The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August. Claire North.

IMG_5886Harry August lives, dies and is reborn to live the same life again. For the first six lives this seemed to be a treatise on the value of hindsight and the gift which is mortality. A few plain truths are well delivered;

“The mind struggles to re-create the joy of a first kiss, but somehow manages to recall the terror of pain, the flush of humiliation and the burden of guilt with startling clarity”.

I guess we evolve by learning what hurts.

I wasn’t particularly engaged until, midway through, the book morphed into a quest to save mankind.

The detailed plot is slowly and painstakingly constructed but the conclusion is predictable. Possibly, the author was too meticulous in clarifying every detail of her world and wound up giving the game away.

Harry is a credible, flawed hero. Vincent, his friend and nemesis, I found a little too cartoonish. There is an enjoyable cast of minor characters. I can imagine a decent movie with some meaty cameo roles.

I think this book falls, disappointingly, between sci-fi and literary fiction.

I didn’t love it.

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