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Recursion

A Novel
Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom, Abby Craden
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,942 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

From the best-selling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory - his most ambitious, mind-boggling, irresistible work to date. 

"A time-twisting, mind-bending novel, perfect for summer reading.” (The New York Times Book Review)

Memory makes reality. That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome - a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. 

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease - a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it. 

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them? 

Praise for Recursion

“An action-packed, brilliantly unique ride that had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page...a fantastic read.” (Andy Weir, number one New York Times best-selling author of The Martian)

“Another profound science-fiction thriller. Crouch masterfully blends science and intrigue into the experience of what it means to be deeply human.” (Newsweek)

“Definitely not one to forget when you’re packing for vacation...[Crouch] breathes fresh life into matters with a mix of heart, intelligence, and philosophical musings.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“A trippy journey down memory lane...[Crouch’s] intelligence is an able match for the challenge he’s set of overcoming the structure of time itself.” (Time)

“Wildly entertaining...another winning novel from an author at the top of his game.” (AV Club)

©2019 Blake Crouch (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Crouch isn’t just a world-class thriller writer, he’s a Philip K. Dick for the modern age. Recursion takes mind-twisting premises and embeds them in a deeply emotional story about time and loss and grief and most of all, the glory of the human heart.” (Gregg Hurwitz, number-one internationally best-selling author of the Orphan X series)

"Cutting-edge science drives this intelligent, mind-bending thriller...Crouch effortlessly integrates sophisticated philosophical concepts into a complex and engrossing plot. Michael Crichton’s fans won’t want to miss this one." (Publishers Weekly

“Fans eagerly embraced [Crouch’s] 2016 Dark Matter, a pulse-pounding thriller…Here, he again combines fast paced action with cutting edge scientific theory, this time taking a deep dive into memory, identity, and their intersections within the human mind. Reminiscent of the best and most fantastic works by Philip K. Dick, this is set to be a bestseller. Crouch is a rising star to watch closely.” (Library Journal)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed Feelings

I liked Dark Matter and other Blake Crouch novels so I came into this expecting another interesting read. Unfortunately, there was definitely something missing, though I'm not exactly sure what it was. I think a lot of it had to do with the narration. It wasn't bad, per se, just monotonous and really boring. Both narrators read with little inflection, and the female's performance outright annoyed me. Maybe it was just me, but it was if everything she said came across as either shaky or sultry, or a combination of both... and her attempt to deepen her voice for male parts was irritating.

As far as the story goes, although I wanted to know what was going on overall, I didn't like any of the characters. Helena, for an accomplished academic, was whiny and childish, Marcus Slade was a total douche who I wanted to punch and Barry, who is supposed to be good at solving puzzles can't even seem to find his own ass.

I found myself zoning out quite a bit. It was too much explanation and not enough natural dialogue. And to be honest, half of it didn't make any sense. It's like fake science was created solely for the benefit of moving the story forward. You have to be able to do way more than suspend your disbelief. So if you're looking for a light read that you don't have to think too much about, this probably isn't the book for you. If you're looking for unlikeable characters with an unrealistic and confusing, albeit intriguing, storyline, then give it a shot.


50 of 57 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Smart, but Really Dragged On...

Brilliant concept, just like Dark Matter, but this one just simply lost steam and got super boring. Was counting down the remaining time so I could start something else. Disappointed. :(

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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I must be the only one.

I am going to return this book because frankly, I could not bring myself to care how it ended. The narrator was over the top dramatic. The story was beyond repetitive and I could not see the point. Maybe I was just having a bad couple of days. Moving on.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 06-16-19

Hot mess.

The story was a hot mess so damn tangled and stoned on at times. Ending was ok and the author untwined the mess he had created earlier but overall, would call the book “ok”; would have trouble recommending it to someone else. Multiple readers was distracting and did not add any depth to the story.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Are we there yet?

Fantastic! Couldn’t put it down. Best book I’ve read this year. In a similar vein to Crouch’s Dark Matter. One of the better depictions of time travel and it consequences I’ve read. Can’t wait to see how Crouch tops this. Both narrators were perfect!

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Too many holes in this one…

The plot of this book attracted me, and the beginning of the book was fine. It grew more and more incredible as the book went on. Without spoilers, there were too many holes in the plot and became too unbelievable,violent and repetitive for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin
  • San Jose, CA
  • 07-30-19

Solid, but not great

Blake Crouch has a certain style with a lot of twists, and this didn't disappoint, but I didn't connect with any of the characters like I did in his other novels. The narration was great and I didn't mind so much that there was two different narrators like I have in the past.

My biggest complaint is that the books structure made listening to the book a little rough. It was broken up into books and not chapters, so it was hard to find stopping points unless you listened to the whole 1-3 hour block.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicole
  • Lake In The Hills, Illinois, United States
  • 07-01-19

Disappointing

The narration was great. It made the story more interesting than it actually was. Halfway through the book I lost interest. It started off strong but petered our halfway through and the ending was disappointing.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

There are so many things wrong with this book

When I read Crouch's "Dark Matter" I thought I would be a fan for life. But now I'm not so sure.

"Recursion" was disappointing to say the least. It felt like Crouch was all over the place. I wanted more explanation about the consequences of FMS and more examples in Book 1. The revelation that the memory chair was a "time travel" device fell flat after we had heard all about Barry's second life. Then the recurring timelines! This part needed a good editor and went on way too long. I didn't feel like each timeline brought anything new to the story. The ending was a complete let down / cop-out.

Narrator: I was extremely disappointed with Abby Craden's performance. She had a great tone for character voices, but her general narration was terrible. Between her whiny tone and the vocal fry I almost gave up during her first performance. I will never get another book that she narrates.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I am suffering ...

... trying to make it through this book. Half-way, and I'm ready to give up. It is dull beyond belief, and trying to make sense of how false memories work is just impossible for me. I really enjoyed the Wayward Pines series, so this is even more of a disappointment. Hate returning books to Audible, but tempted to return this one.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful