Details from Audible:

Publisher’s Summary

Written by one of the grand masters of modern fantasy, Somewhere in Time is the moving, romantic story of a modern man whose powerful love for a woman he has never met allows him to literally transcend time.

A dying young playwright staying in a turn-of-the-century hotel becomes captivated by a painting of a beautiful stage actress from the previous century. Obsessed, he begins to study everything he can about the woman and her time and becomes convinced he belongs with her. Through self-hypnosis, he transports himself to 1896, where he finds the soul mate he was fated to meet. But will he be able to stay?

Somewhere in Time won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and was the basis for the 1980 cult classic movie starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

©1980 Richard Matheson (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Initial thoughts:

I do enjoy Matheson books, some more than others but overall he is an author I’ve come to enjoy. I have a purpose for all the books I’ve read by him the past few years, I have this anthology called “He is Legend” and is full of stories inspired by his, written by other authors. So I found every Audible book I could be Matheson that was connected to that collection and listened to them, this is the last one I could find, so I finally got through it this summer.

Main Points:

I have no problem with romance novels, in fact some would say I’ve written 3 (4th one almost done) myself. That said this book starts off quite slow. I know that’s Matheson’s style but still, there were moments where I honestly thought of not listening to any more. I should also add this is, a lot of the time, a depressing book. The main character has incurable Brian cancer, so be prepared if you are going to listen or read it. I’m tough but there are moments when it can’t help but bring you down a little.

Enough bad though, once the second part hits and Richard finally does travel back in time (not a spoiler, title of the book after all!) it moves along nicely. Richard is an odd guy but likeable and relatable (to an extent). His attention to detail for 1896 in terms of what people acted, dressed and talked like is excellent. I love Elise McKenia (the Love interest) and the villain (her manager, William Robinson).

I like the simplicity of just dealing with one character and how he copes with this different time, all the while trying desperately to win the love of a woman he has only just met (and who is quite reserved, even for the 19th century).

For me to say anything else though is…

SPOILER ALERT!

So Richard does a self hypnosis to will himself back into the past. It takes him a while but he succeeds. He screws up and looks at a penny from 197 and this forces him back to the present. Once he is there he just gives up and dies. Why didn’t he try to go back again? He knows it worked, it seems stupid for him to not even try. He knows he is going to die (though in the past he felt he was cured),so why not be happy for as long as possible? I guess the answer is because you can’t screw with time but I felt this was something of a cop out. I am hoping someone has written a story to continue Richards tale in 1896 or at least find out how Elise felt after he was gone.

Final thoughts:

I love Matheson and I did enjoy this book. Still though due to the ending and the very slow start, I can only give it 7 out of 10. I do give it a mild recommendation, though I think you should check out some of his other work first and leave this for last. Not for children due to sex (a little graphic even) and violence. Ages 14+, until next time!