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Bid Time Return [Paperback]

Richard Matheson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Love Story !!!! June 29 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Highly recommend ! The movie too called "Some where in Time" with Christopher Reeve !!!! Five star collectors movie & Book !!! Think the notebook back in time ( time travel ) loved it !!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Wonder Jan. 8 2004
Time travel is possible. You too will think that after reading this book. Matheson does an excellent job of making you believe that you are indeed back in 1896. Just as the author portrays character Richard Collier as a man in love with a picture, and obcessed with reaching back through time to meet Elise, you too will find yourself drawn to the mystic of this story. The motion picture (Somewhere In Time) somewhat follows the plot of this book and will capture your imagination much as the picture of Elise did Richard Collier. But you have to read the book. It goes much deeper and into more detail than the motion picture. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. It's very good reading. Get the book. Read it and you will find that you, yourself, Bid Time Return to Somewhere in Time.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Tiresome Sept. 13 2003
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Bid Time Return Oct. 22 2002
By Va Thao
I just love the book. It is a fantasy that will haunt you because we all know that everyone always dream of finding that special someone in time. But this book goes beyond time itself, Richard Matheson wrote such a touching and beautiful story that ever since I saw the movie and I just had to read this book. I just got done reading this book and the setting is a little different from the movie but the story is still there in more details. I would recommend this book to anyone, because to me it is one of the best book I've ever read before. :)
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2.0 out of 5 stars I Preferred the Movie April 18 2002
Without rehashing what others have said, I thought "Somewhere in Time" was much more successful, one of the few times when a movie is much better than the book it was based on. Among many other things, my main problem was Richard Collier's characterization in the book: he comes across as a pathetic wimp--it is difficult to fathom why Elise would have been interested in him. Also, the screenplay certainly doesn't suffer from the omission of Richard's cancer as a plot element--there is a plausible explanation for his escape to Michigan (writer's block), and it makes his death all the more poignant because it is only of a broken heart, not a tumor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere in Time was better. March 16 2002
By A Customer
The author wrote this novel before he wrote the screenplay for Somewhere in Time. In writing the screenplay, he was able to modify the premise of the story somewhat, making it perhaps less realistic but much more romantic. It's a good book, but the movie was better.
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This novel is the basis for the classic film "Somewhere in Time" and that is one of the rare occations when the movie is better than the book. That isn't to say that the book is bad, but the music and the fabulous locations of the film add something amazing.
The first person narration of the book, as told into a tape recorder, gives a really cool voice to the first part. The first half, without giving away the plot, is a strange romantic obsession tale, written in a voice reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe.
Matheson says that the first section of the book was written while at the Hotel in question and you can believe it. It is truly hypnotic and superior to the movie. The 2nd half is quite a bit less, but the power of the opening still resonates in your mind.
If you are interested in this book because you enjoy the movie, read only the pre-time travel bit. It we make the film experience richer. But don't bother with the 2nd bit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books Written! July 19 2001
By Allen
I could not put this book down! Very well written, all though I did not like the ending very much.
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