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Somewhere in Time [Paperback]

Richard Matheson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1981
A romantic fantasy in which a modern man's love for a woman he has never met draws him back in time to a luxury hotel on San Diego in 1896, where he finds his soulmate in the form of a celebrity actress from the previous century. Originally published as BID TIME RETURN. From the author of WHAT DREAMS MAY COME and I AM LEGEND.

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"The author who influenced me the most as a writer was Richard Matheson."--Stephen King

"Stylish and gripping, [Richard Mathsons's] stories not only entertain but touch the mind and heart." --Dean Koontz

"Richard Matheson is one of the most respected living American fantasy/science fiction/horror writers. . . . Matheson could not write a bad book if he tried." --Hartford Courant
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard Matheson was The New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend, Hell House, Somewhere in Time, The Incredible Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, The Beardless Warriors, The Path, Seven Steps to Midnight, Now You See It…, and What Dreams May Come, among others. He was named a Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention, and received the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has also won the Edgar, the Spur, and the Writer's Guild awards. In 2010, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. In addition to his novels Matheson wrote several screenplays for movies and TV, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” based on his short story, along with several other Twilight Zone episodes. He was born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, and fought in the infantry in World War II. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Matheson died in June, 2013, at the age of eighty-seven.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC HEARTBREAKING ROMANCE April 24 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 only knows how many times I watched the movie version starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve (another tragedy there) and I wasn't sure if I'd feel the same about it now. Really the only difference this time around was that I was able to appreciate the quality of the writing and amount of research that must have gone into making this tale of time travel, well, believable. The romance is still as moving as it was. And yes much like Titanic even though I knew what was coming I still shed a tear at the end.

Told from a first person narrative and written as if you were reading a journal, we meet Richard Collier, A 30ish Los Angeles screenwriter with an inoperable brain tumour. Not wanting to burden his family Richard packs up his life and decides to end his days wherever the road takes him. These beginning chapters are fast moving, choppy and written with short slightly erratic paragraphs as Richard dictates into an audio diary. In the second half the journal entries become longer and more detailed and quite honestly a little dry in places.

Through the fate of a coin toss Richard finds himself at the Hotel Del Coronado, a grand seaside resort, steeped in history that manages to become a character onto itself here. It's within the hotel museum that Richard comes across a turn of the century photograph of an actress named Elise McKenna, and at that moment everything else in Richard's life ceases to exist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly tragic, but also romantic. Nov. 17 2000
I first read this magical book almost fifteen years ago, and like the movie based upon it, it's stuck with me and haunted me ever since. Both compliment each other wonderfully.
I won't bother to rehash the story, since others have done so more effectively here. Needless to say, like any good novel that becomes a movie, the text story is much richer than the onscreen experience. You can almost feel yourself living and breathing the world of 1896 as Richard Matheson manages to strike a perfect balance of a realism, and romanticism.
If you've seen the film Somewhere In Time you may be struck by the changes you'll find here. However at the same time you'll likely be touched by the books in-depth portrayal of Elise, sharing the joy she feels as she finds herself giving her heart to a man for the first time in her life. The range of emotions that flow through her, the sense of fear, the uncertainty, the immeasurable joy are simply beautiful. This makes her eventual fate all the more tragic and heart-rending. Her manager, William Robinson is also a completely different character from the one in the film, and is in many ways a much more vivid one.
This is definately not a book for the easily depressed. If you fit into this category I'd recommend watching the movie first as the ending is much less dispairing. This is a book that will forever haunt anyone with a truely romantic heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flat and One-Sided Romance June 10 2004
I saw the movie long ago, and frankly, I thought the movie was better. There is an old axiom that romance stories by women end in happily-ever-after and romances by men end in death, and that holds true in this case. I found the romance cloying, flat and one-sided. Suspension of disbelief is one thing, but a virtuous 1896 woman sleeping with a man she's known one day is another. I know this book is the precursor that laid the foundation for all the modern time travel love stories, but I still couldn't like it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Richard Matheson's "Somewhere in Time" Nov. 10 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unlike many books which have been transformed into a movie this one improved substantially from its original medium. The book itself transmogrified my recollection of a tasteful romance into bathos, portraying the protagonist, Richard Collier, as a pathetic, ill prepared, puerile neurotic, consummating his sexually absorbed personality into a cliche. With the flexibility and in this case, taste, that well directed movies can produce, it was mostly the plot, rather than the text which drove the film. A Jack Finney, Richard Matheson is not. As for telling the tale, Finney's "Time and Again" as well as his "From Time to Time," attracts the reader to the story and the protagonist. Richard Collier, however, the champion upon which "Somewhere in Time" tries to support the story, collapses in self absorbed verbiage taking the protagonist from potential hero to an intolerably arrested adolescent.
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By Misfit TOP 500 REVIEWER
Never in my wildest dreams would I ever think that instead of Hollywood screwing up a good book and getting it wrong that they could take a mediocre book and make something unforgettable. Originally published as Bid Time Return, the story starts in 1971 and written in a journal/diary format by Richard Collier, who suffers from a brain tumor. In an effort to escape his real life and career, Richard finds himself at San Diego's Hotel Del Coronado, while there he sees the 19C photo of actress Elise McKenna and finds himself immediately attracted to the image and falls in love.

Richard reads everything he can find on Elise, who after a strange and life-changing visit to the hotel in 1896 never married and he realizes that she died of a heart attack within hours after she saw a very young Richard and recognized him as her lover from the Coronado Hotel. OK..... Determined to escape the present and return to Elise, Richard finds clothing of the period and somehow meditates himself into the past and once there, well, you all know the rest of the story.

So how is it that a story I love to bits every time I see it (well possibly because it _is_ Christopher Reeve) be so slow paced and mediocre in the book? I love a good love story as well as the next female reader, but he was just too sappy and gushy over this woman who he'd only seen in a photograph -- and Elise wasn't much better with her mooning over Richard. The diary/journal format didn't help either especially with 100+ never ending pages of Richard's efforts to return to the past (came close to tossing it), and since I'm not into spoilers I won't go into the ambiguous little ending the author leaves the readers with, but you won't like it. From all the rave reviews, clearly I'm in the minority opinion on this one, but if you're dead set on reading it, get it from the library first - then buy it if you love it. 2/5 stars.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Love Story
This book was just fantastic !!!!
One of Richard Mathesons best books ever. It was an easy read, and theres just not enough I can say about this book. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2004 by Michael Beveridge
2.0 out of 5 stars "Somewhere In Time" Misses The Mark- Unbelievable &...
Richard Collins is 36 years-old, a writer by profession, intelligent, handsome and dying. He has a temporal-lobe tumor and the doctors give him 4-6 months to live. Read more
Published on June 15 2004 by Jana L. Perskie
4.0 out of 5 stars book was better
Really enjoyed this book. From I AM Legend to Somewhere In Time. Matheson is an all around excellent writer. Enjoyed the book far more then the movie as well.
Published on Aug. 5 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars See The Movie: It's Better
If you can rent the movie, starring Christopher Reeve, then do so, rather than read the book. I foound the book rather slow moving -- but then, I had seen the movie and knew what... Read more
Published on May 23 2003 by Big Mike From LA
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who did it backwards . . . .
I know that the movie "Somewhere in Time" became a cult favorite a long time ago. I remember tuning in to HBO years ago and catching the tail end of the movie. Read more
Published on Dec 31 2002 by NaughtyInTown
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I thought Somewhere in Time was a great book. The beginning was a little confusing, but it moved quickly. Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully engaging story
It has really been a long time since I read a really good book, but once I picked up this one, I honestly couldn't put it down. The story line just drew me in immediately. Read more
Published on July 16 2002 by Asunsetorange
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard Matheson - the GREATEST! :)
Well, first off let me just say I loved reading Somewhere in Time. I haven't watched the movie yet, but I'm checking it out the next chance I get. Read more
Published on March 9 2002 by H. Hughes
4.0 out of 5 stars If you're a fan of the movie, read for a different take
Okay, I saw the movie first.
The movie, Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, is my favorite movie of all time. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2001 by Thea M. Ryan
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