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Bid Time Return Paperback – Feb 24 1977


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Paperback, Feb 24 1977
CDN$ 35.94

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (Feb. 24 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722158947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722158944
  • Shipping Weight: 503 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Product Description

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Bid Time Return is a stunningly romantic novel of love and passion that literally transcends time, by an author far better known for his tales of science fiction and horror. Richard Matheson's premise is captivating: What if you were a dying young man, visiting a turn-of-the-century resort hotel? And what if you fell in love with a painting of a beautiful stage actress--but she had lived and died a century before? But--what if your love was so strong that you could literally will yourself back in time to become part of her world? In the tradition of the classic romantic ghost story "Portrait of Jennie," Matheson makes his two lovers totally believable, and so the undeniably fantastic premise soon becomes completely acceptable. The author would later write another unique love story--of love after death--called What Dreams May Come, that is somewhat less bittersweet. (Bid Time Return was later filmed as Somewhere in Time, and some editions are issued under that title.) --Stanley Wiater --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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By Silas Traitor on Sept. 13 2003
Format: Hardcover
This was a short story padded to the gills to make it book length. That much becomes obvious midway through the book, when Matheson constantly repeats the same tired thoughts of the love-sick protagonist -- namely, that he loves and needs the actress Elise. Over and over again we are reminded of this, until I wanted to hurl the book across the room and shout, "Yes! I KNOW IT!" The love story aspect required way too much suspension of disbelief, and was far too cloying. I was practically choking on the endless dialogue and thoughts of the two lovers expressing their undying love for one another -- this after meeting approximately 12 hours earlier.
If there was a redeeming factor, it came at the end, which was touching, and maybe even explains some of the unrealistic behavior throughout the book. But I don't think two nicely written pages at the end of the book justifies two-hundred-and-seventy pages of tiresome story. It would have made a much better short story; it would have been tighter, less tedious.
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Format: Hardcover
I cannot shake off the impression that to some extent Matheson himself is the man in the hotel room, convincing himself that he can touch the past. Perhaps it was a by-product of an overwrought imagination coupled with a visit to San Diego. Or did he create a well-rounded, complete work of fiction? Disguised as a speedily chronicled delusion? This is one of a number of novels written along similar lines. Some of them are more thoroughly researched and detailed than this novel, but do not have the same emotional core. At times melodramatic, the novel nevertheless creates a touching love story. This is achieved by a disarmingly complex story structure: Richard Collier becomes willingly enmeshed in a web of inescapable fate. He must go back to Elise McKenna; it is written... In many ways the book is superior to the film, but in the screenplay the structure of the story is rearranged slightly. The pocket watch is moved and creates one of the finest paradoxes in time travel fiction. This simple alteration also serves to greatly intensify the character of Elise McKenna in a single stroke without the need for lengthy prose. I was surprised that I had to order this book on the Internet: an almost overlooked book, echoing the photograph of the young and vibrant Elise McKenna, forgotten, slowly fading away in a hotel museum, waiting patiently... I took a trip to California last year. I 'happened' to go to San Diego. I also happened to visit the Hotel Del Coronado: so curiously and specifically identified by Matheson. Why not invent a hotel along similar lines? I went to set my mind at rest. I went to fail in my attempt to find the portrait of Elise McKenna, or whatever her name may be. The 'Hall of History' was closed for refurbishment. I can be grateful for the fact that my faint delusion remains intact. I have since been told that the photograph is there...
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Format: Hardcover
I first read the paperback version of "Bid Time Return" in the mid to late 70's when I was sick in bed with a fever, which may have affected my delusion that this was an actual biography - not a novel. Mr. Matheson had me completely enthralled, and wanting to believe that this story had really happened. Disappointed to learn that this was merely fiction, my next goal was to perpetuate this wonderful dream by actually visiting Hotel Del Coronado, which I did - several times. Being there only added to the wonderful atmosphere established by the book. I was thrilled when I learned that it would be made into a movie, but disappointed when I actually saw it. The main problem was that it was set in Michigan, not Coronado Island. And though the hotel was beautiful, it was just not the same. After all, Hotel del Coronado was obviously well loved and researched by Mr. Matheson and was perhaps a distant third in importance after the two main characters, Richard and Elise. Also the movie was set roughly 10 years after the novel's time period. I did love the musical score, but felt Mahler's compositions should have been included, as detailed in the book. After this book, I wanted to learn all I could about Richard Matheson, and later bought "What Dreams May Come", and liked it too, but nothing could match "Bid Time Return". I never read "The Shrinking Man", but understand that in this case the movie did live up to the book. (I remember seeing that and being deeply impressed by it back in the '50's when I was a teenager.) While searching the internet, I see there are many fans of "Somewhere in Time" and can't help but wonder how many of them read the original book.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I first read the paperback version of "Bid Time Return" in the mid to late 70's when I was sick in bed with a fever, which may have affected my delusion that this was an actual biography - not a novel. Mr. Matheson had me completely enthralled, and wanting to believe that this story had really happened. Disappointed to learn that this was merely fiction, my next goal was to perpetuate this wonderful dream by actually visiting Hotel Del Coronado, which I did - several times. Being there only added to the wonderful atmosphere established by the book. I was thrilled when I learned that it would be made into a movie, but disappointed when I actually saw it. The main problem was that it was set in Michigan, not Coronado Island. And though the hotel was beautiful, it was just not the same. After all, Hotel del Coronado was obviously well loved and researched by Mr. Matheson and was perhaps a distant third in importance after the two main characters, Richard and Elise. Also the movie was set roughly 10 years after the novel's time period. I did love the musical score, but felt Mahler's compositions should have been included, as detailed in the book. After this book, I wanted to learn all I could about Richard Matheson, and later bought "What Dreams May Come", and liked it too, but nothing could match "Bid Time Return". I never read "The Shrinking Man", but understand that in this case the movie did live up to the book. (I remember seeing that and being deeply impressed by it back in the '50's when I was a teenager.) While searching the internet, I see there are many fans of "Somewhere in Time" and can't help but wonder how many of them read the original book.Read more ›
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