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Somewhere In Time Paperback – Oct 15 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; New edition edition (Oct. 15 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312868863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312868864
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 472 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #304,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“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

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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By Buggy TOP 500 REVIEWER on 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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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. I thought it was bizarre and dismissed it. My grandmother later convinced me to give it another try. I did, and I have been hooked ever since. The movie's credits list "Bid Time Return" as the basis for the movie. I spent years trying to find it in my local libraries, only to be disappointed time after time. Finally, Amazon came to the rescue one day. I read the book, and not only did I love the book, I gained a new appreciation for the movie. Yes, some of the details in the book were rejected for the movie, but not the truly important ones. Richard's deep and infinite love for Elise translated beautifully to the big screen. The longing for each other, the supreme happiness of finding each other, the devastating loss of each other and subsequent reunion are the truly significant details. So, if you have only seen the movie, go ahead and fulfill your backward destiny as I did by reading this book. I can't imagine that you could ever be disappointed.
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