Confronted with five good books, last night I picked Ken Grimwood's Replay, because I figured it was the fastest read. The book was published in 1986 (so before Groundhog's Day), and the copy I have is the 24th printing of this particular paperback. It has an arresting first sentence:
"Jeff Winston was on the phone with his wife when he died."
When Jeff wakes up, he's back in his college dorm room, and 18 all over again. Once he starts believing it's true, he lives his life all over again. He starts by making millions on sports bets, then invests that money in the stock market. He's rich beyond belief - and and also happier in some ways and unhappier in others. He's much healthier too - but he still has a heart attack at 43.
And wakes up again.
This is a really thought-provoking book. So thought-provoking I couldn't get to sleep. And one of those nagging thoughts was - I think I read this. In 1986. But I don't remember the end, or the twists and turns. So maybe I didn't read it. Maybe it's just a style I remember. It's like reading John D. McDonald. A certain way of writing that I haven't read for a long time.
The book I read just before this was Pete Hautman's Mr. Was. It's about a 17 year old who discovers there is a door in his house where he can go back 50 years. Again, there's the idea of investing in the stock market. In this case though, the author also has to deal with the idea that the young Jack and the old Jack can be in the same place at the same time.
The book came out in 1996. It kind of makes you believe in time travel, because on the back it says that it was his first YA, and that he was "currently working on a new novel for young adults." He seems to have written about 18 since then. So time-traveling me knows he was successful.