The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

  • by Claire North
  • Narrated by Peter Kenny
  • 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Some stories cannot be told in just one lifetime.
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 11th 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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not what I'd feared

As you are, I'm a person who reads the reviews to see if I should invest in a book. I put this book low on my wishlist because it sounded interesting but the words "tough to read" and "sociopath" and "couldn't like the characters" kept popping up in the reviews. It should have been a little higher up on my wishlist. While I'm glad I was pre-warned that there was a lot of gruesome violence in the book (there is) and that the characters are generally callous and frequently cruel people (they are), these aspects made sense for the premise of the book. If death means nothing to you why would you care if you committed suicide by rat poison? If you live the same life over and over for hundreds of years, how could the "linears" (normal people) become anything other than paper dolls for you to play with? Once I situated the characters in their culture rather than my culture I was definitely able to understand their motivations and empathize with them.

I mean, prrrroooobably don't read this book if you're in a very fragile emotional/mental health state. Like, if the characters in The Girl on the Train or Skippy Dies effed you up, this isn't the book for you. Otherwise, it's a pretty cool book. I enjoyed that the author was brave enough to make the characters the people they would logically have been, given the situation they were placed in. I also enjoyed the general sci-fi, time travel premise because I can't really say that I've seen this particular concept before. There were a lot of cool new ideas in here about the nature of time, memory, destiny, self-determination, and the things that make humans themselves.
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- Isobel

An unexpected treasure

Any additional comments?

I bought this book solely based on the ratings. It was a little slow getting started, but holy cow did it make up for lost time. The story was unique and fantastic, and the narration was one of the best I've heard so far. The narrator could convincingly sound like a young boy, or an old woman dying of pneumonia, and anywhere in between. Just spectacular. There were times when I couldn't understand him, no matter how many times I repeated the section, due to the speedy dialogue, but that didn't detract from the overall performance or story. If I could give this book 10 stars overall, I would.

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- Stefanie

Book Details

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