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A Time to Remember Hardcover – August 12, 1986

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (August 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394550315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394550312
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,468,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding novella. I read it back when it came out in 1986. It made a huge impression on me. One of those books that sticks with you even after years. Very well written and hard to put down.
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Format: Hardcover
You know all those reviews that say "I couldn't put down this book"? I've never experienced that situation until I read this amazing, fast-paced, engaging book. I picked it up one evening and literally HAD to keep reading, finishing it as the sun was coming up. I went to work exhausted, but thrilled to have experienced A TIME TO REMEMBER. If you have a chance to open this book, make sure you have lots of time!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stanley Shapiro's book was so captivating that I read it in two nights. A man meets an amicable Noble Prize winner, who has invented a time machine in 1985, and he convinces the scientist to send him back to 1963 to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and thus (it is averred) prevent the escalation of the Vietnam War, and the subsequent death of the man's brother.

There are lots of twists and turns, with alternative-history consequences--all of which are fascinating! What would have happened if Lyndon Johnson had not become president? Which presidents would have succeeded Kennedy, if he had not died? What if Lee Harvey Oswald had lived?

A note: Shapiro won an academy award in 1959 as a co-author of the original screeplay for the Doris Day/Rock Hudson film Pillow Talk (beating out The 400 Blows, North by Northwest, and Wild Strawberries--some of the greatest films in history)!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stanley Shapiro's book about a man who goes back in time to try to stop the Kennedy assassination is a fast read and a good one. Shapiro, whose only other novel (that I've been able to locate) is a strange and well written horror fantasy called "Simon's Soul," wrote the movie "Running Against Time" which was based on "A Time to Remember." The movie was very good... it cut out a few of the more depressing parts and changed the ending, but was otherwise faithful.

Yes, the story about Kennedy pulling us out of Vietnam and keeping bad things across the following decades from happening might not be entirely plausible, but the story doesn't suffer because of it. Check out the book "Time Out of Mind" by Peter Delacorte, which tells a time travel theory about how much better the world would have been if they went back in time and killed Reagan. Authors' political views aside, both of these time travel books were very entertaining and well written.
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Format: Hardcover
Well, one good thing about this book is that it's a fast read - only 191 pages. Compare that to a much more recent novel with the same theme at 847 pages! A Time to Remember is only 23% of the length of the more recent work. However, with it being so relatively short - not even really a novel, much of the literati would say - it moves along briskly and the reader doesn't have to plow through a lot of "artistic" details.

It seems to me that Stanley Shapiro has certainly drunk the Kool-Aid concerning the book's basic premise - that if John F. Kennedy had lived, he would have not continued the United States' military effort in Vietnam. There is no historical reason to believe that; both President Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, were fierce Cold Warriors during the early 1960s. In fact, no elected (or appointed) official during that time would have wanted to be seen as "soft on communism." My disagreement with that basic premise did not detract from my enjoyment of the book, although it did cause me to subtract one star from my rating.

The protagonist is David Russell, a Dallas schoolteacher (the same occupation as the main character in the more recent work!), who is still in mourning for his older brother who was killed in Vietnam twenty years before. His girlfriend, Laura Watkins, a TV talk show host, introduces him to an eccentric physicist, Dr. Hendrik Koopman. It turns out that Dr. Koopman has designed, built, and tested a time machine. Since Russell, with a sense of utter certainty, feels that had JFK had lived, there would have been no Vietnam War, and thus his brother would not have died, he manages to convince Dr. Koopman to send him back to November 22, 1963 so that he can stop Lee Harvey Oswald from killing Kennedy.
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