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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
  

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Science Fiction   Literary Fiction   
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Maxim Jakubowski's view...

Maxim Jakubowski Highly Recommended.

In her recent and rightly praised Life After Life, Kate Atkinson revisited the eternal theme of 'what would you do if you could live again?'. Not a new idea and one much exploited by fantasy and SF writers, but this new variation on the genre by the pseudonymous Claire North notches up matters to the nth degree. Harry August is part of an elite group of people, The Cronus Club, who can live again and again beyond death itself, although they are not allowed to change the past. When he encounters evidence that someone is doing so and is endangering the world's future, he encounters his nemesis and their battle continues over fifteen lives. Imaginative and dazzling, this spans the world and the centuries and never flags, while constantly defying the reader's expectations. Science fiction for people who don't like the customary trappings of SF: if this doesn't convert you, nothing will. Just read it!

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

This is an extremely complex plot expressing an even more complicated idea, and it is wonderful. Not time travel; not quite reincarnation; not a ‘Ground Hog Day’ repeating loop. A little bit of all of these. Harry August lives many lives and remembers each one but they are all the same one over and over. If you think that is complicated take a look at the rest of it. It is one of those stories where I hesitate to tell anything in case of spoiling it. It is a thriller across many life times. I could not put it down. It really is a rare gem, a totally enthralling read and a startling original idea. I loved it.

If you like Claire North you might also like to read books by Lauren Beukes, Michael Marshall and Dean Koontz.

Who is Maxim Jakubowski

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Synopsis

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

*** Featured on BBC Radio 2 Book Club on 22nd April 2014 *** 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.

Reviews

'I don't say this lightly but The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is one of the top ten books I've ever read' James Dashner, bestselling author of THE MAZE RUNNER

'Gripping' SUN

'The writing is impeccable . . Plus Harry is a fascinating main character ... And if his next 15 lives are half as eventful, we look forward to the seque'l HEAT

'A masterful literary thriller io9 An astonishing re-invention of the time-travel narrative. Bold, magical and masterful' M. R. Carey, author of THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

'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 ... a remarkable book' BOOKLIST

'Every bit as good as its title. (And, to avoid ambiguity, I love the title.) WEEKEND HERALD Grabs you from the first page; it crackles along at a rollicking pace ... unputdownable' THE SATURDAY PAPER

'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 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 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

'An extraordinary book ... an impressive piece of work'. Upcoming4me

About the Author

Claire North

Claire North is a pseudonym for British author Catherine Webb. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August was her first novel published under the Claire North name, and was one of the fastest-selling new SFF titles of the last ten years. It was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, the Radio 2 Book Club and the Waterstones Book Club promotions. Her next novel Touch was published in 2015 to widespread critical acclaim and was described by the Independent as 'little short of a masterpiece'. Catherine currently works as a theatre lighting designer and is a fan of big cities, urban magic, Thai food and graffitispotting. She lives in London.

Author photo © Siobhan Watts

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Book Info

Publication date

28th August 2014

Author

Claire North

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Publisher

Orbit an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group

Format

Paperback
448 pages

Categories

Science Fiction
Literary Fiction

Science fiction

ISBN

9780356502588

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