Book: Replay

Title: Replay
Author: Ken Grimwood
*an e-book which you can download here

What would you do if you could relive your life again after you die? Do you try to change your past to make your better future? Or you just follow the pattern of life that once you have lived and wait until you die again?

Jeff Winston had his chance to relive his life after his death at the age of 43 years old in 1988. He woke up in 1963 and now he's 18 years old again.

Since he actually "comes" from the future, now he knows every thing what will happen between year 1963 until 1988. He knows which horse will win the race, which team will win World Championship, and he uses all these knowledge to gain profit. He puts a bet. He also builds a company named Future Inc. which focuses on investment and soon he becomes a multi-millionaire.

It sounded like a gift. You could relive your life again and could make advantage of it. Now, Jeff isn't worried about financial anymore, unlike his previous life. But, was it really a gift?

Because Jeff knew that he died because of heart attack, he tried to make himself keep in shape. He exercises regularly, sees a doctor to do medical check up, but he can't avoid death. He died again in 1988 and he woke in 1963. All those years he's been striving for making profitable empire in billion of dollars was nothing in the end. He must relive his life again and wait until year 1988 comes and prepare himself to die once again.

At first he thought he was the only one "replayer", that was how he called himself. But, he knew he wasn't when he saw a box office movie "Starsea", which produced by Pamela Phillips. He never heard of the movie in his previous lives. Clouded by his curiosity he decided to meet Pamela Phillips and his guess was right. Pamela is like Jeff himself. She is a replayer, too.

Well, you can guess what happen next. Jeff and Pamela fall in love each other. Together they face the phase of death and awaken. They've been through the pain, knowing that lives that they build together will be gone eventually. Until they both find out, the cycle of this death-and-awaken has its own rhythmic. First they both woke up after their death in someday in 1963, but the next time they replay they wake up in someday in weeks, years, even decades later.

Time is getting shorter for both of them. They realise soon all these replays will end and they will die eventually.

To be honest, I thought this book was more about how to change major events that gave bad impact for humanity. I thought Jeff would strive to stop a war, make plot to save President JFK from assasination, well... stuff like that. I guess I was wrong.

This book was nothing more than just a love story between Jeff Winston and Pamela Phillips. How both of them struggle for being together, how much pain they both felt when they already knew they would separate again by death in every October 1988, how futile all their efforts that they've done at last.

Too bad Mr. Ken Grimwood doesn't explain comprehensively what makes Jeff and Pamela have their replays. If I'm not mistaken he was only explaining about alien from other planet who seems enjoy watching war, agony, mass killings that happen on Earth between 1963 - 1988. That is why it keeps replaying life. That was it. That is the only plausible explanation about this replay-thing. Is that creature (or perhaps alien) so powerful, despicable, and desperate enough to watch predicament on earth and therefore messing up with people's lives? I don't know. There is no chapter in this book which explains the real reason of that alien's doing. I wish Mr. Grimwood confronted Jeff and the alien, so the riddle will be answered.

But then, forget about that gap in this story. Enjoy the love tale between Jeff and Pamela. Take pity on them. Take a lesson or two from them. That is ...

Each lifetime had been different, as each choice is always different, unpredictable in its outcome or effect. Yet those choices had to be made.

And try not to get trapped in the past. Continue your life just like Jeff finally decides.

He wasn't sure of anything anymore, and that realization thrilled him with anticipation. He might try again with Linda, might someday rejoin Pamela, might change careers. The only thing that mattered was that the quarter century or so he had remaining would be his life, to live out as he chose and in his own best interests. Nothing took precedence over that: not work, not friendships, not relationships with women. Those were all components of his life, and valuable ones, but they did not define or control it. That was up to him, and him alone. The possibilities, Jeff knew, were endless.

From 1 - 5, I gave 3 for Replay.

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