Saturday, November 22, 2014

November Challenge - Sexy Saturday

November 22 - Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson

Bid Time Return
by Richard Matheson
Somewhere in Time
by Richard Matheson

At first, I was reluctant to include Richard Matheson's book Bid Time Return (the title later changed to Somewhere in Time following the movie release in 1980) because I didn't want anyone to have the wrong idea of books contents. So, I did what any good librarian does, I did some research. I found the word sexy means attractive, interesting, and appealing (as well as sexually suggestive, stimulating, and erotic). This book, to me falls into the Sexy Saturday category based on the first part of the definition because of the character descriptions (very attractive), the time travel aspect (interesting), and the idea that love can transcend time (appealing).

My husband and I started dating in August of 1990. Somewhere in Time (starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour) was the first movie we ever saw together. It became our movie. It wasn't merely the romantic love story between two people who lived eighty years apart (she in the 1890s and he in the 1970s), but the music which captured our hearts. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini would become our song.

This is one of the rare occasions when I saw a movie based on a book before I read the book. In fact, when I saw the movie I was not aware it was based on a book at all. After falling in love with the movie, the soundtrack, and the man who would become my husband, I fell in love with the book.

The protagonist, Richard Collier, a screenwriter in his mid-thirties has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He decides to spend his final days at the Hotel del Coronado. It is here, Richard becomes obsessed with the photograph of Elise McKenna, a famous theater actress who performed in the hotel in the 1890s.  Richard's infatuation with Miss McKenna becomes so intense he is convinced he must travel back in time to meet and pursue a relationship with the actress.

I am a huge fan of time travel, which is obvious based on titles I have written about in the past. Richard Matheson, has stated that Bid Time Return and What Dreams May Come [1978] (made into a movie in 1998, starring Robin Williams) "represent the best writing I have done in the novel form." Sadly Mr. Matheson passed away in June of 2013. Among these two great novels, both of which I have read, he leaves behind a huge legacy. To read more about the writer who "scared three generations of kids", read Richard Matheson (1926-2013): The Wizard of What-If? the Remembrance article from Time Magazine.

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