Replay by Ken Grimwood

An intriguing premise, and one that reflects a thought everyone must have had at some time or another – what would I do differently if I had my time again? (I never believe anyone who says ‘I’d change nothing’, by the way.)

Reading this book and spending a little time reflecting on it made me realise that the one change I’d make as first choice might not have done me any good, made me a better person, or been of the greatest utility in the world as a whole. Then I got to thinking that I’d have to replay quite a few times to try all the variations, or to put right various things I’d got wrong.

Eventually, though, I spotted the flaw in the reasoning. In the novel, the protagonist Jeff Winston changes his life because he remembers the winner of the Kentucky Derby from 25 years before. I can’t remember the winner of either the Grand National or the Derby from last year, let alone 25 years ago. The same goes for any other sporting event that people bet on. About the only thing I could win bets on would be the outcome of British general elections – and I’d have to wait until 1992 to get long enough odds to make it worth my while…

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