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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
I really enjoyed this first book from Mr. Levesque. It has a distinctly "noir" flavor as well as an old school science fiction feel. It is fast paced and clever. Many "time travel" themes are hackneyed and cliche - but Mr. Levesque handles the concept with a sophistication not seen in many of this type of story. Definitely worth the read - especially at the download...
Published on February 5, 2012 by C. Pellitteri

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Take Back Tomorrow
Easy read with an interesting plot with a few twists and turns. Allowed you to visualize the future and pasts with multiple outcomes.
Published 6 months ago by Marge Lofstrom


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, February 5, 2012
By 
C. Pellitteri (Upland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Take Back Tomorrow (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this first book from Mr. Levesque. It has a distinctly "noir" flavor as well as an old school science fiction feel. It is fast paced and clever. Many "time travel" themes are hackneyed and cliche - but Mr. Levesque handles the concept with a sophistication not seen in many of this type of story. Definitely worth the read - especially at the download price! I am looking forward to Mr. Levesque's next book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, fun, and not over-done, January 1, 2013
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This review is from: Take Back Tomorrow (Kindle Edition)
I have to admit, the last couple books I've read - fiction books I mean, and from new-to-me authors - I haven't finished. They didn't grab my attention, or were poorly edited (note to self, make sure books are well edited), or something happened which took me out of the story. Unlikable characters, unreasonable plot twists, or Deus ex Machina on a level so extreme it made my teeth hurt.

Take Back Tomorrow is a time travel story based around an Science Fiction author struggling to make it in 1940 Hollywood. Struggling to find plots he turns to the classics, borrowing somewhat heavily from Shakespeare. This gets him his first sale, and the attention of the pre eminent Science Fiction writer of his time.

Not wanting to give anything away, the characters are believable without being so complex as to see silly or overshadowing the plot. The plot is interesting and makes sense, if you accept the premise of Time Travel as its presented. The time travel itself is limited, more because of the actions of the characters rather than the science, and consistent in the story. Its more something that happens around the story, driving parts of it while the character's actions actually propel the plots.

I've read some bad time travel. Its hard to do well, but the author manages to deal with the ways the characters affect the past and future, and their own time, without succumbing to long winded explanation. If fact he doesn't explain much at all, beyond some vague musing of the characters who never understand how it all works.

While it is possible recent, low quality, stories have affected my view point I am still willing to say Take Back Tomorrow is a fun, interesting story which is well crafted and internally consistent. If I find something else from Mr Levesque I will not hesitate much before picking it up.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inventive, ironic, and fun, June 2, 2012
This review is from: Take Back Tomorrow (Paperback)
Raymond CHandler meets Robert Heinlein in this fun and inventive crossover SF novel from Richard Levesque. Along the way you'll learn about early SF magazines, enjoy a new and vividly described time-travel technique, and laugh along as Levesque plays with staples of both Noir and Early-SF genres. Frequently, you'll find yourself immersed in the flow of the story, unself-consciously racing through the pages. Great ending!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Escaping Through Time, December 28, 2013
By 
Michael S. Kraus (Mesa, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Take Back Tomorrow (Kindle Edition)
A quote from the book: "If you had a dream, what would you do for the dream? Would you kill for it? Would you defy the laws of the universe?"

Eddie Royce has a dream. He wants to become a famous science fiction writer. It is 1940, at the beginning of the first Golden Age of Science fiction. Eddie has tried for a long time to write something good enough to be published. But he can't come up with any good ideas.

So he borrows some.

Eddie takes some of Shakespeare's plays and turns them into science fiction stories. And he begins to sell his stories to a pulp science fiction magazine.

Also writing for the magazine is Eddie's idol, Chester Blackwood. Eddie's writing has caught Blackwood's notice. Blackwood arranges to meet him. That's when Eddie learns that Blackwood has been borrowing plots as well. But, instead of getting his stories from long dead authors, Blackwood has found a way to travel into the future and steal stories that haven't been written yet.

Blackwood is now an incredibly successful author. And the future has been altered.

Writing in a style reminiscent of the black and white noir movies of the 30's and 40's, Levesque transports us into a time that never was. We have a private eye, some hired muscle, beautiful dames, a corrupt publisher, illicit drugs, hack writers, and time travel.

Can Eddie and his girlfriend stay one step ahead of the thugs, while they travel through time to find a future where they are both alive?

This novel was a fun read. While I read, I had visions of those old noir moves in my mind. I thought Levesque's idea of time travel was very creative.

The novel has many nods to those Golden Age authors such as Asimov and Heinlein. If you're a fan of those great science fiction authors of the Golden Age, you will enjoy this novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Concept Supported by Clean Writing, August 4, 2013
By 
Chaunce Stanton (St. Paul, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Take Back Tomorrow (Paperback)
The author weaves a noir sensibility with the intriguing concept of a science fiction writer (or hack writer) who travels into the future from 1940 to steal popular stories. Sci fi fans will relish this story, which offers a light primer on the progression of American science and evocative references to the science fiction magazines of the 1920s and 1930s.

For the hard-boiled detective lovers, Levesque's plot is a race against time involving henchmen, a wealthy and ruthless publisher, a missing father, a strange and powerful drug from a mysterious Oriental. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine the leading male character, Eddie Royce, being played in a movie version by Humphrey Bogart.

Mr. Levesque did well with his development of the leading female character Roxanne who is an aspiring writer but who makes ends meet by posing for the lurid, action-packed covers that sold the magazines of the day, with their weird tales of space colonization and alien invasions.

The writing is polished. When Eddie makes a leap into the future, circa 1985, Levesque had to "reverse engineer" the scene, trying to describe our past in a way that seemed like both Eddie's future and present simultaneously. A neat little trick, that.

Take Back Tomorrow offers an intriguing premise, and there's something very enjoyable here for lovers of both noir and science fiction, and for lovers of inventive story lines in general. I smell movie rights.

Chaunce Stanton
Author of Blank Slate Boarding House for Creatives
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than worth the price of admission, March 8, 2014
By 
Rick "cpto" (East Hanover, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Take Back Tomorrow (Kindle Edition)
If you enjoy twentieth-century pulp science fiction, or if you just want a nice, tight, quick read, You should give Take Back Tomorrow a try.

In an afterward, Mr. Levesque states that he enjoys pulp fiction from the previous century, and it shows in this novel in the best meaning of what that genre offered.

1. The story is short by today's standards. That's not bad at all. Many of the "Golden Age of Science Fiction" novels are under 200 pages in length, and Mr. Levesque was wisely kept mostly to that standard. In the 50's and 60's you bought a book, fell into the story for a few hours, and came back to the real world with the memory of having visited a place that provided the "sense of wonder" that defined many novels of the day. You didn't need to plow through hundreds of pages of filler, or wade through an unknown but ever-expanding series of sequels to ride it out to the end.

2. There are four--perhaps five--major characters. This means there aren't continuing distractions of minor characters who pop up, tell you their life story, and vanish for the rest of the book--or series, for that matter.

3. Time travel is a MacGuffin, essential to the story but never explained. That's fine. It's a given, the characters accept it, and aside from minor digressions, no attempt is made to explain it. But this isn't a book based on cutting-edge physics. It's a novel, fun to read, and requiring just a little suspension of disbelief here and there to enjoy. The way the book is written, that's not at all hard to do.

4. Take Back Tomorrow has an ending! With one exception (and that's fast fading) I've never gotten involved in serials that will continue long after I'm dead. I want a story, damnit! And a story should have a beginning, middle, and end. I see all too many beginning writers (and Mr. Levesque is definitely not among them) offer poorly written books at reduced prices proclaiming that this is volume one of a continuing series. In most cases, I think this occurs because the writers have no idea what a real novel is, and are hoping that future volumes will let them pull the whole mess together. These types often stand out because they have poor--if any--copy editing, stiff dialog, and characters whose actions and personalities change from moment to moment, as if a metaphysical coin were flipped to see what would happen next. Gah!

5. Fun! Take Back Tomorrow is a fun book. It's serious at times but the characters never seem to take themselves too seriously. Missing are the pages of introspection that pass for good word crafting. There are no hyper-detailed descriptions of physical characteristics; Mr. Leveque seems to assume rightly that the reader will fill in his own images. And best yet, Take Back Tomorrow provides a fun read. And that's rather difficult to find in the deluge of self-published books that fill Amazon and other e-outlets.

Why not five stars, then? In all fairness to Mr. Levesque, all too many people give five-star reviews to everything they like. If you look at my other reviews you'll find that most of the 5-star reviews are for products. Products are very easy to review: they work or they don't. As a reviewer, I keep 5-stars in books for those that strike me as truly exceptional, that I'll return to and re-read, possibly more than once, such as The City and the Stars by Clarke. I don't think that Take Back Tomorrow was written in that spirit. to be essentially memorable for whatever reason, but in the spirit of sheer entertainment, and in that it has certainly succeeded for me.

My recommendation: buy, read, and enjoy Take Back Tomorrow. It has heart, it's somewhat playful, and when you finally reach the last page, you won't feel that you've wasted a few hours of your life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Readable Time Travel Story, September 24, 2013
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This review is from: Take Back Tomorrow (Kindle Edition)
I liked this book for several reasons. First, it's a nicely done noir detective/mystery set in the 1940s. Second, it's got time travel, and I find that irresistible. Third, it shows a fine knowledge of the Golden Age of SF writers.

There were a couple of places where I wrote a note on my Kindle with a BIG question on the logic of certain things, but overall, I didn't find those so egregious as to warrant even a slight mark downward.

Richard Levesque has a dandy story here. Yeah, you can argue the methods of time travel, but until we discover real time travel, every writer has a right to their own view on how it is accomplished.

I liked the 1940s vibe and the errata was at a very low level, so I can't complain about a few typos. Note to every writer: Peak and peek are different words. Do not confuse the two.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anybody who likes SF, time travel, and even a bit of noir mystery. Good job. Very readable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time To Write a Best Seller, July 11, 2014
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This review is from: Take Back Tomorrow (Kindle Edition)
Often, in time travel stories, when someone wants to make money out of the phenomenon, he uses his knowledge of future events to make surefire wagers or equally surefire investments. However, since the characters in Richard Levesque's delightful tale "Take Back Tomorrow" are writers, and science fiction writers at that, they do it somewhat differently, by plagiarizing classic science fiction stories of the future.

Actually, Eddie Royce, a struggling wannabe writer in 1940 whose efforts keep getting rejected by the pulp magazines, starts out by going in the other direction. He sells his first story to a pulp named "Stupendous" by reimagining "Hamlet" as an outer space saga. His minor success attracts the attention of best selling author Chester Blackwood, who soon reveals his own secret formula to Eddie. Chester, it seems, has been travelling into the future for years. In the future, he finds stories like Issac Asimov's "Nightfall" and rewrites them under his own byline. Chester also has the benefit of future critical studies revealing the weaknesses of these stories so his own versions are actually improvements on the originals.

As usually happens in stories like this, Eddie discovers that the ability to travel in time (time travelers in "Take Back" drink a potion that enables them to see portals leading into the past and future) isn't a panacea. He also discovers Chester's gorgeous daughter, Roxanne, who is being blackmailed by Swinburne, the slimy publisher of "Stupendous." Eddie has to figure a way to get himself and Roxanne out from under Swinburne's thumb, but he only has a tiny bit of Chester's potion remaining to help him.

"Take Back Tomorrow" is a highly entertaining, fast paced read from beginning to end. Eddie doesn't actually travel through time until the halfway point of the book, but the buildup is worth the wait. Levesque is obviously a devotee of the golden era of the sci fi pulp novels in the 1930s and 40s and he recreates that milieu perfectly. Readers get a very good idea of how the business operated and how writers, artists, and editors collaborated to make some classic magazines (fortunately, the real publishers were a lot better, and more honorable, types than the rather odious Swinburne). In addition to Isaac Asimov, Levesque casually and reverently drops other names like A.E. van Vogt, Robert Heinlein, and John W. Campbell.

Despite the science fiction elements, for the most part "Take Back Tomorrow" reads more like a mystery pulp of that era (Levesque is obviously a devotee of that genre as well). There's a fair amount of fistfights and gunplay, and Swinburne seems to be channeling Sydney Greenstreet in "The Maltese Falcon." In fact, the book's only real weakness is the tendency for the plot to get bogged down when Swinburne pontificates at too great a length (he also conveniently gives Eddie and Roxanne needless opportunities to get out of trouble). Other than these minor shortcomings, Levesque blends the science fiction and detective genres seamlessly.

Of course, no time travel story would be complete without the usual number of paradoxes, characters from the future meeting those from the past, and fish out of water elements when characters are befuddled by future technology and culture. These elements aren't a major part of the story, but Levesque handles them well, and the structure of his story is consistent, easy to follow, and logical, as long as one accepts the basic time travel premise.

"Take Back Tomorrow" is a labor of love by an author who successfully recreates a bygone literary era and the style and feel of two different genres, then blends some familiar elements of each genre to form a highly original finished work. If I didn't know better, I'd think that the present day Richard Levesque had found out a way to revisit the past and soak up the atmosphere of the 1930s before writing the book. But that would involve time travel, and we all know time travel is impossible.... isn't it? I'd ask Levesque, but I don't think he's going to tell.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Levesque, you've made me late for work, March 19, 2014
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This review is from: Take Back Tomorrow (Kindle Edition)
I started this story yesterday, and shared the contents of the first few chapters with the other half. If you're a gum-chewing Keds-wearing kid who got kicked outside with a cardboard box, aluminium foil and an overactive imagination, and strict orders not to come until dinner time, this is a book for you.

Set in a world where blondes were blonde, TV didn't exist and Hitler was beginning his mad march across Europe, Eddie aspires to be a famous science fiction writer. With no real imagination of his home, but a severe admiration for damsels in distress, or more accurately, damsels who could take out big hairy spiders with laser guns, Eddie, in the words of one of the bad guys, can't write his way out of a paper bag. But he can transpose "Hamlet" into a space adventure, and plans to set Macbeth on Mars.

Eddie thinks he's on to a good thing; after all, Will collected other people's stories and made them his own,why shouldn't he? Until the arrival of Chester Blackwell, who says chillingly to Eddie, "Did you think no one would notice?", leading Eddie into a world of slimy publishers, said blonde damsel in distress, who's smarter than she looks, and a series of very strange events involving published books, gangsters with guns, and a PI who's evidently come across Chester Blackwell more than once, and not just in 1940.

Read on dear readers, and take a wild ride with Eddie, and of course, Roxanne (nice touch!).

And Mr. Levesque.. don't feel too guilty.. I needed the day off!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I reserve five stars for Shakespeare, March 5, 2014
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This review is from: Take Back Tomorrow (Kindle Edition)
So don't let the 4 star review fool you. This was a really fun, ripping yarn, very reminiscent of the era in which it is set. There's sci fi, romance, and a hint of hard-boiled detective as well. I'd call it a page-turner, but since it was on my kindle, we can call it a real screen-swiper. I was tired the day after I got it, because I stayed up most of the night to read it. If you like lighter sci-fi, you should buy this!
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Take Back Tomorrow
Take Back Tomorrow by Richard Levesque
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