Repeat by Neal Pollack

March 26, 2015 Contemporary Fiction, Time Travel 11

Hello, Hello Bookworms!

Want to know a secret? One of my all-time favorite movies is Groundhog Day. I’m sure that says disturbing things about my psyche, but it’s the truth. When I ran across Neal Pollack’s latest release Repeat on NetGalley and saw it compared to the cinematic gem, I knew I needed to give it a whirl. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review consideration. I swear on the threat of living in an infinite time loop that this review is honest.*

repeatBrad Cohen is a failed screenwriter living with his wife and two daughters in Los Angeles. On the evening of his 40th birthday, Brad takes an herbal concoction brewed by his wife and wakes up in his mother’s womb. Yep. He is born and has to deal with being an infant, a toddler, a child, a teen, etc, all with the brain of a 40 year old man. And then? He has to do it again. And again. And again. Brad Cohen is stuck living his own life (but only up to age 40) in an endless loop.

What would you do if you had infinite do-overs? Brad does all sorts of things. He becomes a political pundit, a fabulously wealthy investor, a Jeopardy! champion, and everything in between. After a while, Brad realizes that none of his alternate lifetimes compared to what he had with his wife and daughters, but try as he might, he can’t seem to get them back. Doing seemingly innocuous things differently sends Brad down paths he could never have anticipated, but all he wants to do is get back to the life he didn’t appreciate the first time around.

Repeat was a decent read for me. I found it funny in places, tragic in others, but in the end a pretty run-of-the-mill “you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone” allegory. It’s a trope I rather like, though, and I’m always pleased with the idea that money can’t buy happiness (given the fact that I do NOT live in an infinite time loop and therefore cannot invest my religious rights-of-passage money in Apple stock.) There were a few instances when I wanted to punch Brad for being an insufferable douchebag, but considering he was under extreme psychological distress at having to go through puberty a zillion times, I’m inclined to forgive him. Fellow Groundhog Day fans, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Repeat!

Tell me something, Bookworms. Since we’re in hypothetical land with no herbal concoctions or haunted carnival machines or voodoo practitioners nearby, is there anything in YOU life you’d try to do differently given a second (or third, or fourth…) chance?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I still won’t invest it wisely, because I lack omniscience.*

11 Responses to “Repeat by Neal Pollack”

  1. Sarah's Book Shelves

    The premise of this sounds really unique – it’s got a little bit of 11/22/63 (which I loved) in it…if you can go back in time and change certain things, the ripple effect that would have, etc…

  2. Joules (from Pocketful of Joules)

    Oh my gosh,I’d LOVE to go through high school again… with my body from back then and my brain from now. I was so shy and self conscious and now I’d rock the crap out of it and wear belly baring shirts EVERY DAY, because I totally should have with that flat little belly!

    • Words For Worms

      I’m sure my life would turn out completely differently, but there’s a part of me that would like to redo high school with my grown up swagger…

  3. Megan M.

    I’m with Joules. If I could relive my senior year I would dump that terrible boyfriend I had like a hot potato and become the saucy little minx that I always could have been!

    • Words For Worms

      I had no boyfriend my senior year, which was stupid, because I was adorable and if I hadn’t been so awkward and weird and scared of everything I probably could have. Not that it wasn’t a blast to go to the prom with my gay friend, because it SO WAS, but there’s a part of me that would like to have a romantic dance memory, you know?

  4. Akilah

    The only thing I’d do differently is ask my grandmother a lot more questions about her life–especially when she was telling me stories about things that she experienced.

  5. Jennine G.

    This sounds just like The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August that came out last year, which I loved. Will definitely check this one out! It’s one of my favorite set ups for a story.

  6. Katie @ Doing Dewey

    I like the idea of stories like this, but it sounds as though this one might be a bit too stereotypical. And I love Joules’ idea of doing high school over. I also feel like I could totally rock it a second time through 🙂

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