The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

  • by Claire North
  • Narrated by Peter Kenny
  • 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 eleventh 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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What the Critics Say

"An astonishing re-invention of the time-travel narrative. Bold, magical and masterful" (M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts)"A thoughtful and considered time-travel novel, shocking twists and, most important of all, a beautiful character. Harry August will break your heart fifteen times" (Jared Shurin, Pornokitsch Blog)
This wonderful novel, narrated by Harry, ranges back and forth in time as he recounts episodes from his various lives, but it's all held together by a compelling mystery involving nothing less than the end of the world itself . . . Beautifully written and structured, the book should be a big hit . . . Fans of SF and fantasy authors China Mieville, Christopher Priest, and Adam Roberts might note a stylistic similarity, especially in the novel's elegant prose. Whoever Claire North turns out to be, he or she has written a remarkable book" (Booklist)
"Gripping" (Sun)
"A truly extraordinary novel: an impeccable portrait of a friendship tortured by time in which masterful character and fantastic narrative come together to tremendous effect" (TOR.COM)
"A brave, genre-defying novel, which is mind-blowing in its originality and bold concept . . . Stunning!" (NOVELICIOUS)
"Part unique and intriguing mystery, part philosophical look at life, memory and time travel this story kept me totally gripped from the opening words to the mind-blowing finale" (BITE THE BOOK)
"The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is an extraordinary novel, as the publicity has promised" (The Speculative Scotsman)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A good one!

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.
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- Robyn

Déjà vu all over again

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!
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- S. Kingston

Book Details

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