The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Book - 2014
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Forced to relive his life over and over again, Harry August receives a message on his eleventh death bed from a little girl who tells him that the world is about to end, and it is up to him to stop it.
Publisher: New York :, Redhook,, 2014
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780316399616
Branch Call Number: FIC NOR
Characteristics: 405 pages ; 25 cm


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May 01, 2018

I couldn't get through this one. I think this could have been better and easier to follow if it was told sequentially. Instead, it jumps around and tells you a bit about his first life, then jumps to another life, and then jumps to another, and then back to one of his first few lives where, by that time, it's really easy to have forgotten the events of that particular life etc. I don't know if you just need a great memory or what to enjoy this. I think it had great potential, but I didn't find it well written or even especially interesting, which was a shame with such a promising concept.

Nov 18, 2017

This is another intriguing story by Claire North (see also “Touch”) that involves retaining one's sense of identity and memory while changing the corporeal self, in this case through a time loop where one is reborn over and over again on the same date under the same circumstances. What an opportunity to explore different careers and learn new things, which the remarkably self-disciplined and intelligent protagonist sets out to do. But in a world where there are others like him born in throughout the ages, the temptation to alter history, redress personal grievance, or seek ultimate knowledge is great. This book is a delightfully imaginative and thought-provoking read; do you envy Harry August his time loop or find the concept of infinite personal reboot frightening or boring?

Jul 15, 2017

That was fantastic.
An energetic, intelligent and profound read, that deeply moved me in the end and that I thoroughly enjoyed. I don't think there's anything I didn't like about it; it does dabble in some complicated talk that is hard to follow at times, but other than that, it is a magnificent example of fiction and science fiction. Characters are enjoyable, plot is fascinating (very few times do I find myself enjoying a story so much I don't care where it takes me), writing is smart as hell. Thank you, Claire (Kate, Catherine) for Harry August. A thousand thanks. Through a hundred lives (and more).

May 15, 2017

Each time he dies, Harry August is born anew, destined to live his life countless times. In his third life, he discovers there are others like him. Members of this "club" retain memories of their past lives and are free to make different life choices in subsequent ones. Although they have discovered through experimentation that their actions cannot affect important, major historical events that would have unfolded naturally, they can alter history in smaller, subtle ways.

Told in a non-linear format, Harry's story both was refreshingly original and also admittedly gave me an occasional headache. There were a handful of times when I wished for an accompanying cheat sheet to assist with keeping track of all of his lives! Recommended for fans of time travel, speculative fiction and alternate history.

Oct 28, 2016

An imaginative, well written novel about a different sort of 'time travel'.

May 16, 2016

I just couldn't get through it. Each night when I picked it up, I had to go back a few pages, or chapters to figure out what was going on.

Mar 15, 2016

If I had not been reading this for a reading group, I would not have finished it. The story, motivation, plot does not start until three-qarters of the way through the book. The last quarter was not worth the effort. It seems to me like having a number of conversations with Harry where he talks about something different each time you see him. I found all the going back and forth between lives at the beginning confusing and annoying. I do not like this as a story-telling device. I find it neither captivating nor interesting as a way to develop a story. Eventually I just stopped trying to put a story together. At this point in the book, North has stopped pointing out which life she is writing about. If I really cared deeply about the story, this would annoy me greatly. It was easy to put the book down at the end of each chapter and do something else, because I was not fully engaged in the story or the characters.
I would classify this more as a contemporary fantasy than science fiction. The author makes no attempt to deal with the mechanism by which Harry is reborn nor the questions that are raised by the multiple lives being different. For example, when Harry finally kills the story's villain, how does that prevent him from being reborn in the hero's next life? Does the seven-year old hero have to keep killing him in every life?

Uyc Jan 10, 2016

Interesting look throughout Harry's first fifteen lives! Good character development and intriguing plot. A slew of believable characters and quite a page-turner to find out what he'll do!

Jan 03, 2016

This novel has found its way onto my Top Ten Favorite Books list! I was captivated from start to finish and when I got to the end, I wanted more! The author creates a gripping plot with complex characters and I just could not put this down. Everyone in my book club enjoyed this story immensely.
Claire North apparently has fifteen lives, too! Catherine Webb has written young adult fiction as well as science fiction under different pseudonyms. This only makes me more interested in her work!

Dec 13, 2015

Readers who like this book might want to try "Replay", a 1986 novel by Ken Grimwood. It has the same basic time travel scenario (the protagonist looping through the same life and time period over and over).

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Jul 15, 2017

Jectoons thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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