little short for me. Everything seemed contrived, the relationship between Richard and Elise, the abduction scene toward the end of the book (too long), and a few other small details that put me off. But putting the movie aside, as I said before, th...more
Kristin
I loved this book. I was nervous about it because I love the movie and wasn't sure how they would intermingle. Reading the book thoroughly impressed me with the screen writer. Descriptions, words, dialogue, and other tidbits were taken directly from the book and used in the movie. It was a wonderful read.

There were parts that were a little slow, especially since I already knew the story, but when I allowed myself to sit back and enjoy the journey of returning to the past to be reunited with your...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Problem with book description 2 14 Feb 17, 2014 02:07PM  
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Born in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married in 1952 and has four children, three of w...more
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“I wish I were a boy again-unquestioning, with no need to analyze the moment.” 7 likes
“I looked at all the people, feeling sorry for them. They were still subordinate to clock and calendar. Absolved of that, I stood becalmed.” 3 likes
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