Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside.
'I nearly missed you, Doctor August,' she says. 'I need to send a message.' This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.
©2014 Claire North (P)2014 Hachette Audio UK
"An astonishing re-invention of the time-travel narrative. Bold, magical and masterful" (M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts)"A thoughtful and considered time-travel novel, shocking twists and, most important of all, a beautiful character. Harry August will break your heart fifteen times" (Jared Shurin, Pornokitsch Blog)
This wonderful novel, narrated by Harry, ranges back and forth in time as he recounts episodes from his various lives, but it's all held together by a compelling mystery involving nothing less than the end of the world itself . . . Beautifully written and structured, the book should be a big hit . . . Fans of SF and fantasy authors China Mieville, Christopher Priest, and Adam Roberts might note a stylistic similarity, especially in the novel's elegant prose. Whoever Claire North turns out to be, he or she has written a remarkable book" (Booklist)
"A truly extraordinary novel: an impeccable portrait of a friendship tortured by time in which masterful character and fantastic narrative come together to tremendous effect" (TOR.COM)
"A brave, genre-defying novel, which is mind-blowing in its originality and bold concept . . . Stunning!" (NOVELICIOUS)
"Part unique and intriguing mystery, part philosophical look at life, memory and time travel this story kept me totally gripped from the opening words to the mind-blowing finale" (BITE THE BOOK)
"The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is an extraordinary novel, as the publicity has promised" (The Speculative Scotsman)
The book was my first audiobook ever, and I loved the experience. Peter Kenny was fantastic, with his voice and accents, and all the heart he poured into this. Looking forward to hear more of him.
I can't recall books similar to this one. It was something like Groundhog Day meets Edge of Tomorrow, but way more epic and sophisticated. It is deeply rooted in the reality, spanning across decades and intertwined with the most interesting periods and event in the history of the world as we know it, but also giving us a glimpse at the world that could have been but wasn't. Or won't be.
No I haven't, but I definitely will.
I cringed upon hearing the detailed descriptions of substance abuse and physical harm. It was as if my body was experiencing it by itself. Very well written, believable, and combined with the narration it was really morbidly fascinating.
I loved the language of Harry August - quintessentially British, with carefully crafted sentences, grammatically perfect and beautiful while always on point. It really felt the way someone extremely intelligent, and centuries old, would sound like.
Tall, Fresh and Friendly
Grest premise for a story - and superbly read! The idea of the repeating cycle seen in the movie "groundhog day" or "end of days" applied to the life (lives) of Harry August - who always finds himself being born again, in the same place, at the same moment in time. He remembers everything.
"Déjà vu all over again"
A well written book, based on an interesting premise: whenever Harry August dies, he is reborn as himself, back in the original year of his birth, to relive his life. Each time, he can live his life slightly differently, but with each rebirth, history is reset (with the exception of his memories). The book builds nicely throughout, with a couple of interesting plot twists, towards a climactic but thought-provoking ending.
This book reminded me a little of the Time Traveller's Wife, although I found the "time travel" aspect of this plot a lot easier to follow!
"A must read."
This book is a must read, i'm not sure what drew me to it but so glade. The story is a real change. Very clever.
The best part is it is so diffrent from other books, the ideas seem new. Normally I have worked out the twistes before they happen but this plot gave me the slip a few times.
Peter Kenny is a great reader. He does not over play the female parts. Each person is clearly differnt, well done.
I did it in 2 sittings just could not turn it off, luckily i do a manual job so i have books on as i work.
Even if this is not your normal listern give it a go. i loved it.
I knew 20 minutes in that this was going to be a great listen. I love the idea and the plot, the Narrator got all the characters perfectly. Harry August was a great main character and the way the story is told as if written to you personally is enjoyable, its as if you are being spoken to directly by him at times. The Author could easily come back to this universe and Harry August with another story and I really hope that happens. One of the top listens for me this year, enjoyed it very much and look forward to more from the Author and Narrator. I am not sure how this book is categorised, it has elements of science fiction, technology and time travel but it is easily something that a person who is not a fan of Sci Fi would love to listen to. If you think the description sounds interesting, get this book!
Yes, I would recomend it. The storyline is wonderfully imaginative. The pace carries you along - wanting to engage. The narrator is pitch perfect and adding to the story with his voice-acting.
August - main character - the I of the story
This is the best science fiction novel I have come accross for a very long time. Highly recommended!
Peter Kenny's narration gave the tale an evocative, grounded very English feel- the more grounded the narration, the more you accept the fantastical things that happen.It's told in such a matter of fact way, you buy into the central conceit very early on, and run with it.
Harry himself is fascinating- his many lives, the variations on a theme are beautifully explored. You accept the idea of someone repeatedly passing through the same events, ludicrous though it is, and feel for him.
Peter Kenny is always a hallmark of quality in audiobooks: his cool, urbane tones can render even a poor book entertaining. I've come to identify him with Iain M. Banks work, and so I entered this book with expectations. Those weren't dashed- this is a fantastic tale.
Harry's discovery of the fate of his wife buts like a knife, even though you and he both know this is transitory, that time will reset, the heartbreak he feels is genuine.
Peter Kenny's narration, and Claire North's writing combine seamlessly- the only comparison is Will Patton and James Lee Burke, where you feel it actually couldn't be better done except by the author themselves.
"Original and compelling"
I bought this book because I wanted something a bit different, and it didn't disappoint. It's an interesting concept, which I won't give away in this review, and the way that concept is used to drive the plot is clever and must have taken a lot of planning. Although the ideas are complicated, I found the plot easy to follow and enjoyed the shifts between times and lives. I found the characters compelling, and some of the ethical issues thought provoking. Overall I thought it was very entertaining, well written and voiced. I'll definitely be listening to more of Claire North's work.
"dont think to hard"
never listen to books twice
narration was good,playing with ideas repeating the story was interesting
his female supporters at the chronos club
i think as a film it would be a little confusing, a little like 12 monkeys on acid
good story, being a little scientific I wanted to know how the process of repeating time worked but had to content myself with just being part of a good yarn, no real answers at the end. I noticed the lead character said` I am what I am` which was what God said to Moses at the Burning bush!
"Anything but repetitive"
I was surprised that another reader found it a bit repetitive as I didn't. The pace and tension escalated perfectly, leaving me exhausted from lack of sleep. It is an extraordinary book and I can't recommend it enough, Having Peter Kenny reading it was a bonus. The book of the year.
"Wonderful in every way"
Difficult to say. I have a vivid imagination and through that I picture the story's protagonists but in saying that the Narrator painted a different picture in my mind to the one I might have done had I read the book. This is no way is meant to be detrimental to the audio edition. The narrator was excellent, and every character had it's own personality, by age, by gender, by trait. It took us through the 20th century time after time, and each journey painted a different story. I loved it, every second. Buy it.
Harry's ongoing relationship with his nemesis
Harry, without doubt.
Losing his wife, his mind and his 3rd life
"Entertaining and clever."
Being a sucker for time-travel novels I did not hesitate to purchase this book on a whim around 15 seconds after hearing about its existence. I'm happy to report that I'm glad I did so. It's a first-rate story based around a simple yet intriguing premise.
Very well executed, the novel is finely plotted and excellently written. Initially, as in the best novels, things are a bit confusing, but as in the best stories this initial bewilderment is slowly unwound so that by the latter stages of the story all the elements are on hand for the "big finish".
As my usual fare is multi-volumed fantasy novels I found it refreshing to listen to a one-off story; personally I hope there are no sequels.
Peter Kenny, the narrator, does an excellent job, handling many different voices with dexterity and aplomb.
Of course there is also the over-arching mystery behind the mystery - just who is Claire North? A good marketing ploy, I've enjoyed the speculation and hope that the answer will be revealed in my life-time - make that my "current" life-time....
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