"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Replay by Ken Grimwood

Winner of the World Fantasy Award, Replay was published in 1986, and transcends genre.

Jeff Winston is 43 when he dies of a heart attack in 1988, but for him, life is just beginning as moments later, he finds himself back in his college dorm room in 1963, with all the memories of the 25 years that have been mysteriously wiped out. Gone are the lifeless marriage and the dead end job. In their place is a future full of possibilities for a man who knows upcoming events. Jeff is a replayer, stuck reliving the last 25 years of his life, over and over, given countless opportunities to do things differently. But differently isn't necessarily better, as Jeff and another replayer he meets, Pamela, quickly discover.

From the opening scene when Jeff first dies to the ending with a twist, Grimwood's prose catches the reader and pulls him or her along on a journey through time and the human psyche. What makes a life meaningful? That is a question Jeff gets to answer over and over. The only question I have is why did it take me so long to read this wonderful book.