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

It Took Fifteen Lives to Resolve an Epic Battle

If you got fifteen repeats on your life while remembering the previous ones, how different would they be? Harry went through the same era from the early 1900's to as late as the early 2000's as a scientist, adventurer, lawyer and even an investigator of all the world religions.

He is able to remember everything and encounters others like him who have organized a club to make sure no one like them changes major events. That can have disastrous results for all of humanity and drastic measures are required for those who try. Usually it requires communicating with someone from a previous era to make sure that person is never born.The Cronus club can do this with a seven year old member telling an eighty year old member about a threat to the world. They will take the appropriate corrective action in their next life.

Harry meets one of those who wish to reshape the world they live in. Victor becomes his best friend and eventually his worst enemy. Victor is able to decimate the Cronus club and embark on a journey over many repeat lives to artificially advance science. His ultimate goal is to build a quantum mirror which he hopes will explain everything. Either that, or it will be the end of everybody's world.

They go through a marathon battle.

There are a lot interesting concepts here and I was enthralled from the first life to the final one. If you enjoyed the book Replay by Ken Grimwood, you will love this adventure. It has similarities, yet it is a vastly different story.

I usually like to put to an effort into posting a review of only great reads, so my history of mainly five stars may be tedious for some. I kind of feel like the guy always crying wolf, and when the wolf finally comes, no one pays attention.

So here is my sixth star for this book. Overall ******
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- Russell

Book Details

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