The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

  • by Claire North
  • Narrated by Peter Kenny
  • 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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

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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- Michal

Loved every second of this

Grest premise for a story - and superbly read! The idea of the repeating cycle seen in the movie "groundhog day" or "end of days" applied to the life (lives) of Harry August - who always finds himself being born again, in the same place, at the same moment in time. He remembers everything.
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- Tore Eggen "Tall, Fresh and Friendly"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-08-2014
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK