• The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

  • By: Claire North
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-08-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 (117 ratings)

Regular price: $21.31

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Publisher's Summary

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
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Critic Reviews

"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)
"Gripping" ( Sun)
"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Michal on 05-11-15

Fascinating and surprisingly fresh

Where does The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

What other book might you compare The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August to and why?

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.

Have you listened to any of Peter Kenny’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I haven't, but I definitely will.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jayne M Burdeshaw on 12-01-17


quite original concept and story and the narration is superb! hoping for more from this author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By S. Kingston on 07-07-14

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!

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Robyn on 06-27-16

A good one!

Harry keeps getting a "do-over". And what to do when you are constantly reborn and into the same time period, and the same life?

My initial thoughts were that it was just a better version of Groundhog Day. Next I thought it was possibly a little bit predictable, ie if you get to see the same period of history over and over, should you meddle or not, what if others meddle, etc...? Therefore, not too many new ideas to hook me, but it was pleasant enough listening.

And then in the second half of the book, it all seemed to come together and took off. Absolutely compelling, cleverly done, and well narrated. The central characters are excellent. I can't say anything else without spoiling it, so I'll leave it to the blurb and other reviewers to give more hints.

The narration is good - occasionally the accents weren't brilliant, but it never distracted from the story. The narrator's voice really suited the main character and the consistency of his nature.

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Very much worth the credit.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Humberto on 03-31-16

Hit by train of awesomeness

I came into this book with little hopes or expectations. And 1 hours into it i was simply in love. The main character is somewhat "blank" as the author puts it (Thru a dialogue with another character) But everything else about this book is simply superb.
The concept is great. Truly great twist on the whole time travel business.
The plot is Okay. Very engaging.
The EXECUTION is like no other. Claire North takes this story and twists it in such a lovely way that the reader cant help but love it.
Also, the wordsmithing is beautiful. Sometimes i would hit the rewind 30 seconds bottom just to go thru certain phrases again, so well crafted they were!

All in all. Just get this book. Its great and now on my list of favorites!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jeremy on 04-30-15

Fascinating and full of action

This book is built on a fascinating concept, that of the Kalachakra, a group of people that re-live the same life over and over again but with the all the memories of their previous lives.

The story is really well paced, with interesting characters, and a narrator that brings the story and characters to life.

Thoroughly enjoyable!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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