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A well written book, based on an interesting premise: whenever Harry August dies, he is reborn as himself, back in the original year of his birth, to relive his life. Each time, he can live his life slightly differently, but with each rebirth, history is reset (with the exception of his memories). The book builds nicely throughout, with a couple of interesting plot twists, towards a climactic but thought-provoking ending.
This book reminded me a little of the Time Traveller's Wife, although I found the "time travel" aspect of this plot a lot easier to follow!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Harry keeps getting a "do-over". And what to do when you are constantly reborn and into the same time period, and the same life?
My initial thoughts were that it was just a better version of Groundhog Day. Next I thought it was possibly a little bit predictable, ie if you get to see the same period of history over and over, should you meddle or not, what if others meddle, etc...? Therefore, not too many new ideas to hook me, but it was pleasant enough listening.
And then in the second half of the book, it all seemed to come together and took off. Absolutely compelling, cleverly done, and well narrated. The central characters are excellent. I can't say anything else without spoiling it, so I'll leave it to the blurb and other reviewers to give more hints.
The narration is good - occasionally the accents weren't brilliant, but it never distracted from the story. The narrator's voice really suited the main character and the consistency of his nature.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Very much worth the credit.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
quite original concept and story and the narration is superb! hoping for more from this author