Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Book Review: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Book: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
Genre: Historical scifi/fantasy
Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

I knew absolutely nothing about this book going in. It was voted as our book club book this month and I hadn't heard anything about it at all. I actually thought it was a YA comedy of sorts! LOL!

I couldn't have been more wrong!

It reminded me a lot of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson if you are familiar with that one. Our main character, Harry, is born, lives a life and dies, only to be born again exactly as he was before. In this book, he takes us on a detailed journey of his different lives, not in any order, so that's a bit confusing, but we are to understand the process and struggle he goes through.

The circumstances of his lives are all different depending on how Harry approaches things... or the different scenarios he finds himself in. After awhile he gets good at manipulating things for his benefit, but he still doesn't feel it necessary to change history at all. In fact this is what gets him in a trouble the most.

He is born in 1920 (I think... or 1919?) so he lives through many historical events. If his life is "normal" he always gets sick and dies an old  man in the 80s or 90s. One time he was a little more healthy and lasted into the 2000s.

He uses his lives to learn all sorts of things, and experiences nearly every career, travels everywhere, learns all the languages and etc. In one life he finally meets up with others like him and they have a sort of club. The club learns that someone down the line is trying to change history to the point that the world is destroyed.

So now Harry has the mission to stop this from happening, and it's not easy.

It's all actually quite fascinating and crazy and confusing and messes with your brain in a crazy time travelling sort of way. And makes you think what you would do if you had endless lives. And could actually remember everything from all the previously lives.

The book is quite violent in parts (so much torture! WHY???) and there's murder and mayhem and war and some pretty awful people. Harry is sometimes awful himself and sometimes nice, depending on the life he's chosen that time around.

This whole book is like his memoir reflecting on all he's done and if he's made a difference at all. It's quite stream of conscious in parts but I found that if I didn't stress about connecting the dots, they all connected eventually on their own.

In the end, I really enjoyed it a lot! What a crazy ride!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this does sound wild! I've never heard of it either, but maybe I'll give it a go when I'm in the mood for something a little ... crazy. LOL.



Related Posts with Thumbnails