Once in a while a book would pop into my head, a time travel book I had read as a youth in the late 80s, early 90s. I couldn’t remember the author, or the title, and had only vague memories of the plot. When this would happen, I would trawl the internet, and Google every word combo I could imagine–but to no avail. Frustration ensued. Then…well, I’d forget all about it.

Recently, this urge took over yet again, and I found myself doing what I always did–scouring the world-wide web looking for this lost tome. Out of what? Nostalgia? Obsession? Both? That question besides, I made it my goal to find this book. This time, it would not be so elusive. I was going to hunt that thing down like it was The One-Armed Man.

In addition to WWW scouring, I decided to post my plea on Facebook, Abe books, and Yahoo! Answers. None of these things worked. On Facebook, the only person to respond at first was my little sister, who remember the book and began hunting around our parents house for it. Abe books provided no joy, and no one has yet responded to my query. And finally, Yahoo! Answers–I did get some responses. 2 to be precise. Both of which were useless.

Desperately Seeking Nostalgia

The fact of it was–the search was driving me nuts, and I was losing hope. Until one friend on Facebook recommended I try a website that featured how to find books without knowing the title or author. On this, it suggested using Google Book search. I’d used similar searches before, and come up with nothing, so I wasn’t too hopeful. However, with the advanced book search, I was able to do a search with keywords AND a time limit of publication. And amazingly…

I found it.


This is the book: Trapped in Time, also known as It’s About Time, by Bernal C Payne Jr. It was written in the early 80s, and seems to have come out roughly before or around the same time as Back to the Future. The premise is VERY similar to BTTF. 2 teenagers, a brother and sister, stare at a picture and head back in time to 1955 (coinky-dink) and want to meet their parents to see how their ‘perfect’ marriage began. However, they soon realise that their parents actually loathed one another in high school. And so the saga begins, as they tamper with the past in order to get their parents together and have a future to go home to.

Silly? Yes. Lame? Pretty much. However, like I said in the beginning–it’s a hit of pure nostalgia for me. As far as I can tell, as lame as this book may be (as of this blog posting, I still have to re-read this bad-boy–having finally found it I’ve ordered it online) it kick-started my love for all things time-travel-y. I’m not super into it, or its theories, or whatever. And I’m not about to Uncle Rico it, and buy some machine online to try to time travel myself. No. I just LOVE it when people go into the past–whether it’s on TV, in books, comics, film, whatevs…even if it’s just a glimpse into a characters past. That episode of Friends, where they show them all in the 80s? Favourite episode, hands down. I can’t fully explain this intense liking, but I know this book had something to do with its inception.

Realistically, I know when I finally re-read this, I will most likely be a little disappointed. But the sweet hit of nostalgia I  get will far outweigh that downer. In my search, I found this blog post that gave a review of Trapped in Time. It wasn’t very flattering, but some of the comments were a little unfair I thought. Like teens going to the past wouldn’t be excited that say, hamburgers, were like 10 cents? That they would realise and comment on the fact that people earned less, so the prices of items correlated to wage…yeah…Seriously? It’s not the first thing I would think of. I would be like, ‘Sweet! I’ve got a finski in my pocket, I can feed myself for a month!’ So, take it with a grain of salt.

Which is what I’m going to do with this book when I finally re-read it. Take it with a pinch of salt. Nothing compares to what you experienced in childhood. You shouldn’t expect it to. So just let it bring you a little pleasure now, in your old age, without thinking about it too much.

4 responses »

  1. Young Wifey says:

    I’m glad you finally found your book. Since you’re into time travel right now, try The Book of Time and then The Gate of Days by Guillaume Prévost.

  2. I’ve had this happen too — it’s true that it can’t compare to the original experience, but there’s still some pleasure in reliving your youth, I think. And part of the satisfaction is finding it without the title, just like doing research!

    • athenapearl says:

      Exactly…Its sat on the backburner in my brain for yonks now, but I’m glad I stuck with it this time.

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