Review: Replay, by Ken Grimwood

If you’ve seen the movies ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ and ‘Groundhog Day’ you’ve got the plot of Replay. The novel begins with the death of 43-year-old Jeff Winston — who immediately re-awakens a quarter century earlier in his college dorm as an 18-year-old version of himself. He begins to relive his life with all his memory of his previous life intact. And the same thing happens again and again, always dying at the age of 43. He tries to correct mistakes he made the first time around, though these sometimes lead to bigger mistakes. Some of the book overlaps with Stephen King’s wonderful time travel book about trying to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. Much of it consists of spot-on memories of life in the 1960s and 1970s. And much of it is quite bleak (unlike the two movies mentioned earlier, which were comedies). Though I was not entirely satisfied with the ending, I can’t think of an alternative. Highly recommended.