Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson

Post Reply
User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson

Post by Misfit » Sun January 18th, 2009, 9:51 pm

Image

I can't believe I'm saying this but skip the book and see the movie instead!! Never in my wildest dreams would I ever think that instead of Hollywood screwing up a good book and getting it wrong that they could take a mediocre book and make something unforgettable. Originally published as Bid Time Return, the story starts in 1971 and written in a journal/diary format by Richard Collier, who suffers from a brain tumor. In an effort to escape his real life and career, Richard finds himself at San Diego's Hotel Del Coronado, while there he sees the 19C photo of actress Elise McKenna and finds himself immediately attracted to the image and falls in love.

Richard reads everything he can find on Elise, who after a strange and life-changing visit to the hotel in 1896 never married and he realizes that she died of a heart attack within hours after she saw a very young Richard and recognized him as her lover from the Coronado Hotel. OK..... Determined to escape the present and return to Elise, Richard finds clothing of the period and somehow meditates himself into the past and once there, well, you all know the rest of the story.

So how is it that a story I love to bits every time I see it (well possibly because it is Christopher Reeve) be so slow paced and mediocre in the book? I love a good love story as well as the next female reader, but he was just too sappy and gushy over this woman who he'd only seen in a photograph -- and Elise wasn't much better with her mooning over Richard. The diary/journal format didn't help either especially with 100+ never ending pages of Richard's efforts to return to the past (came close to tossing it), and since I'm not into spoilers I won't go into the ambiguous little ending the author leaves the readers with, but you won't like it. From all the rave reviews, clearly I'm in the minority opinion on this one, but if you're dead set on reading it, get it from the library first - then buy it if you love it. 2/5 stars.
Last edited by Misfit on Sun January 18th, 2009, 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
donroc
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 858
Joined: August 2008
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
Contact:

Post by donroc » Sun January 18th, 2009, 11:57 pm

I agree. Saw the wonderful film first and read the book Bid Time Return after. Major disappointment.
Image

Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.donaldmichaelplatt.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6 ... annel_page

User avatar
Tanzanite
Bibliophile
Posts: 1963
Joined: August 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Contact:

Post by Tanzanite » Mon January 19th, 2009, 12:00 am

I loved this movie when I was younger. My mom and I used to watch it when it would be on TV. I didn't realize it was based on a book. I think I'll skip the book though and remember the movie.

User avatar
Rowan
Bibliophile
Posts: 1462
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
Preferred HF: Iron-Age Britain, Roman Britain, Medieval Britain
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Post by Rowan » Mon January 19th, 2009, 12:07 am

I loved the film so much I bought it and even wanted - and still want - to visit that hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan where the film was set. I had no idea it was based on a book. From your opinions I won't be touching it. Thanks Misfit!!!

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Mon January 19th, 2009, 12:39 am

It was such a drag after stoking myself up for a good weepy romance and then I get this.

Rowan, I would so love to go see that resort as well -- which wasn't in the book either. Although the Hotel Del Coronado isn't anything to sniff at :o

Post Reply

Return to “By Author's Last Name M-Q”