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Somewhere In Time

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  6,532 ratings  ·  586 reviews
Like What Dreams May Come, which inspired the 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
Paperback, 316 pages
Published January 1999 by Tor Books (first published 1975)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  6,532 ratings  ·  586 reviews

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Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

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
Dan Schwent
Nov 22, 2017 marked it as not-in-a-hurry-to-read
A screenwriter with an inoperable brain tumor becomes obsessed with an actress from the turn of the century and uses hypnosis to travel back in time to meet her.

I've been reading a fair bit of Richard Matheson lately and stumbled upon this at the used bookstore. After leaving my kindle at work over a long weekend, I pulled the trigger on it.

Firstly, the first 33% of this book was an uphill climb. Wearing snow shoes. With a safe strapped to my back. Richard Collier finds out he has a brain tumor
Genia Lukin
Oct 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
What the heck was that I just read, and why did I read it?

This is one of the sappiest, outrageously nauseating, chauvinistic, sloppily sentimental books I've read this year, and considering how much actual 19th century literature I've read this year, that's really saying something.

We spend the first third of this book with the main character, Richard Collier (by the way, I always get afully suspicious when the character and the author share a name, don't you?) being maniacal about a photograph
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book starts out rather rough and the time-travel aspect is half-laughable and absolutely necessary for the ambiguity inherent in the novel, but DAMN...


Love and first sight, straining against social customs, heaving bosoms, torn hearts....


I admit I kinda fell for this. I'm not a huge romance reader, but it was soooooo damn sweet and predictable and full of satisfaction.

But I also really appreciated the twist. :) I should probably re-watch the 1980 movie
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
The uniqueness of the way this time travel story is written......and begins......drew me right in, and then......BAMMM! you find out why handsome, 36 year old Richard Collier decides to travel and write a book about it.......hooked!

As you can guess or already know having seen the movie, Richard travels back in time from 1971 to the Victorian times of 1896 to find his imagined love, actress Elise McKenna, and although the love relationship is foolishly sentimental and a bit over-the-top with all

Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008, fantasy
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
Joe Valdez
Somewhere in Richard Matheson's 1975 novel Bid Time Return is a wonderful science fiction tale dying to get out. Some would argue it did, inspiring the much loved 1980 film Somewhere In Time, which was so embraced that it became the de facto title for the novel when reprinted. This is the romantic fantasy of an author born in the 1920s and in addition to being difficult for me to relate to on that end, excited me only in the moments its hero travels through time.

Unfolding in the format of a
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
Dec 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: vacationers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I have yet to have liked a Matheson book but I thought if there was one that I would, it would have been the last one, or at least this one. I was still dithering about reading this but then I landed on Time Travel in the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club Monopoly and thought it was a good excuse to finally knock it off my list.

It turns out I still haven't liked a Matheson book. I'm a huge fan of this movie but it turns out that Christopher Reeve was entirely responsible for turning a creepy,
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Behind this bearded, occasionally cynical face of mine hides a romantic soul. I can almost hear some of you laughing but I will politely ignore you and start blabbering for yet another review. :P

This my fellow readers is romance, and it's actually written by a guy who wrote "I Am Legend", "Hell House" and "Stir of Echoes", if these titles ring any bells. This proves that romance novels aren't supposed to be made for quick mass consumption, written solely by insecure, money-hungry chicks (or
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Joshua Ludeker
Feb 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
I came to this book from the film it inspired, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The film is one I put on whenever I'm in the mood for a cheesy love story. It's very melodramatic, but I like it. I found I liked the book quite a bit less, though.

It's basically the same premise: modern man falls in love with a beautiful woman he sees in a photograph and figures out that he might be able to go back in time and join her. Only the book is different in that there's something revealed about
Bill M
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
John Porter
Jun 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
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.
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
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guy-meets-girl
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
Jay Barnson
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm a Matheson fan, but I'd never gotten around to reading this one. Maybe it's because I loved the movie as a kid, and didn't want to spoil the film. Well, the film is spoiled now. Okay, not quite... it's still a great film, but it's really a condensed version (as usual) that tells a somewhat different story. Actually, the film hit some dramatic beats better than the original book, IMO. This is no knock against Matheson... he did the screenplay, too. It's an interesting approach to time travel, ...more
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, ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: romance, time-travel
pleh. I'm unimpressed by guys traveling back in time to find the perfect woman, that is, one uninfected with feminism. Actually, if we could send all those guys back in time, it'd probably be just as well to have them out of the way. Perhaps I wouldn't be so cranky if there were just as many men coming forward in time to find the perfect mate, but I can't think of any. Sure, the modern world isn't perfect, but the decrease in maternal and childhood mortality alone would suggest it's a better ...more
Amber Spencer
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I grew up watching the movie starring Christopher Reeve. I appreciated how closely the book followed the movie, for the most part, but it was hard to listen to the thinking of the man for the entire book. I’m glad they made the movie better than the book.
Uuuuugh, another book with SO much boring blah blah blah in the middle of it I could barely get through it....! *sigh* Matheson, what is you doin....?
NO WHERE near as good as the movie, and somewhat changed from it as well, which I didn’t enjoy this time. And I’d never understood one point the movie made: WHY didn’t the author try and go back? Why did he just give up? At least in the movie, the same character tried desperately to do so, which may have messed things up for him.
Anyway, I’m tired
Lance Schonberg
The last book I read by Mr. Matheson was I Am Legend, way back in 2015. Loved it. Quick, precise prose. Just enough description to let your imagination work on what you would see. A clean, character-driven story that I recommend to just about anyone.

Bid Time Return is something very different.

It’s an almost stream of consciousness (presented as transcriptions from an old Dictaphone) trip through the last few months of a scriptwriter dying of inoperable, incurable cancer. He randomly stops at an
Stephen Arvidson
It's the year 1971, and screenwriter Richard Collier is dying of a malignant brain tumor. While staying at the historic Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, he happens upon the captivating portrait of a young actress from 1896, Elise McKenna, taken from back when she performed an original play at the hotel. As he becomes increasingly obsessed with Elise, Richard reaches the realization that he cannot allow his life to end without being with her. But what is a man to do, though, when more than seven ...more
This is only the second work by Richard Matheson I have read; the first was the perfect little gem of a novella "I Am Legend." "Somewhere in Time" (originally entitled "Bid Time Return") is not as fine as the previous work, but it's an interesting attempt to write a love story combined with a time-travel sci-fi escapade. Adapted into the 1980 film "Somewhere in Time" (the novel's title was later changed as a tie-in to the movie) by Jeannot Szwarc, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour - a ...more
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Reviews for the L...: Somewhere in Time by Richard Mattheson 1 13 Oct 28, 2014 05:38AM  
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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 ...more
“I wish I were a boy again-unquestioning, with no need to analyze the moment.” 8 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.” 5 likes
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