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Ken Grimwood Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Breakthrough (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Elise (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two Plus Two (As: Alan Cochran) (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Voice Outside (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Replay (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Into the Deep (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ken Grimwood
Ken Grimwood is an American author of horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and thrillers author best known for his novel Replay. The book was a best-seller in Japan at some point. Grimwood worked in broadcast journalism for a while before he decided to write full-time in 1988. So far, the author has six distinct works to his name. Before his death in 2003, Grimwood was working on Replay’s sequel. Other outstanding books by Grimwood include Breakthrough and Elise.

Replay features Jeff Winston, a man who is unhappy both at home and in the office. Stuck in a dead-end job, Jeff would do anything to escape from the office only that with his soon to be ex-wife, Linda at home, his options are limited. Jeff looks forward to a time he will forget about his worries and be happy. It was October 18 in 1988. Jeff is on the phone with Linda when he experienced a sharp pain in his chest. The heart-attack does not kill Jeff, at least not entirely. He does wake up but as an 18-year-old. The exciting thing is that despite the transformation, Jeff’s memory is still intact. This could only mean that with 25 years in experience, Jeff could chart a better life for himself.

At 18, Jeff is back in college, but now that he knows what will happen in the future, the school takes a back seat. The first thing Jeff does is sell all his belongings. He then convinces an older man to place a bet in the Kentucky Derby, and this earns him a cool $17,000. Jeff continues to rely on memory to make sure bets that only add to his wealth. With enough money to burn, Jeff hooks up with Judy, but somehow, she is too reserved to match his need. Jeff moves on to Sharla, a girl who is experienced on matters of sex and is willing to take him to levels he has never been to before.

Aside from satisfying himself, Jeff takes a look at his life, the choices he has made, and the mistakes accumulated along the way. At some point, he remembers Kennedy’s assassination and moves to get Lee Harvey Oswald arrested. This does not stop Kennedy from Dying. Jeff still dies again when it got to October 1988 only to wake up in 1963. By then, he has lost all his wealth and opts to build a life with Judy.

Throughout the book, Jeff continues to relieve his life but in shorter spans that in the beginning. Every time he comes back to life, Jeff is more prepared to handle life’s challenges while letting his curiosity drive him into attempting things, he wouldn’t have attempted in the past. He briefly tries to change the course of history through the CIA but later realizes that his inputs do not make any positive impact on humankind.

Aside from capturing your attention, this book will make you think. There is a high chance that you will look back at your life, the decisions and mistakes made, and opportunities wasted. The story will also make you think about life, how short it is, and the importance of living every moment. Replay is a fast-paced 300 pages book that will stay in your mind for long. The narration is flawless, and as the story intensifies, you are going to have a hard time putting it down.

Breakthrough features Elizabeth Austin, a twenty-six-year-old woman who gets a chance to enjoy a normal life after years of frustration. Elizabeth struggled with epilepsy all her life. The occasional seizures had become resistant to conventional medicine, and their frequency was starting to affect her marriage and career. The young also woman worries about driving, going swimming, and the possibility of holding a baby. After all, a sudden seizure could happen any time, and there is no telling how much damage this would cause. Elizabeth goes for a year, trying to find a lasting solution to her problem. Just when she is about to give up, her doctor comes to the rescue.

When Elizabeth’s doctor suggests that she is the perfect patient for a radical brain surgery that could take care of her problem for good, Elizabeth jumps at the opportunity. The procedure involved implanting electrodes that could control the seizers in the brain. With her doctor’s blessing, Elizabeth goes under the knife to have the life-changing electrodes inserted. The operation goes well, and for once, Elizabeth experiences a life without seizures, anxiety, and uncertainty. With the help of a remote-control transmitter, she is able to control her seizures and take charge of her life. However, as part of the experiment, Elizabeth agrees to have some other electrodes implanted in the unmapped part of her brain.

The most bizarre thing happens when one of the silent side electrodes are activated. Elizabeth experiences a shattering sensation that leads to visions or hallucinations of another woman’s life. Whenever the electrodes are activated, Elizabeth experience the daily life of another woman, and in a completely different body. After the initial shock, Elizabeth works to understand what is happening. What does she discover? Is there any reason to regret having the electrodes implanted in her brain?

Elizabeth is a lovable character. It is easy to identify with her and understand the choices she makes. Her curiosity leads the reader into another world where a woman named Jenny lives. So, who is the mystery woman, and why is she in Elizabeth’s head? How is she different from Elizabeth in terms of character? It will be fun meeting them and seeing how they interact with Elizabeth pre- and post-operation.

Breakthrough is an engaging thriller that will leave you at the edge of your seat. The narrative flows effortlessly, and the fantasy is just right, nothing over the top. You can expect to be addicted to Elizabeth’s story, just like she seems addicted to living and exploring Jenny’s life. While the pace here is intense and the tension rises as the story progresses, this book is slightly 230 pages. This means that you can gobble it all in one sitting.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ken Grimwood

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