- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 12 hours and 8 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 8 April 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00IRSUFUW
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Written under a pseudonym (of a previously sci-fi fantasy writer - one I haven't tried), 'Harry August' is a Groundhog Day without the romance, without the comedy, but sprinkled with a little Edge of Tomorrow and a good helping of Source Code, a little torture, megalomania, some philosophical thought and a great deal of intriguing writing.
Harry lives his life. Born to a raped mother in a 1920s railway station, raised not knowing his father, his life is fairly unremarkable despite enlisting in World War Two, his eventual demise from bone marrow cancer does not end his story. He is born again.... at the railway station in the 1920s... With all the knowledge of his previous life floating back to him as a toddler. And so it continues. While the first couple of pages are confusing, once this pattern and idea is set up within a half dozen pages, you're hooked. It's almost wish fulfilment - what would YOU do, living your life again with the chance to make different choices?
It's not a book about 'whys', how this might happen. It's about what we would do with eternity, what we would see and do, what we would change - and not only about ourselves. The book does veer from one life to another, though roughly in sequential order with segues to add context.
Absolutely fascinating stuff. Simply the regeneration alone would be novel-worthy, but more than one adversary pops up for Harry to deal with.Read more ›
This means that you can send messages forward as far as you like in one instantiation of the world, but you can only send a message back by one generation at a time. Nonetheless, our narrator gets a message that the end of the world is happening sooner than it used to. He soon twigs that it's because of a rogue ouroboran in his own lifetime (1919 to the early 21st century) who is meddling in the old Things That Man Was Not Meant etc.
Now here's the biggest flaw in the book. We are asked to accept that all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds, just as long as ouroborans do nothing to try and improve the human lot. Create antibiotics 50 years early? Why, you fool, there'll be a dotcom crisis in the 1960s and nuclear war before 2020.
[Spoilers here on in...]
There's nothing wrong with SF taking a reactionary view. What would paperback sales be like in Boko Haram territories if it couldn't do that? But the dramtic flaw here is that we are presented with this intriguing, unexplained phenomenon of reincarnation, and one of the characters is trying to build a magic mirror - sorry, quantum mirror - which might well tell him and us what lies behind it all. But he's the bad guy.Read more ›
It’s an original story of a man repeatedly born again trying to come to terms with what his purpose in life is, as in each recurring life, he is born having retained all his knowledge and experiences from his previous lives. Imagine being 4 years old in the 1920’s and knowing everything that happens in the future like knowing winning lottery numbers, the names of future murderers, future world leaders and events like war breaking out, AIDS, the advance of technology and the progress of science and ultimately the big question Why Me? What am I supposed to do with all this knowledge.
The first part of this novel sees the main protagonist Harry coming to terms with who he is and learning about the special ability he has. Clare North skilfully takes us through this tumultuous journey of confusion and understanding with brilliant, controlled writing. Big ideas and topics are discussed with enough depth and scope to keep the reader thrilled and entertained but not too much to make your head spin and lose the sense of the where the novel is going.
When Harry finds a meaning for his recurring lives, a key character is introduced, Vincent. I felt that both Harry and Vincent were so creatively fleshed out they came alive off the page and I was absolutely engaged in their story which became pacey and dramatic in the second half of the novel.
I thoroughly recommend this book, already have lent it to a friend. It’s so stimulating it has stayed in my mind still and I am sure I will reread it again as it had so much depth and fascinating ideas.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well I have had to give up on this book - I am about a third of the way through and have no feeling whatsoever for any of the characters, dislike the writing style and am... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amicie
Brilliant book. Complicated storyline but difficult to put down. Not what I would normally read but glad I did.Published 22 days ago by fiona ramsay
Time travel, many lives, many universes... it's all been done before, right? This book changed my opinion, a totally engaging story told very well, I genuinely couldn't put it... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Big Rich
Could not get into this book at all. Wanted to give up by page 50, struggled on to page 100 then gave up. It's now gone to the charity shop!Published 25 days ago by Meryl Whittington
Now one of my favourite books of all time. Absolutely beautifully written and such a complex yet easy to follow plot. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
If you are already halfway through this tedious book, not enjoying the pretentious writing style or warming to any of the dull characters, my advice is don't bother to finish it. Read morePublished 29 days ago by thisladylovesthelibrary
I enjoyed this book, although it did take me some weeks to get through which is very unusual as I normally zip through a book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by GingerCox
Pretty Good, I didn't enjoy the writing style that much and some of the concepts reminded me too much of Ken Grimwood's novel 'Replay' against which almost any book will look weak... Read morePublished 1 month ago by John Culver