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The '86 Fix: A 1980s Time Travel Novel

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Imagine if you could travel back in time to when you were sixteen. Imagine if you could spend one weekend reliving your past — would you change anything? Everything wrong with Craig Pelling’s life can be traced back to 1986 and the moment he popped in to a newsagent for a can of Coke. Now in his mid-forties, he lives in a loveless marriage and earns a living in a dead-end j Imagine if you could travel back in time to when you were sixteen. Imagine if you could spend one weekend reliving your past — would you change anything? Everything wrong with Craig Pelling’s life can be traced back to 1986 and the moment he popped in to a newsagent for a can of Coke. Now in his mid-forties, he lives in a loveless marriage and earns a living in a dead-end job managing an electrical store. He could have been so much more, achieved so much more. But as bitter as Craig feels about his mundane existence, fate hasn't finished with him yet. A series of unfortunate events pushes the hapless Craig to breaking point as his life crumbles around him. All looks lost until he's thrown a lifeline — the miraculous lifeline of a brief trip back to 1986, to relive one weekend as his sixteen year-old self. Will he be able to fix his mundane life? Is it as simple as just reverting one decision he made over thirty years ago? Craig is about to find out. Early readers are loving The '86 Fix... "If you lived through the 1980s and love a good story, you MUST put this on your reading list.” "I absolutely love this book! It's made me laugh out loud, mourn my past youth and be thankful for what I have." "This is a book for people who don't usually read sci-fi or time-travel books. It's a book for people who enjoy a dollop of British nostalgia, and a good laugh. Above all else though, it's a book for people who want a real page-turner. If you want a book you can't put down, this is it." “I laughed a lot, cried a little and nearly wet myself at the end.” “One of those rare books that will keep you turning pages way beyond bedtime.” “Witty, clever, and a bit brilliant!”


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Imagine if you could travel back in time to when you were sixteen. Imagine if you could spend one weekend reliving your past — would you change anything? Everything wrong with Craig Pelling’s life can be traced back to 1986 and the moment he popped in to a newsagent for a can of Coke. Now in his mid-forties, he lives in a loveless marriage and earns a living in a dead-end j Imagine if you could travel back in time to when you were sixteen. Imagine if you could spend one weekend reliving your past — would you change anything? Everything wrong with Craig Pelling’s life can be traced back to 1986 and the moment he popped in to a newsagent for a can of Coke. Now in his mid-forties, he lives in a loveless marriage and earns a living in a dead-end job managing an electrical store. He could have been so much more, achieved so much more. But as bitter as Craig feels about his mundane existence, fate hasn't finished with him yet. A series of unfortunate events pushes the hapless Craig to breaking point as his life crumbles around him. All looks lost until he's thrown a lifeline — the miraculous lifeline of a brief trip back to 1986, to relive one weekend as his sixteen year-old self. Will he be able to fix his mundane life? Is it as simple as just reverting one decision he made over thirty years ago? Craig is about to find out. Early readers are loving The '86 Fix... "If you lived through the 1980s and love a good story, you MUST put this on your reading list.” "I absolutely love this book! It's made me laugh out loud, mourn my past youth and be thankful for what I have." "This is a book for people who don't usually read sci-fi or time-travel books. It's a book for people who enjoy a dollop of British nostalgia, and a good laugh. Above all else though, it's a book for people who want a real page-turner. If you want a book you can't put down, this is it." “I laughed a lot, cried a little and nearly wet myself at the end.” “One of those rare books that will keep you turning pages way beyond bedtime.” “Witty, clever, and a bit brilliant!”

30 review for The '86 Fix: A 1980s Time Travel Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    The Cats’ Mother

    I bought this a few months ago after someone’s recommendation following my reviews of the first two books in Mark Lawrence’s One Word Kill trilogy, which I loved. This has a similar premise - time travel back to one’s teens in the 80s - although in those books the hero is the teenager whereas here our protagonist is the one journeying back from middle age. It’s an intriguing idea, let down by slow pacing and a surfeit of tedious detail that drags out the plot to a cliffhanger ending. I will be r I bought this a few months ago after someone’s recommendation following my reviews of the first two books in Mark Lawrence’s One Word Kill trilogy, which I loved. This has a similar premise - time travel back to one’s teens in the 80s - although in those books the hero is the teenager whereas here our protagonist is the one journeying back from middle age. It’s an intriguing idea, let down by slow pacing and a surfeit of tedious detail that drags out the plot to a cliffhanger ending. I will be reading the next one as I did enjoy it enough to want to know what happens next. Craig Pelling, 46, is unhappily married to his first girlfriend, and the boring job he’s had for 26 years is under threat. Overweight, with few friends and nothing to look forward to, he rues the day he blames for derailing his life at age 16. When an old computer program he had been working on miraculously propels him back into his past life, he jumps at the opportunity to put everything right, but will messing with the past fix his problems - or just create new ones? This was well written, although I dislike the present tense - it probably does help maintain the suspense although wasn’t necessary for the whole story. Unfortunately the set up of Craig explaining everything that went wrong for him takes the first half of the book and it it 50% done before he actually time travels. The second half was more entertaining, as he navigates the shock of finding himself back in his skinny teenage body, living with his parents and remembering to cope without a mobile phone, credit card or even TV remote. Craig’s attempts to fix the fast become progressively more poignant as he uses his grown-up knowledge to try and repair relationships and prevent future losses, not just for himself. Haven’t we all daydreamed of being able to go back knowing what we know now, including how to handle school bullies and be cool with our first crush? The scene where he revisits the original loss of his virginity was borderline dodgy and I’m glad he resolved it the way he did as it was pretty uncomfortable. I could’ve done without the mentions of every trip to the bathroom and bout of self-gratification too. I liked that Craig is a flawed character, with good insight into his own culpability for his problems. His own cowardice and laziness have got him to where he is, and I enjoyed the way he tries to make amends for these. I didn’t predict how it would end up and am now definitely curious as to how he will resolve things. Overall this had lots of potential, but lost something in the execution, however I am hopeful the author will have taken feedback to improve the pacing issues for the sequel. 3.5 rounded down for the present tense narration and cliffhanger ending.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    This has been on my to-read list for some time. I wish I’d read it earlier. I can’t speak highly enough of this tale or the quality of writing. It is simply exceptional. Onto book 2...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    I’m high on my 1980’s nostalgia right now so this e-book and its sequel leapt out at me when I stumbled across them. Before reading this it is important you get both books. This book ends on a massive cliffhanger which is only resolved by reading the sequel. These books need reading together as they are one story spread out over two books. The story is about a middle aged man named Craig Pelling who does not like his current life at all. He has experienced a few rough times and now finds himself I’m high on my 1980’s nostalgia right now so this e-book and its sequel leapt out at me when I stumbled across them. Before reading this it is important you get both books. This book ends on a massive cliffhanger which is only resolved by reading the sequel. These books need reading together as they are one story spread out over two books. The story is about a middle aged man named Craig Pelling who does not like his current life at all. He has experienced a few rough times and now finds himself overweight, in a loveless marriage and a dead end job. He feels his life is going nowhere and it only gets worse. It’s all downhill for Craig who traces his downfall back to a single decision he made in 1986. As Talking Heads sung “you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?” The first half of the book does drag a touch as we learn all about Craig’s empty life but it is necessary to emphasize just what his life is like and why he wants to change it when he gets the chance. That chance arrives halfway through the book in the form of an old Commodore 64. Wait! I had a Commodore 64 which triggered my memories and I was transported back to the 80’s! That’s when I knew I would love the second half of the book. Craig was back in 1986 on that fateful weekend when his one decision lead him down a pathway to his current life. Here was his chance to change everything. To fix his life. This is a time travel story very much in the style of Back To The Future rather than hard science fiction. In 1986 I was 12 years old with my whole life ahead of me and I could not stop thinking back to that time and into the 90’s wondering what my life would be like now if I had made different decisions. Just how many alternate timelines of my life are out there? The book is very heartfelt and poignant at times. I wanted to know what happens next after finishing a chapter. What actions will Craig do next? I wanted to see the consequences of Craig’s actions. Did he fix his life? The ending is not what I expected and was a bit abrupt. I was disappointed at first but then recalled that I had the second book to read next and I realised just how great the ending is. A unique twist. Bring on Beyond Broadhall!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Rating: 4.5 stars What a quirky, funny, heart-warming, heart-breaking little gem of a book! In 2016 Craig is 46 and stuck in a loveless marriage and dead-end job. He tells of us his mundane life, and then tells us the ambitions he'd had as a teenager and how they'd all become unstuck after a fateful afternoon back in 1986 when he was 16; all his problems today stem from that one event thirty years earlier. Then in a weird sci-fi way - Back to the Future without the DeLorean - he's transported back Rating: 4.5 stars What a quirky, funny, heart-warming, heart-breaking little gem of a book! In 2016 Craig is 46 and stuck in a loveless marriage and dead-end job. He tells of us his mundane life, and then tells us the ambitions he'd had as a teenager and how they'd all become unstuck after a fateful afternoon back in 1986 when he was 16; all his problems today stem from that one event thirty years earlier. Then in a weird sci-fi way - Back to the Future without the DeLorean - he's transported back to that weekend in 1986; can he change his future by changing his past? Yep, it's implausible, but if you can get over that, this book is definitely well worth a look. It wouldn't normally be something I'd go for - I only read it as I'm the same age as Craig and love reliving anything 80s - but nostalgia aside, it's about so much more than I thought it would be, a very poignant read that had me both laughing and crying; you don't need to have been be a teen in the 80s to fully appreciate this tale of choice and consequence. I've already downloaded the sequel and can't wait to see how Craig manages now that he's back in a very different 2016. Gorgeous. Loved it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Clare

    Brilliant debut book by a brilliant author This is one of two books I bought from the Kindle monthly deals section to read on holiday and I definitely chose the best two to read. Although I gave both books a rare 5 out of 5, this one did just about edge it as my favourite. The description of the book did it for me. Time travel back to a specific, seemingly non descript event on a certain day in 1986 to have a chance to change your future. The book grabbed me from the start and I didn't want to pu Brilliant debut book by a brilliant author This is one of two books I bought from the Kindle monthly deals section to read on holiday and I definitely chose the best two to read. Although I gave both books a rare 5 out of 5, this one did just about edge it as my favourite. The description of the book did it for me. Time travel back to a specific, seemingly non descript event on a certain day in 1986 to have a chance to change your future. The book grabbed me from the start and I didn't want to put it down. It made a refreshing change from the darker thrillers I usually go for. I would have been 2 years younger than our main character Craig in the year 1986 and I related to the music, clothes, shops and products mentioned back in the day - in fact being reminded of the Texan chocolate bar helped me with a pub quiz question last night! Along with the nostalgia, this is a genuinely great story, heartfelt, funny and now that I've finished it I've gone straight back to the Kindle store and bought the sequel. I can't believe this a debut novel, such a talented author whose personality clearly comes through in his writing. With the ridiculous hype surrounding books such as Fifty Shades and Gone Girl, THIS is a book that should be made into a film. It would be a box office hit if Channel 4 film productions got their hands on it. I'm going to be seeking out Keith A Pearson's future books. A fantastically good read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Keith Nixon

    Read in an afternoon A really interesting book which is a game of two halves. The first is Craig in the present day, the second Craig in nostalgic 86, a time I remember well. The story develops well and grows as the chapters progress. There's a major cliffhanger at the conclusion, I picked up book 2 straightaway! Highly recommended if you like humour in your feelgood novels.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

    3.5-4⭐️read for me! Funny, nostalgic page turner. Reminded me of a better book version of the movie 17 Again, can’t knock a bit of time travel spent in an era I know so well! Will definitely pick up the next book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dreamer

    An excellent time-travel novel tinged with humour, currently available for free from 'prime reading.' Read in one sitting, on to the sequel.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    Loved it!!! A real trip down memory lane and a reminder that things happen for reasons

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mark Bowden

    What a fantastic, entertaining, nostalgic, laugh out loud & happy moments, tearful & sad moments, what a joy to read, finished it in a day. What a fantastic, entertaining, nostalgic, laugh out loud & happy moments, tearful & sad moments, what a joy to read, finished it in a day.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    Totally engrossing, I need to read book 2 immediately!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Phil Altimas

    i found this when browsing through kindle unlimited and what a find it was a great book, a great plot and its so funny with a twist in the tail a guy who is not that happy with his life goes back in time to see if he can change this it had me captivated, i read it in two sittings !

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marbeth Lynch

    Brilliant read! I loved this book, it took me right back to my childhood and reminded me of things I'd forgotten... Sweets, TV programmes, music, even basic everyday rituals such as dressing, washing n eating and how different these simple acts were back then. The story was poignant and strangely credible giving it involved time travel. It got me thinking of what I could go back and change (I decided it'd be nothing, I'm happy where I am today, but it did give me a lot to think about). I did not Brilliant read! I loved this book, it took me right back to my childhood and reminded me of things I'd forgotten... Sweets, TV programmes, music, even basic everyday rituals such as dressing, washing n eating and how different these simple acts were back then. The story was poignant and strangely credible giving it involved time travel. It got me thinking of what I could go back and change (I decided it'd be nothing, I'm happy where I am today, but it did give me a lot to think about). I did not see the end coming, it was a strange twist, I have to get the next book cos I want to see the main character, Craig have a happy ending. He's a lovable and very credible character who you really want the best for...excellent debut novel. I love Jason Ayres books which follow the same theme of time travel, nostalgia for the 80s and was reminded of his books as I read this. I look forward to reading the sequel and hope to read more from this author...there's never enough books like this for me and I love getting lost in their story which sparks long lost memories for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sherron

    This is no more “sci fi” than is the movie 17. Like that movie, it’s a sweet coming-of-age romance. As an adult, the MC travels back in time to the 80s. Thankfully, the book isn’t riddled with cultural references like Ready Player One. Just a handful of references to big poofy hair (in porn and otherwise) and loud clothing. While messing around with his childhood computer, the MC encounters a computer glitch and wakes up in body of himself as a teen. He discovers he has been transported back to This is no more “sci fi” than is the movie 17. Like that movie, it’s a sweet coming-of-age romance. As an adult, the MC travels back in time to the 80s. Thankfully, the book isn’t riddled with cultural references like Ready Player One. Just a handful of references to big poofy hair (in porn and otherwise) and loud clothing. While messing around with his childhood computer, the MC encounters a computer glitch and wakes up in body of himself as a teen. He discovers he has been transported back to 1986 for a day—in fact, the exact day he thinks was pivotal in shaping the downward trend of his life. So he goes about with a checklist, trying to fix typical teen problems — embarrassing first-time sex, humiliating relationship with a bully, frustrating relationship with his father. Who wouldn’t like to have a computer with a “redo” button? I sure would! It’s fun and heartwarming to see his problem solving in progress. It’s an engaging story, but a bit too Pollyanna, if you ask me. That was my major annoyance. Each problem was cut-and-dried, wrapped up neatly with a bow. Another annoyance was on the other end of the spectrum—issues brought up with with no resolution. For example, through DNA testing, he discovered some family secrets. I was annoyed to find that this detail was completely superfluous to the story. Through out, the narrative was slow (which isn’t a bad thing), very detailed, and excessively wordy. After endless pages and pages of warm-hearted fixes going on, the ending is completely jarring and a little horrifying. We are left to wonder: Did the time travel “redo button” work? Or did he ruin all of his fixes by mistakenly hitting an “undo button?” How did this time travel adventure affect his adult life?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matt Hardy

    I've had a particular interest in time travel literature for about a year now and something i have noticed is there isn't a great deal out there for the genre, so when i happened across The 86 Fix whilst perusing audible i immediately used my monthly audible credit. I'll be honest if id purchased the book in book form i'm not certain i'd have finished it, the start of the book sets a dreary scene and even with the promise of time travel ahead the slow start coupled with the aforementioned depres I've had a particular interest in time travel literature for about a year now and something i have noticed is there isn't a great deal out there for the genre, so when i happened across The 86 Fix whilst perusing audible i immediately used my monthly audible credit. I'll be honest if id purchased the book in book form i'm not certain i'd have finished it, the start of the book sets a dreary scene and even with the promise of time travel ahead the slow start coupled with the aforementioned depressing setting that might have been enough for me to put the book form down, in-fact it was enough for me to move onto other audio books temporarily(though admittedly more from my own appetite for something a little more lighthearted than any discontent i had with the 86 fix), when i did return to the audio-book and the story progressed a little i was hooked and finished the remaining 8 hours within a couple of sittings. The story really picks up when Craig finds himself back in his childhood home in 1986 as his teenage self. I was born in 1986 so i don't have any memory of the 80s however i still felt a lot of nostalgia from Pearsons enthusiastic descriptions and i quickly became fond of the main character Craig after formerly struggling to form any connection pre-timetravel. Craigs actions as his teenage self definitely made me ask questions of myself and what i'd do if given a similar situation. The book really transforms after he travels back in time, and i also really enjoyed Pearsons sense of humor. If you start this book and like me struggle to get into it, please stick with it, its well worth it!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    3.5 stars. A little bit of a slow burner this one, mainly to provide the back story understandably, but still it took a while to get going. I was expecting a bit more about the 80s and there were a few references to it but not nearly as many as I would have liked; not like Ready Player One which had them in bucketloads. It was funny in places but the laughs were few and far between even though they did remind me of me at that age (I was 16 in 1986 as well) so some things were relevant but yet agai 3.5 stars. A little bit of a slow burner this one, mainly to provide the back story understandably, but still it took a while to get going. I was expecting a bit more about the 80s and there were a few references to it but not nearly as many as I would have liked; not like Ready Player One which had them in bucketloads. It was funny in places but the laughs were few and far between even though they did remind me of me at that age (I was 16 in 1986 as well) so some things were relevant but yet again not enough for my liking. Another thing that irked me a little, and was evident from the off, was that this book was self-published. I don't have a problem with self-publishers per sé but I do have a problem when said self-publishers don't look over their work. There were a few spelling errors but in comparison to the mess that was Going Around The Bend it was self-edited very well, although I hate it when people say brought instead of bought. I had been looking forward to reading this book for over a year but it ended up disappointing me slightly which is a shame and I don't think I'll be delving into the sequel, but you never know.

  17. 5 out of 5

    reni

    really liked the idea but the execution exhausted me. i skipped over the painstaking detail of explaining every move. the problems to be solved were too clinical and too neat. in the "tessa" case, i would have hated if some random guy i'd never really spoken to before started delivering a sermon on how to be better in that situation. i preferred the "back to the marcus" plot as he was rightly more affronted about craig's assertions than tessa was. i guess both reactions are a balance? i dunno. t really liked the idea but the execution exhausted me. i skipped over the painstaking detail of explaining every move. the problems to be solved were too clinical and too neat. in the "tessa" case, i would have hated if some random guy i'd never really spoken to before started delivering a sermon on how to be better in that situation. i preferred the "back to the marcus" plot as he was rightly more affronted about craig's assertions than tessa was. i guess both reactions are a balance? i dunno. the ending was blah, it was meh. the author says that people demanded a sequel but he conveniently left an ambiguous ending with no decent explanation. maybe that's why they demanded a sequel, because the story wasn't finished. i won't be reading the second book, i wasn't invested in the protagonist, and i'm not fussed as to what happens next for him.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Engaging! The 86 fix was a random punt from amazon prime books, but I’m really glad I chose it. A far more emotional book than I was expecting, the characters were multi-faceted and engaging, the story was neither rushed nor tedious (I didn’t find myself yelling “get to the good bit!” during the pre-time travel section ONCE). The first person narrator was sympathetic, even while not necessarily doing the right thing, and I found myself devouring the book keenly. I’m a 90s baby but I imagine this Engaging! The 86 fix was a random punt from amazon prime books, but I’m really glad I chose it. A far more emotional book than I was expecting, the characters were multi-faceted and engaging, the story was neither rushed nor tedious (I didn’t find myself yelling “get to the good bit!” during the pre-time travel section ONCE). The first person narrator was sympathetic, even while not necessarily doing the right thing, and I found myself devouring the book keenly. I’m a 90s baby but I imagine this would be especially nostalgic if one were a teenager in the 80s like Craig was. That didn’t diminish the effect, though. Very very enjoyable and engaging and I can’t wait to pick up the next book!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    I really, really wanted to love this book, and I did - right up to the last couple of chapters. I loved the freshness of the writing, the way Craig is aware of his own faults and wants to help other people, but man- that ending was just all wrong for me. I'm not going to rate this book - it was a cracking good 5 stars up to that moment, and to rate it on my reaction at the ending would be grossly unfair. I would have appreciated a warning that this was going to be a cliff-hanger as I normally stee I really, really wanted to love this book, and I did - right up to the last couple of chapters. I loved the freshness of the writing, the way Craig is aware of his own faults and wants to help other people, but man- that ending was just all wrong for me. I'm not going to rate this book - it was a cracking good 5 stars up to that moment, and to rate it on my reaction at the ending would be grossly unfair. I would have appreciated a warning that this was going to be a cliff-hanger as I normally steer clear of those. It's a good story. A GREAT story in fact, and well-executed, and then ---- :( sigh And I SO wanted to give it 5 stars. :(

  20. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Elliott

    This really could not have been more different from the sort of books I typically read. I'm not sure quite which category you'd place it, and I mean that in a positive way. Although it's sci-fi and time travel, its really funny and quite poignant in places. The storyline is ridiculously addictive with fairly short chapters so I kept thinking 'just one more' before bed. The ending knocked me for six. Really looking forward to the follow up book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    russell walker

    Brilliant book , Very enjoyable read , would never have guessed it was a debut novel , roll on the next one ,well done

  22. 5 out of 5

    R C GEEVES

    Surprisingly un-putdownable Well written and full of nice little twists , a great read for teenagers in the 80's, really enjoyed and looking forward to the sequel . Thanks

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kahn

    I still have no idea how I happened upon this book — ad it's the sort of thing that bothers me — so I'm guessing Amazon suggestions and a shopping binge collided once again. Not that I'm complaining. Part Big and part Back To The Future, the premise for The ’86 Fix was enough for me to pick it up with a sense of anticipation. Helped in part that this was The Other Book as I waded through Don't Let My Past..., The ’86 Fix is simply a cracking, enjoyable read. The debut novel by the self-publishing I still have no idea how I happened upon this book — ad it's the sort of thing that bothers me — so I'm guessing Amazon suggestions and a shopping binge collided once again. Not that I'm complaining. Part Big and part Back To The Future, the premise for The ’86 Fix was enough for me to pick it up with a sense of anticipation. Helped in part that this was The Other Book as I waded through Don't Let My Past..., The ’86 Fix is simply a cracking, enjoyable read. The debut novel by the self-publishing Keith A Pearson, Fix focuses on the life of one Craig Pelling. In a loveless marriage and a dead end job, things are somehow managing to get worse when an old computer sends him back to 1986 for a second crack at it all. The concept isn't new, sure, but it's in the execution that Pearson excels. For a start, his nostalgia references are spot on. Secondly, he has put so much of himself on each page you'd need a heart of stone not to empathise. Which leads to the third point — we've all been there. We've all looked back at certain points in our life and wondered what would have happened if we'd turned left instead of right. Only instead of doing the sensible thing and drinking to forget, Pearson took to his keyboard. In Pelling he has given us a character we can all relate to, and a life we can all understand. And back in 1986, Pearson recreates a world many of us are sadly old enough to remember. And from the off, you care enough to want to know what happens next and putting the book down for life's little dramas like an empty cat bowl becomes harder the deeper in you go — and this is because you know where this is heading. We've seen the films, we've read the books, we know Craig will return to a whole new world and the delight of the book is that you want to see how things have been 'fixed'. And this is where Pearson plays his masterstroke. The ending you get is not the ending you expect (but arguably deserve as you've presumed to know what's coming), and what happens smacks you round the side while making you grin at the same time. The follow-up has already been ordered.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    2.5 stars First things first - this ends on a cliff-hanger that completes in book 2. I did not know that and so was annoyed when I reached the end. I started out wanting to enjoy this. The premise is not entirely new (it's basically Back to the Future) but it could be interesting if done well. The writing however is a bit flat. Also slow. Consider that when he finally travels back to the past the book was at 51% on my Kindle. Now taken as a proportion of a 2-book story, using a quarter of your l 2.5 stars First things first - this ends on a cliff-hanger that completes in book 2. I did not know that and so was annoyed when I reached the end. I started out wanting to enjoy this. The premise is not entirely new (it's basically Back to the Future) but it could be interesting if done well. The writing however is a bit flat. Also slow. Consider that when he finally travels back to the past the book was at 51% on my Kindle. Now taken as a proportion of a 2-book story, using a quarter of your length to set up the "before" scenario is reasonable, but for a single book it felt like it was taking forever to get to the point. But that's not the only way it's slow, there are long descriptive scenes when you know something's about to happen or the main character's about to do something. And if the descriptions were amazing then maybe that would work but they just feel like delaying the next thing in the story. There were also some tonal issues which may come down to taste. Things that some might find funny but which I didn't. Part of this was some sexual stuff in the past. We have a middle-aged man in the body of the 16year old. This is the same tightrope that Back to the Future walks with Marty and his mom. It's a delicate balance but it recognises the discomfort in the situation, uses it for humour but treats it with enough respect so it never feels icky. Whilst I don't think the author here intends to be icky, he doesn't quite pull off the balance so you feel the discomfort but not in a fun way. But as I say that's a taste issue and others may find it within the limits they can laugh at. Overall it was for most of its length a good but not amazing execution of a decent premise. I'd maybe have given it 3, even 3.5 stars without the let-down of the ending.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hil

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was enjoyable, an easy read and I will have to read the next one as it does end in a bit of a strange situation. I didn't get annoyed with the book really but it was a bit grating in places, mainly because it went overboard on all the 1986 nostalgic things, like the author wants the reader to be going, 'oooh I remember Quatro, yes! And no Internet, no drink driving limit, no fine for dog poo, only 4 channels on the TV...' etc. I also got a bit bored waiting for the time travelling to actuall This was enjoyable, an easy read and I will have to read the next one as it does end in a bit of a strange situation. I didn't get annoyed with the book really but it was a bit grating in places, mainly because it went overboard on all the 1986 nostalgic things, like the author wants the reader to be going, 'oooh I remember Quatro, yes! And no Internet, no drink driving limit, no fine for dog poo, only 4 channels on the TV...' etc. I also got a bit bored waiting for the time travelling to actually start - halfway through the book - but I understand there needed to be a back story. I'm not sure why Cuthbert the Teddy bear came to life... I was happy with how it turned out in the end, because it was logical... Except I don't really understand why he decided to run off. It WAS initially disappointing because all the build up is leading up to seeing if he's going to be successful in changing things for the better, but I kept thinking even if he changed things for the better he wouldn't know what had happened instead so there'd be lots of gaps in his knowledge. I'm not sure why he ended up in a "secure hospital" because he didn't do anything wrong and wasn't a threat to himself or others. I don't know why he got arrested for running someone over, either. Why would they think he did it? If the police think he can't be Craig Pelling, would they really assume he was the driver even though he would've been too young back then? If it were me I think I'd take a chance on telling the truth about time travelling. He'd have plenty of evidence to prove it with things that happened before young Craig died. He could easily convince his parents who he was if they're still alive. And people already think he's schizophrenic, so he's nothing to lose. Maybe that's what happens in the next book, I'll wait and see.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Seankata

    At the end of the book the author, who I think is self published, asks for a review. Ok then! Overall I liked this book. It's not the funniest book I've read, although it does have a few laughs, nor is it particularly dramatic, the story being quite straightforward but it is enjoyable all be it in an immediately forgettable way. I liked the referencing to all the 80's stereotypes and the mention of products, songs and attitudes took me back to my youth, lived at around the same time. I don't thin At the end of the book the author, who I think is self published, asks for a review. Ok then! Overall I liked this book. It's not the funniest book I've read, although it does have a few laughs, nor is it particularly dramatic, the story being quite straightforward but it is enjoyable all be it in an immediately forgettable way. I liked the referencing to all the 80's stereotypes and the mention of products, songs and attitudes took me back to my youth, lived at around the same time. I don't think I've thought of Quatro or Texan Bars for 30 years! The story is OK. The protagonist, an overweight 40 something living an unfulfilled life in a dead end job sees things get even worse but ends up travelling back in time to a key turning point of his childhood to be presented with a chance to change everything. It's not a new idea, see Hot Tub Time Time Machine, Back to the Future et al, but is nicely done. It's written in a simple prose but the characters are believable and everything seems to hang together. Back in the 80's he then tries to right all the wrongs suffered by his future self and the story shapes up to what I was hoping would be a positive, if predictable ending. I particularly liked the part where he got to meet his Grandparents, long dead in the future, for an unexpected Sunday lunch; very touching. For me the book goes all wrong at the end. Running out of time (he's in the past for 48 hours) the story seems to do the same thing and the ending feels rushed, a bit lazy and probably not possible within the rules of time travel books? I'm not saying that everything had to end to my liking but I did come away feeling a little bit cheated. There is a footnote however about a follow up book, this one not free, taking the story on so I suppose, given the author is trying to earn a living, I'll buy it to see what happens. I just wish the end of this one didn't contrive to force me into a purchase.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Themistocles

    A funny book, this one. And by 'funny' I mean both ha-ha-chuckle funny and strange-funny. Ha-ha funny because Pearson does have that sort of dry humor that will make you smile and nod knowingly. He doesn't let the book become comical, although at some places the joke will seem a bit out of place. But, good use throughout. Strange funny because although the book excels in no specific quality, I really, really enjoyed it overall. Let me explain. The story itself is a classic concept (go-back-in-time- A funny book, this one. And by 'funny' I mean both ha-ha-chuckle funny and strange-funny. Ha-ha funny because Pearson does have that sort of dry humor that will make you smile and nod knowingly. He doesn't let the book become comical, although at some places the joke will seem a bit out of place. But, good use throughout. Strange funny because although the book excels in no specific quality, I really, really enjoyed it overall. Let me explain. The story itself is a classic concept (go-back-in-time-and-change-stuff) but with a nice twist (view spoiler)[(everything, all the shite in his life going through a crossroad moment and only having a few hours to change it) (hide spoiler)] . At the beginning unfortunately the fourth wall is brought down every so often, especially because Pearson tries to induce nostalgia by pointing out obvious things - this song, that computer, even that (incorrect, by the way) command to load games on an Amstrad CPC. At times this nostalgia doesn't feel organic but rather forced. But it gets better and you forget that a bit into the book. The story itself is nothing special, the backstory being quite banal. What it very interesting, though, is that you really identify with it - especially if you're in the age range the book is about. Pearson manages to insert some nice twists into an otherwise predictable story and overall the book succeeds in being a feel-good read(view spoiler)[except for the ending. But there's a sequel, so there's that! (hide spoiler)] , and I can honestly say that I couldn't put it down. That's the reason I gave it four stars - not because it can compare to masterpieces, but because, as a light read it's excellent. Looking forward to reading the sequel!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I do not write to many reviews for books I read, I took some time aside for this novel as the author is self-publishing and I would like to see him write more as this is an excellent debut novel. As a middle-aged woman I have often wondered what it would be like to go back to the teenage years of my life and if possible change or influence my younger self or possible major events/actions that would have effect the rest of my life. Time travel stories have always been one of my favourite themes and I do not write to many reviews for books I read, I took some time aside for this novel as the author is self-publishing and I would like to see him write more as this is an excellent debut novel. As a middle-aged woman I have often wondered what it would be like to go back to the teenage years of my life and if possible change or influence my younger self or possible major events/actions that would have effect the rest of my life. Time travel stories have always been one of my favourite themes and the possible paradoxes wrapped up in any actions made, would the outcomes be all positive? Alternatively, would they stay the same, as fate is a pre-fixed outcome in life? In “The Fix 86” Craig Smelling is a middle-aged manager at a shop, in a unhappy marriage and to add to his woes an old school adversary comes into his professional life and has a grudge against him. He loves his mother but does not have a good relationship with his father. I will not say to much as I do not want to drop any plot spoilers but you really feel for him and want things to work out. He is asked to start clearing out his old bedroom as his parents have changes coming up. Amongst his stuff are old computer bit and a game he has written, (POSSIBLE PLOT SPOILER) The game is about a time traveling professor. After booting up the old computer things change!. He has less than 48 hours in 1986 to change things. I found the plot went along at a nice pace, Craig is a likeable everyday guy and you can’t help but want him to succeed. I found I could put this down and was eagerly turning every page to see what he would change. I have already downloaded the second book and will start reading today. A good first novel and more stories please Keith.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    As someone about the same age as the book's protagonist, and a sucker for a good time travelling yarn, I read this one with great interest. Some of my favourite passages are those that cover the bases of 1980s nostalgia - the big hair, loud clothes, largely terrible music and prehistoric computers... These bits reminded me a little of Stephen King's 11.22.63, but whereas the protagonist in that novel returns to a wistful past that's very fondly remembered (when it's remembered at all, and if you As someone about the same age as the book's protagonist, and a sucker for a good time travelling yarn, I read this one with great interest. Some of my favourite passages are those that cover the bases of 1980s nostalgia - the big hair, loud clothes, largely terrible music and prehistoric computers... These bits reminded me a little of Stephen King's 11.22.63, but whereas the protagonist in that novel returns to a wistful past that's very fondly remembered (when it's remembered at all, and if you happen to catch attitudes of contemporary Americans you find they are just as whimsical about the times beforehand), in THE '86 FIX there's a distinct balance between the good and the bad. It wasn't the best of times and it certainly wasn't the worst, but it's captured in fine detail here in a book that recalls those times very well. As for the novel, I enjoyed it very much and more than just for the blast into the past. It's a good story, with a lead character I kind of wanted to kick, but who finds when he gets the opportunity to do just that there's always a price, a twist, and the lesson possibly is that sometimes it might be enough simply to do your best with the hand you come to be dealt. It has compelled me enough to plough straight into the sequel - Pearson's writing is witty and smart, and I'll be following his work with interest.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    I was 16 in 1986 so when I read that the main character Craig is transported back to his teenage self in 1986 I was immediately sucked in. The novel is a book of two halves, and Craig needs to get over himself. He blames the teenage woman (now a 40 something woman) for ruining his life. He still won’t stand up to the school bully who is now his supervisor at work, and he still has issues with his parents. So when he gets transported back to 1986 by his Commodore 64 (yeah) he goes about changing h I was 16 in 1986 so when I read that the main character Craig is transported back to his teenage self in 1986 I was immediately sucked in. The novel is a book of two halves, and Craig needs to get over himself. He blames the teenage woman (now a 40 something woman) for ruining his life. He still won’t stand up to the school bully who is now his supervisor at work, and he still has issues with his parents. So when he gets transported back to 1986 by his Commodore 64 (yeah) he goes about changing his past/future. Anyone who has ever seen Back to the Future or Dr Who knows that you can’t go meddling with the past/future. You might delete yourself out of it. His time in 1986 is complete nostalgafest: Peter Powell is on the radio, Texan bars and cans of Quattro are still on the shelves in the shops. For me the novel took too long to get back to 1986 and at first I eally didn’t like Craig. However this did not stop me enjoying the novel so much so that when I finished this I immediately downloaded the second novel The Beyond Broadhall: The ’86 Conclusion to find out what happens to him.

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