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Repeat Paperback – March 24, 2015
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"I have thought about turning forty every day since I turned forty, and yet no one has captured in more hilarious and humane detail the profound upending that occurs on that day, and the calamitous desire for a do-over. I don’t want Brad’s curse-blessing, but if I had to read this book again and again every day for year, I wouldn’t mind at all." —John Hodgman, correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and author of The Areas of My Expertise, More Information Than You Require, and That Is All
About the Author
Neal Pollack is an American satirist, novelist, short story writer, and journalist. Pollack has written eight books: The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature, Never Mind the Pollacks, Beneath the Axis of Evil, Alternadad, Stretch, Jewball, Downward-Facing Death, and Open Your Heart. A certified yoga instructor, international motorsports correspondent, and three-time Jeopardy! champion, Pollack lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and son.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is not overly long, details are maybe on the light side in regards to the story, but there is something about how it's written that just works.
I could not read it all in one sitting as work issues called, but the story was so engaging it was on my mind an entire day, just niggling at me to come home and finish.
Bravo, Mr. Pollack... You have a new fan here, I'll be seeking out the rest of your work immediately.
It was a fast read because (1) I didn't want to put it down [cliche but true], and (2) Pollack's writing style is so fluid that reading his books is delightfully quick. I'm not saying this book is lightweight, nor is it lacking in meaning. It's just that given Pollack's talent for sarcasm & wit, you'd maybe think his books could be ... simple? Nope. Couldn't be further from the truth. Reading REPEAT was an easy pleasure. That's such a treat! Internalizing its wisdom and joy -- snuck in throughout the book if you ask me -- was what made me feel like my spirit had been poked & prodded into deeper contemplation by the end of the book.
I loved this book. A+. Will read again. :)
My first comment is that is it very male. It's got that same quality that Ready Player One has where you know pretty much right off the bat that it is a male writer writing to a male audience - only I think Pollack didn't lose me quite as much as Cline did. This isn't a complaint, at least not one that is a huge hit against it, just a statement on the style. It makes sense too, seeing as most of the book feels like a friend sitting down and telling you a story. It's loose and casual but comfortable, even through the very serious moments. It never shied away from uncomfortable or awkward/human places even when you wish it would, and although I feel the plot and idea got a little lost at points to tangents they don't really detract either. A scene that is mentioned a lot in other reviews is the birth/baby scenes and I was left weirdly uncomfortable but sympathetic to the lead. It posed a great question of what life would be like being reborn at 40.
I imagine this book is very personal to Pollack and I'm torn between really enjoying the personal connection and wishing there was more distance between him and his story. I'll have to work up the courage to ask if the interview scene with his own character was where he started with this book, it felt like the most complete yet almost out of place section. Maybe I just find the author inserting himself at face value into a book a little off putting.
Regardless I'm left with a lot of mixed feelings. On one hand I love the exploration of time loops and ones this big are fun, on the other I'm left wanting a lot more from this book (or a lot less). I enjoyed the serious moments quite a bit, maybe not so much of the constant weed talk, but there are some great moments in this book. Mostly I feel like I need to write out some of the things that I love and enjoy and go spend some time stretching.
The author describes the frustration of knowing of tragic events but being powerless to stop or even significantly mitigating the outcomes. He also convincingly speculates on the weirdness of having knowledge of concepts, experiences of more mundane life events before any normal human could. Not to mention how confusing it would be after many lifetimes as to what did or did not happen in the current lifetime.
A provocative plotline, character that you are rooting for - all in all a really fun story. A fairly predictable, but satisfying ending.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow, what a waste of time! The MC is such a neurotic loser that no matter how successfully he lives any of his lives, by age forty he is depressed and...Read more