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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August | [Claire North]

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

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 11th 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Some stories cannot be told in just one lifetime.

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 11th 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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (215 )
5 star
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4.2 (193 )
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Story
4.3 (190 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    C. BOZEMAN, MONTANA, United States 05-10-14
    C. BOZEMAN, MONTANA, United States 05-10-14 Member Since 2013

    In the dictionary, next to the word "bibliophile" there is a picture of me... Ok... it's my dictionary... and I put the picture there.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well read and written, just not my cup of tea."

    Good story and the narrator was genius at portraying the various characters. I liked the way it all flowed and came together and I found it to be an interesting plot, however it just wasn't my cup of tea. I got a little bored because I had a difficult time identifying with the main character. I would not fault the author with this though, it is simply a case of not finding every well written character interesting. I think I would have found Charity to be much more interesting.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosa 04-18-14
    Rosa 04-18-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Sociopathic tendencies"

    This book had an interesting premise, and once I got the "flow" down I liked the way the author dealt with time. However, the kalachakras that we spend the most time with have strong sociopathic tendencies--so much so that had I been told that the author was exploring a fictional theory on the reincarnation-based creation of sociopaths, I would have believed it.
    Since I had a distaste for the characters, I couldn't engage in their dans macabre or feel any of the pathos the author intended. Yes, the narrator finally reluctantly does what must be done, but how was I supposed to feel a sense of sadness and loss at "the best friend he ever had"--who had manipulated him from day one? Sorry, it left me cold. Really, I've had it with the glorification of sociopaths. Too much of our conceptual space is devoted to their antics.
    The reader seemed like he had trouble engaging with the narrator, too. The only good narration he did was with the "other" characters. I kept listening because I tend to finish books unless they are unbearably technically clumsy. Technically, there is nothing wrong with this book (except for a predictable ending). It is the content and execution that just didn't cut it for me.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Bradenton, Florida, United States 05-03-14
    Andy Bradenton, Florida, United States 05-03-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Somewhat disappointed"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The most interesting aspect of Harry's character was his vast knowledge from his previous lives. I don't think this was used enough in the story.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I don't think the romantic aspects were explored enough.


    What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

    No complaints there. He is great.


    Do you think The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I guess I am comparing this book to two similar books (Replay and the Time Travelers Wife). I would re-read one of these before reading another book on Harry.


    Any additional comments?

    Not sorry I listened. I just don't think it was as good as it could have been.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Hartmann New York, NY 04-30-14
    C. Hartmann New York, NY 04-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A Very Tough Read -- but perhaps worth it"

    This is a tough book -- there is a lot physical and psychological torture. The idea is not new, but it is well-done. Excellent narration. That all said, I enjoyed the intellectual challenges. It was like reading Kafka -- a book that ends up being as much about you as it is about the character. More literature than Science Fiction despite the excellent time-travel "rules." It put me in mind of "the Man in the Empty Suit".

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Kim 05-01-14
    Kevin Kim 05-01-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    16
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    "This is something I'd revisit every lifetime!"
    What made the experience of listening to The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August the most enjoyable?

    While at first the non-linear story telling, jumping back and forth in Harry August's lives, I really enjoyed the pace in the end. It revealed the necessary parts bit by bit and left me wanting more, as any good story should, whilst still leaving me satisfied, as every great book must.


    If you could rename The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, what would you call it?

    Harry August and the Chronos Club. To emulate the Harry Potter series. Only because I want 6 more books to explore the world Harry August lives in.


    Any additional comments?

    It's just damn good. Give it a listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Plato, MO, United States 05-01-14
    Amy Plato, MO, United States 05-01-14 Member Since 2012
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    "An intriguing listen"
    What made the experience of listening to The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August the most enjoyable?

    The suspense and the way the story was told over the lifetimes but not in chronological order. It kept it very interesting. I couldn't wait to get back in the car to see listen to what happens next.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The subject of living one life over and over is what drew me to this book. There are plenty of movies about time travel and we've all seen Groundhog Day but this book really developed the basic concept well along with some very intriguing explanations. Also the author did an amazing job of unfolding the answers to the questions that came to mind when thinking of living one life over and over again.


    What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

    He did a great job and wasn't too over the top. He developed the characters well but stuck to the story. I am not a fan of when a narrator over acts while reading a story. Kenny was just the right amount "performance" that allowed me to focus on the story and not just the narrator.


    If you could take any character from The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The main character. He meets many characters along the way that all play an important part in the story but Harry August is what makes this book worth listening too. He is a seemingly normal guy at first who does some normal, predictable things but he is also very complex.


    Any additional comments?

    An absolute must listen. My go to books are normally murder mysteries and haunted houses/people but this is now in my top 5 listens. I loved every second of it and highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    August LA VERGNE, TN, United States 07-28-14
    August LA VERGNE, TN, United States 07-28-14 Member Since 2014
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    Story
    "I tried to like it, but it wasn't for me"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The book just didn't grip me like I wanted it to. I love the premise, but it felt very droning to me.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Claire North again?

    I'm always willing to give people a second shot. I just wasn't the audience for this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the idea behind this, and maybe it would be better if I were reading it myself. Listening to it just wasn't for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla Forestville, MD, United States 06-23-14
    Carla Forestville, MD, United States 06-23-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Completely Enthralling!"
    If you could sum up The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August in three words, what would they be?

    Whirlwind of excitement.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harry August is a great character. The author did an amazing job giving Harry a range of emotions and making the audience feel every one of them.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were so many good scenes my favorite is the ending.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I am not sure a movie could do this book justice. I don't know what my tag line would be.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an exciting book definitely worth a credit and the time. I've listened to two books since listening to Harry August and I'm still thinking about The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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