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Bid Time Return (the original title of this book) has been one of my favorite books for over 3 decades. I first read it when it was published in 1975 and I've read it many times since. In fact, I own 3 tattered paperback copies and treasure them all. Apparently after the lovely Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour movie, Somewhere In Time, was released it was decided to change the book title to match the movie for future editions. That's okay. If familiarity with the movie title will get more people to read this very moving, gentle story, it gets my vote.
It is the story of a young man, terminally ill, who takes one last road-trip. He has no real destination in mind. He's just driving. On a whim, he stops at the Hotel Del Coronado for the night. While there he explores the hotel. In 'The Hall of History," he falls in love/becomes obssessed with the photographic portrait of an actress, Elise McKenna, from the late 19th century...and there the tale truly begins.
I am always hesitant to listen to a book I already love in the print edition. Seldom do they meet my expectations of how the voices should sound or words be delivered. However, Scott Brick gets 5 stars all his own for his narration. Somewhere in Time is a first-person story. It is utterly dependent on the reader/listener believing the narrator *is* the speaker. Don't believe the narrator, the story, no matter how well written, will fail. So you can only imagine how stunned I was when I started listening and realized I was actually hearing Richard Collier's voice the way I had imagined it for over 30 years. It took my breath away. Mr. Brick isn't narrating the book, he *is* Richard Collier.
I know that I will listen to this book again and again, once I stop crying over the ending. According to Scott Brick, he had to re-record the last 3 pages because he was crying, too. What more can you ask of a beautiful, romantic story than to be carried away by the emotions it invokes.
32 of 33 people found this review helpful
The story is fine, it's not that. For those of you that don't know, it involves a young writer willing himself to go back in time after he falls in love with the picture of a woman who died decades previously. The fact that he is dying of a brain tumour adds to the conceit that he may be imagining the whole thing. I certainly know which side of the coin I ended up on.
The problem with this adaptation of Matheson's story is that the narrator, Scott Brick, reads the whole thing in a breathy, affected tone throughout the novel. It becomes so irritating that if it hadn't been for the fact that I was so interested in the plot, that I would have stopped listening, although it was a grind. Honestly, I kind of wanted to throttle him. His voice fades down the end of most words, and intonates inappropriately at every opportunity.
For an example of unaffected, trained and solid audiobook acting, try Jake Gyllenhaal's reading of The Great Gatsby. There you'll find an actor comfortable to let the text do the work. I'm afraid that Mr Brick seems to want to put too much of his own stamp on the text, which is a shame.
From researching him, I can see that Mr Brick is an experienced audiobook actor, however, after this experience with his work I will be thinking twice before purchasing any book he narrates.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I saw and enjoyed the film many years ago, and have since become a Richard Matheson fan, so when this book became available, I leapt at it. The book does not disappoint and the film did the book justice. It is a touching love story told in the first person, like so many of RM's books, although the story is in the form of diary memoirs discovered by the protagonists brother. The brother regards the story as the wishful or deluded writings of a dying man, and I suppose this poses the possibility to the reader too. It is a beautifully narrated love story at heart and I would highly recommend it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful