Sunday, January 30, 2011


I finished reading ‘Replay’ by Ken Grimwood. The novel won the 1988 World Fantasy Award.

“Replay is the account of 43-year-old radio journalist Jeff Winston, who dies of a heart attack in 1988 and awakens back in 1963 in his 18-year-old body as a student at Atlanta's Emory University. He then begins to relive his life with intact memories of the next 25 years, until, despite his best efforts at cardiac health, he dies of a heart attack, again, in 1988. He immediately returns to 1963, but several hours later than the last "replay". This happens repeatedly with different events in each cycle, each time beginning from increasingly later dates (first days, then weeks, then years, then ultimately decades). Jeff soon realizes that he cannot prevent his death in 1988, but he can change the events that occur before it, both for him, and for others..” -Wikipeadia.

I don’t want to touch too much on the mystical side (fantasy is not my favourite genre). But briefly the plot has loopholes. Despite temptations of filthy rich lifestyle as our protagonist had been rewarded by the knowledge of future he always seemed to remain as "Mr Nice Guy"and I found this terribly unconvincing. I don’t necessarily buy the idea that a person’s fundamental morals remain unchangeable or incorruptible forever due to morally sound upbringing even under a hypothetical framework the book presents.

What makes life worth living and interesting is the unknown, the fact that we have no memory of the future. This is the underlying message I took with me from Replay.

Good book. Fluent and captivating. At times a bit tedious and predictable but overall has been a good read. Four out of five stars.

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