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

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

Goodreads Synopsis

Average Rating: 4.03 Stars

My Rating: 4.7 Stars 🙂

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical

“The most it ever seems we know how to do with time, is to waste it.”

Predestination (Without the Incest) meets Time traveler’s wife (without the romance) with the thrill of Shutter Island

I have been dying to read this ever since I had the premise from Peruse Project’s Youtube Channel (Here), I wasn’t sure if I would have ever come across the physical book but when it magically appeared on a thrift shop I had to pick it up.

“There is no loss, if you cannot remember what you have lost.”

The first fifteen lives.

The story follows Harry August who was born in 1895 and his mother passes away as soon as she gives birth to him. We follow his life as he goes on through the ups and downs that is life until his death…

wait but wait but wait theres more

He is ‘reincarnated’ or time starts all over again for him but weirdly he has all the memories and remembers everything, literally every detail from his previous life. This phenomenal happens quite often and at the beginning, he loses his shit and kind of thinks he is crazy but soon he decides to seek out the answers to why he has a reset life button. It takes him through one of the most complex theories, to meeting unique characters and solving a very important mystery of (What the fuck is going on)

snl saturday night live bill hader ooh explain

Claire North managed to balance out Literary writing with Science fiction and it was absolutely stunning. The book was so complex and with infinite possibilities that leaves the readers scratching their heads. But when the wheels of the story start moving and you finally get a grip on the story, the pages won’t stop turning.

Kid licks wrong finger while reading magazine
He is licking the wrong finger LOL!

The characters were interesting to say the least, they each sort of represented the author’s personality, some were philosophical and went on this tangent about the concept of time and quantum physics and the true meaning of life and why everything is as it is… It was so interesting to see how they explored all possibilities from Religion, Science, and History etc. Plus, the main character travels a lot, meeting avast array of colorful side characters from an Afghanistan man to a  Nigerian woman who happens to be queer to an Indian Mystic to a bad-ass Asians assassins which just felt amazing to see represented in the book.

Everything is interconnected and beautifully structured. The whole book is a big plot-twist, with every decision the character makes affecting something big in the coming pages and it was thrilling to witness this come to play.

“They say that the mind cannot remember pain; I say it barely matters, for even if the physical sensation is lost, our recollection of the terror that surrounds it is perfect.”

The themes were endless and relevant to current situations from how war came to affect future events to questions about humanity’s belief in the ever battle between religion and science. Death was obviously an overall theme and I always find it fascinating when an author plays with in fiction and Claire North did it justice. The question: “if you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self? or would you kill Hitler and how will that change everything…”

“Time was simple, is simple. We can divide it into simple parts, measure it, arrange dinner by it, drink whisky to its passage. We can mathematically deploy it, use it to express ideas about the observable universe, and yet if asked to explain it in simple language to a child–in simple language which is not deceit, of course–we are powerless. The most it ever seems we know how to do with time is to waste it.”

How Claire managed to incorporate a lot of elements of Historical fiction, Sci-fi, Action, Thriller, Mystery and so much. This was one of a kind and I highly recommend it and after you read it pass it on because more people need this book in their hands 🙂 And if you have read this book please tell me about it so we can gush or if you can recommend more time travel books or just say hi 🙂

Happy Reading & Thanks for reading 🙂


8 thoughts on “The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North Book Review #TimeTravelMadness

  1. Thanks for the review – as you know, I have the book but have yet to read it. I may take it on holiday with me next month now I’ve read your review as it seems to fit with my interests at the moment

    Liked by 1 person

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