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Replay (Grimwood novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Replay is a time loop novel by American writer Ken


Grimwood, first published by Arbor House in 1986. It won Replay
the 1988 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

The novel tells of a 43-year-old man who dies and wakes up


back in 1963 in his 18-year-old body. He then relives his life
with all his memories intact of the previous 25 years. This
happens repeatedly with the man playing out his life
differently in each cycle. The premise was explored earlier
by Richard A. Lupoff in his 1973 short story "12:01". The
novel was a bestseller in Japan, and its time-loop concept has
been referenced as a precursor of Harold Ramis' comedy-
drama Groundhog Day (1993).[1]

Contents
1 Characters and story
2 Reception
3 Awards and nominations First edition cover
4 Sequel and possible film adaptations
5 See also Author Ken Grimwood
6 References Cover artist Larry Ratzkin
7 External links
Country United States
Language English

Characters and story Genre Science fiction


Publisher Arbor House
Replay is the account of 43-year-old radio journalist Jeff Publication January 1986
Winston, who dies of a heart attack in 1988 and awakens date
back in 1963 in his 18-year-old body as a student at Atlanta's Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Emory University. He then begins to relive his life with
intact memories of the next 25 years, until, despite his best Pages 311 p.
efforts at cardiac health, he dies of a heart attack, again, in ISBN 0-87795-781-9 (hardback edition) &
1988. He immediately returns to 1963, but several hours later ISBN 0-575-07559-7 (paperback
than the last "replay". This happens repeatedly with different edition)
events in each cycle, each time beginning from increasingly
later dates (first days, then weeks, then years, then ultimately OCLC 13701262
decades). Jeff soon realizes that he cannot prevent his death Dewey 813/.54 19
in 1988, but he can change the events that occur before it, Decimal
both for him, and for others. LC Class PS3557.R497 R4 1986

During one subsequent replay, Jeff takes notice of a highly


acclaimed film, Starsea, that has become a huge success at the box office in 1974. The film is written and
produced by an unknown filmmaker, Pamela Phillips, who has recruited Steven Spielberg to direct and George
Lucas, as a special effects supervisor, before the two shot to stardom with their own projects. Because the film
did not exist in previous replays, Jeff suspects that Pamela is also experiencing the same phenomenon. He
locates her and asks her questions about future films which only a fellow replayer would know, confirming his
suspicions.
Pamela and Jeff eventually fall in love and become convinced that they are soulmates. Complications arise
when they notice that their replays are getting shorter and shorter, with Pamela not beginning her next replay
until well after Jeff. Eventually, the two decide to try to find other replayers by placing cryptic messages in
newspapers. The messages, which seem very vague to anyone who is not a replayer, generate a fair amount of
dead-end responses until the pair receives a letter from a man who is clearly knowledgeable about future
events. Jeff and Pamela decide to visit the stranger, only to discover that he is confined to a psychiatric hospital.
Surprisingly, the staff does not pay attention to his discussion on the future, but it soon becomes clear why the
man is institutionalized when he calmly states that he thinks aliens are forcing him to murder people for their
own entertainment.

In a later replay, the two decide to take their experiences public, giving press conferences announcing future
events in explicit detail. The government eventually takes notice and forces Pamela and Jeff to provide
continued updates on foreign activities. Although the government denies responsibility, major political events
begin to transpire differently, and Jeff attempts to break off the relationship. The government refuses, and the
pair are imprisoned and forced to continue providing information.

As future replays become shorter and shorter, the two are left to wonder how things will eventually unfold
whether or not the replays will ultimately end, and the pair will pass into the afterlifeor if the current replay
is, in fact, the last. Eventually, the replays become so short, Jeff and Pamela relive their original deaths
repeatedly in successionuntil Jeff finally has a heart attack which he manages to survive. While he calls
Pamela soon afterward, she lets him know that she has also survived, and that their replaying wasn't a dream.
While it seems ambiguous whether or not they will meet again, Jeff eagerly awaits entering an unpredictable
future with endless possibilities.

Reception
Orson Scott Card, reviewing Replay for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (May, 1987), wrote:

Jeff makes a quick fortune gambling on sure things; this time the 1970s and 1980s are filled with
the glamour and disappointment of wealth. Until he dies again. And again wakes up in 1963. And
again, and again, replays of his past life, each time wiser than the time before, each time surprised
by new joy, new pain. Children he raised and then lost, lovers who don't want him the second time
around. Desperately lonely with all his knowledge that he cannot share, he searches for others
caught in the same endless loop of lifetimes. And finds some. Grimwood's style is clear,
penetrating. He leads us through Jeff Winston's lives with great skill, never lingering too long with
any one experience, never moving so rapidly that we cannot taste the flavor of each passage
through the decades. Replay is Pilgrim's Progress for our time, a stern yet affectionate portrait of
the lives we lead. When I finished it, I felt I had been moving with the hidden rhythm of life, that I
had seen more clearly, that I had loved more deeply than is ever possible in one short passage of
years.

Publishers Weekly reviewed the novel as follows:

Grimwood has transcended genre with this carefully observed, literate and original story. Jeff's
knowledge soon becomes as much a curse as a blessing. After recovering from the shock (is the
future a dream, or is it real life?), he plays out missed choices. In one life, for example, he falls in
love with Pamela, a housewife who died nine minutes after Jeff; they try to warn the world of the
disasters it faces, coming in conflict with the government and history. A third replayer turns out to
be a serial killer, murdering the same people over and over. Jeff and Pamela are still searching for
some missing parts of their lives when they notice they are returning closer and closer to the time
of their deaths, and realize the replays and their times together may be coming to an end.
Awards and nominations
Replay won the 1988 World Fantasy Award[2] and was on the shortlist for the 1988 Arthur C. Clarke Award.

The novel has been included in several lists of recommended reading: Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best
Novels (1988), Locus Reader's Poll: Best Science Fiction Novel (1988), Aurel Guillemette's The Best in Science
Fiction (1993) and David Pringle's Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction (1995).

Sequel and possible film adaptations


Ken Grimwood was working on a sequel to Replay when he, ironically, died from a heart attack in 2003 at the
age of 59.[3] In 2010 Warner Bros. reported that it was planning on a film version starring Ben Affleck. The
screenplay for this adaptation has been written by Jason Smilovic.[4] In 2011 Robert Zemeckis was in talks to
direct,[5] but as of 2016 no movement seems to have been made on the project.

See also
List of unpublished books by notable authors

References
1. Groundhog Day (http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=132807)
2. World Fantasy Convention."Award Winners and Nominees"(http://www.worldfantasy.org/awards/awardslist.html/).
Retrieved 4 Feb 2011.
3. Obituary in The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/ken-grimwood-548293.html)
4. Ben Affleck hits Replay? - Female First(http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/movies/movie-news/Ben+Af fleck-86199.html)
5. Brodesser-Akner, Claude (April 29, 2011). "Robert Zemeckis Heading Back to the Future With Replay" (http://nymag.c
om/daily/entertainment/2011/04/zemeckis_heading_back_to_the_f.html). New York Magazine. Retrieved April 29,
2011.

External links
Review of Replay by Jo Walton
Review of "Replay" by Brad Meltzer, on NPR's "You Must Read This," July 10, 2008

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Replay_(Grimwood_novel)&oldid=785935108"

Categories: 1987 American novels American philosophical novels American science fiction novels
1980s science fiction novels 1980s fantasy novels Time travel novels Arbor House books
World Fantasy Award for Best Novel-winning works

This page was last edited on 16 June 2017, at 08:25.


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