About five years ago my dad recommended I read a book called Replay, by Ken Grimwood. He said it was one of the best books he’d ever read and he gave me his semi-worn copy, published back in 1988. It sat on my bookshelf for the longest time until I wound up sick for a few days and needed some reading material. Here’s what I know: my dad was right, Replay is a fantastic novel. Granted, it’s a little dated, but the emotion and thrust of the Grimwood’s story is hugely relevant. Obviously, my next thought was, “I wonder if Hollywood has plans to turn this into a movie?” As of this writing, there are rumors swirling that Ben Affleck (The Town) is set to star in and direct Replay.
The gist of the story is this: What if you could “replay” your life over-and-over again? Sounds enticing, right? You could go back to the past and correct all those mistakes you’ve made and steer your life where you want it to go, all with the benefit of past experience and hindsight as your compass. You could make millions off knowing the future, end up with the person you love the most, help circumvent world tragedies and much, much more. But as the novel’s protagonist soon learns, the replay is a gift and a curse. He died at age 45 and no matter how many times he replays his life, he continues to die at age 45. As the novel soon points out, this becomes heartbreaking. To lose the ones you love over and over again is not a joy any amount of hindsight and course correction can dull.
As I said before, this is a great read and a fast one at that. The novel is a little dated, but if you can get past that small hurdle I think you’ll enjoy the book. I’m now eagerly anticipating the movie and hoping, if it’s true, that Ben Affleck can bring some of his Gone Baby Gone and The Town magic to Grimwood’s wonderful piece of fiction.