The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August : The word-of-mouth bestseller you won't want to miss

4.02 (70,335 ratings by Goodreads)
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*** Featured on BBC Radio 2 Book Club on 22nd April 2014 *** 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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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 152 x 233 x 28mm | 546g
  • Orbit
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0356502562
  • 9780356502564
  • 178,329

Review Text

From first line to beautiful denouement, Claire North's The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a gripping read GUARDIAN
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Review quote

From first line to beautiful denouement, Claire North's The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a gripping read GUARDIAN Fantastic -- Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 2 The writing is impeccable . . Plus Harry is a fascinating main character ... And if his next 15 lives are half as eventful, we look forward to the sequel HEAT A masterful literary thriller io9 I don't say this lightly but The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is one of the top ten books I've ever read James Dashner, bestselling author of THE MAZE RUNNER Gripping SUN 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 Beautifully written and structured ... a remarkable book BOOKLIST Every bit as good as its title. (And, to avoid ambiguity, I love the title.) WEEKEND HERALD Grabs you from the first page; it crackles along at a rollicking pace ... unputdownable THE SATURDAY PAPER 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 An extraordinary book ... an impressive piece of work. Upcoming4me This is a superb novel, part thriller, part science fiction involving time travel, and part a serious and reflective look at our times ... Harry August is a wonderful character, easy to empathise with ... It's a really different book, which will get people talking. Highly recommended INDEPENDENT (Ireland)
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About Claire North

Claire North is a pseudonym for an acclaimed British author who has previously published several novels. This book is completely different from any of them.
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Rating details

70,335 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 37% (26,303)
4 38% (26,543)
3 17% (11,807)
2 5% (3,807)
1 3% (1,875)

Our customer reviews

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a novel by British author Clair North (a pseudonym used by Catherine Webb). Harry August is a kalachakra, one of a collection of extraordinary individuals who die, only to be reborn at exactly the same moment in history, to live parallel lives that loop perpetually through the same course of historical events, although experiencing changes within their own lives. Harry is even more unusual in that he has a perfect memory, accurately recalling the details of each of his previous lives when he is reborn. The reader meets Harry at the end of his eleventh life, when he is visited by a young girl needing him to take a message back in time, an urgent message about the end of the world. Throughout the book, the narration skips back and forth between the events of Harry's next few lives and those of past lives that are relevant to the course of action he decides to take. North has written an ambitious novel that achieves everything it sets out to do. Her hero is likeable, all the more so because he is flawed and succumbs to temptation. In Harry's many lives, he does much good, but he also gambles quite a lot, becomes a criminal mastermind, commits cold-blooded murder, suicides several times and admits his actions have cost the lives of many kalachakra. North's extensive research into recent historical events is apparent in every chapter. As well as exploring the age-old themes of time travel and the effects of changing the past, she examines the effect on a person's behaviour of knowing that their death is not final. Navigating the next life with the knowledge gained in previous lives may sound ideal (if I only knew then what I know now!), but Harry proves that it is not quite as successful as one might hope. This is a brilliant novel with a highly original plot and a great climax. Readers will look forward to more from Claire North.show more
by Marianne Vincent
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