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Buying Time

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  40 reviews
A bold new time-warping direction for a leading light in science fiction. In January 2017, something very strange happens to screenwriter Ed Richie. He wakes up one morning to find that he has been shunted back in time nine months and is now inhabiting the body of his younger self... Worse is to come: the following day he jumps three years, to 2013, with all his memories o ...more
Paperback, 351 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Solaris
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  145 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Mohammed Arabey
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buying Time is a story about Writing Career “Scripts & Novels”, Friendship, Society, Politics..
And of course about Time…

What if you jump back in time to the younger version of yourself...with the conscious of your present one..
Interesting & unlimited possibilities..
A wish as old as Time...

Okay, But What if you just kept jumping in time, every-single-day to even a younger one..
That's the “Paradox” here, in “Buying Time”..

*** The Story ***
(( 2017 ))

Ed Richi is a successful TV shows
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So here I was thinking how nice it is to discover a new science fiction author I like and turns out not, so new, I’ve read Binary System by him before, well by Eric Brown. This is his more character driven work, hence the initials. But new author or otherwise, what a great book. And yes, it is very much a character driven story. The main one of which is an aging tv writer/author who mysteriously disappears and a journalist with a connection to his past who tries to find him. So that’s the myster ...more
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
Buying Time is Eric Brown’s latest novel, though this time published under the name of E.M. Brown. Known for his character-focused science fiction stories, Brown has explored many themes during his years as a writer, yet the concept of time-travel is one that, I believe, he has not tackled until now. It’s an interesting topic that can be approached in many ways, from big-budget ideas down to very personal stories. As hoped and expected, Brown is firmly in the latter territory here, using his str ...more
How many people would like to go back in time and live their life over? Now that you are older, you know how things turn out. You know how to do it right. You won't blow up at the wrong time and let someone you love walk out of your life. You won't let someone get in an accident you could have prevented. The idea of time travel is always intriguing from Wells' Time Machine to the present. This book ("Buying Time") is another twist on the concept and here there's no worrying about time paradoxes ...more
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Note: I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.

I have always been a sucker for time-travel novels. I guess it’s my love for history, and my closet-wish to observe and understand history as it happened. So when E. M. Brown’s novel Buying Time came up on NetGalley I couldn’t resist.

Buying Time is about Ed Richie, a screenwriter in the UK. He is a womanizer, and can’t even remember all the women who have lived with him these past decades. His latest gir
Oct 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Took me a month to slog through this one. Not a very good time travel story. A lot of talk about the conquest of women and sports. So much filler. Kind of a sloppy remake/reimagining of the excellent Replay by Ken Grimwood. Would not recommend.
Jack Deighton
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The designation of the author as E M Brown is a slight repositioning by the publisher of my old mate Eric Brown to highlight works of his that are more character based. (It’s a bit late and a bit odd. He has always produced these to go alongside his action adventure novels but even in those he did not neglect character.)

In 2017 Ed Richie, prodigious boozer, script-writer for Coromandel Cable’s Morgan’s Café and also with a few radio plays to his name, is a serial monogamist with a penchant for w
Jessica Hinton
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-review
Dystopian? Check

Time travel? Check

Characters I can get emotionally invested in? Check want more detail than that, huh? OK, the best way I can think to summarise this book is if you had put 1984 in the blender with The Time Traveller's Wife, added a pinch of One Day and then blitzed it all together into some wonderful creation. If that metaphor makes this sound like a mess than I apologise, because it worked really well!

If you, like me, feel increasingly despairing about the current poli
Arden Belrose
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this book, thanks to Solaris and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinions in any way.

I’d like to give the first half of the book 3 stars and the latter half 3.5. It was slow-going and I wasn’t too invested in the characters until the midway point. From there onwards, I found myself getting attached and wanting to know how it all panned out. Only after I’ve finished the book did I appreciate the characters being flawed even though I d
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Ed Richie is a hack writer, who makes a good living writing for tv shows that he loathes. He drinks too much beer. He has one friend, Digby, who is more successful, and a bit nicer. They both dream of being taken seriously as writers.
He has a routine with women. Invariably, they are tall, willowy and blonde. They meet, he is charming, the sex is great, she moves in. He withdraws, belittles her, and she moves out. Ed isn't a particularly nice guy. It would have been easier to root for Ed had he
Bronagh Miskelly
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fan
Buying Time promises so much for about three quarters of the novel.
*A mysterious disappearance
* The development of Ed Ritchie's character as his apparently random time travelling causes him to review his life
* Time travel
* A dystopian post-Brexit setting
It moves along and keeps you interesting and then suddenly it all fell apart and to me seemed like EM Brown lost interest in his whole premis.
Suddenly the "rules" set up by all Ed's previous time jumps are broken when he experiences something out
Chris Everson
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 2017 Ed Richie is an ageing screenwriter who wakes up to find himself nine months in the past. A couple of days later he jumps back another three years... what is happening to him? In 2030 Ella Croft is a journalist investigating Richie's total disappearance 5 years before.

Croft's world is quite different from 2017... the UK is no more, there are borders between England and Scotland. In England homosexuality is illegal, and armed troops patrol the streets. A not-so unimaginable future in tod
Cheyanne Lepka
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love time travel, and this book was no exception. It was a little more character-driven than what I usually lean towards, but I found Ed Richie to be an interesting, albeit at times deeply flawed, character. It was a book that examined not only human nature, but juxtaposed the question of “what if we could change the past” against a hauntingly realistic dystopian near-future. Something that I’m sure was no mistake.

This character-driven science fiction novel was a wonderful foray into examining
Sean Randall
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Given the sheer quantity of alcohol these chaps get through, I'm surprised Ed doesn't send himself catapulting off into history four days a week. But it's great to see beer, football and TV soap operas right in there alongside quantum mechanics and shrewd, extrapolated political realities which are bitterly hard to swallow.

I haven't read much of Brown before, but this is a work of art. Seminally English at times, the homeliness of the scenes in the pub are juxtaposed brilliantly both with Ed's j
Am not sure why, but from the synopsis I was expecting more of a sci-fi thriller. It's not. The story isn't about the science of time travel or the futuristic dystopian political agendas. It is about character development and how specific moments in our past shape who we are. I loved the bromance between Ed and Digger. After finishing it made me want to call up a few comrades and meet up for a pint.

(view spoiler)
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, what I liked. The basic premise is excellent, particularly the experimental nature of the time travel which resulted in fatalities and Ed not remembering why he'd travelled back in time.
As with all Eric Brown's books, it's well written and avoids the repetition and over-use of certain words and phrases which plague certain other writers' work.
What I didn't like was the political and social backdrop to the story. Maybe it's because I read science fiction to escape from the real world fo
Mark Gardner
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Any time I see a time travel story on NetGalley, I’m ready and willing. It includes an aging novelist? Yep, I can totally relate. I liked the shifting between Ed’s romp through time, and 2030 Ella, and her fight for LGBT rights. Oh, and she’s also trying to track down Ed, and solve the mystery of his disappearance. Often when reading an A-B story, one of the branches is boring. Not the case with Buying Time. Brown fills in interesting back-story with the Ella “B” line.

Ed Richie isn’t a very lika
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A time travel adventure of a different sort sees our protagonist, Ed Richie, involuntarily jumping further and further back to various points in his past life. It's an atypical take on the sci-fi sub-genre that focuses less on the mechanics of the time travel conceit or the search for answers as it does Richie's complicated relationships with the women in his life. The final reveal of what's really going is quite clever. Ultimately, an enjoyable read, but one marred by a rather heavy-handed poli ...more
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
In Buying Time by E.M. (Eric) Brown, novelist Ed Richie disappears from 2025 and finds himself waking in his own body in earlier and earlier periods of life. Meanwhile in the current time journalist Ella Croft begins writing a book investigating Ed's life and why he disappeared.

This was a real page-turner, showing Eric Brown's greatest strength - creating engaging and memorable characters. He also makes some interesting social commentary on a number of today's issues, by projecting them into fut
Alice Little
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Wow, I really enjoyed this, partly because it was well-written and I liked the characters, but also because it only came out this year and discusses modern politics so I read it at the perfect time! (Any more in the future and I’d wonder why he hadn’t mentioned XYZ at the end of 2018.)

It’s essentially a time travel story, but the suspense about what’s going on, and the personal histories is nicely timed, and everything is answered and resolved without too much action, which fits the style of the
Hisham El-far
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very character driven set of intertwining stories. The Tale of Ella Croft in 2030 and her research turned investigation into the disappearance of a celebrated novelist Ed Richie.

And the story of an ageing screenwriter mysteriously cast back in time into the body of his past selves.

Their stories intertwine and together paint a story of past regrets and the pain such choices and events can perpetuate on a persons life.

With a backdrop of rising fascism and extreme right-wing politics, it's also a
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picking this book up based on the blurb, I was ready to read a sci-fi novel about a man who unexpectedly finds himself travelling his own timeline.

As soon as I started, I realised it was more than that. Grim foresight of the possible future we head towards, politically and economically, combine with some beautiful character work to tell the story of regret and self-sabotage and human nature, combined with a healthy dose of well-sustained mystery.

It was a delight, and even though I could feel the
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I’m a bit torn about my thoughts on this book. The concept was interesting, and I wanted to keep reading to understand the mystery of Ed’s time travel. But I could not connect to the characters. There was background given to explain why they were as they were, but they were still mainly unlikeable to me. And in the end the time travel explanation felt unfinished. But it was thought provoking, so I’ll go with 3 stars.

I received an ARC from NetGalley. The book will be released on May 17, 2018.
Kay Smillie
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nice use of time travel and a maybe future where Scotland (and Wales) have gained independence. Ed Richie appears to be a likeable man but it is fair to comment that he isn't the best at meaningful relationships and his unexpected jumps into his past self are bringing all his mistakes flooding back. Meanwhile, an Edinburgh based journalist (in 2030) is investigating his sudden disappearance a couple of years back. It all comes together but you will have to read this to find out how and why.

Ray S
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Buying Time by E.M. Brown is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early May.

TV writer/novelist Ed unexpectedly falls unconscious after a typical night at the pub, meanwhile Ella from 14 years forward in a diverse, travel-happy future seeks to research a now-famous Ed who has disappeared quite mysteriously. Later, Ed figures out that he's somehow traveling through time before winding down to an easy-to-piece-together conclusion.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
So, the entire thing is some dude is travelling back in time and someone (preferably a woman) needs to go tell him what's going on. That's it. That's the entire thing. Also, women are either bitchy as hell or crying a lot depending on said dude's attitude towards them. And the only woman with some agency spends the entire book chasing after him until some other men figure out she's the perfect person to send back to explain to the main dude what is happening. ...more
Michelle Hartman
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you want to be sacred out of your wits, read this book. Because it has come true. Oh not the time jumping bit but the government bit. Written more recently than 1984 and others of that nature, it of course will be closer in the details, and it's the details that make it so scary. It's one thing to say a bunch of people were killed, but to get an exact CRAZY reason for it, and the details of the manner it's carried out, bring it right up into your face. ...more
Ray Smillie
Mar 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Using an idea of going back to a younger self but with memories retained from the future isn't a new idea, but is done well in this story where the jumps happen quickly, going further back each time. The confused time traveller has gone awol in the future (sounds confusing but it isn't) and a journalist investigates what happened to him. The future is the UK split up into it's separate countries with both England and the USA run by the extreme right wing. Thought provoking writing.

May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"No man is Rich Enough to Buy Back His Time". That said, I certainly do not regret time spent reading this book! Full Review at:

*An advance Reading Copy provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Hunter Fine
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick and easy read, light for the summer. Interesting plot and twists along the way - from the back of the book description I was expecting more of a sci-fi heavy novel, but it turned out to be a more conceptual, human-focused storyline, where the technology isn’t a main focus.
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Eric Brown was born in Haworth, West Yorkshire, in 1960, and has lived in Australia, India and Greece. He began writing in 1975, influenced by Agatha Christie and the science fiction writer Robert Silverberg. Since then he has written over forty-five books and published over a hundred and twenty short stories, selling his first story in 1986 and his first novel in 1992. He has written a dozen book ...more

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