Book Twenty Nine 2014:
The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August by Claire North
Harry August is on his deathbed. a little girl appears at his bedside. It’s the end of his 11th life. A small girl approaches him. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message.’
See, you’re either one of two people. That has immediately hooked you and you want to read on (in which case move to the next paragraph), or you think that’s nonsense, in which case go away, I don’t like you.
I will, as is my wont, reveal little about the plot of The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August shy to say that it involves a tiny subgroup of humanity who find that when they die first time around, they arrive back at their birth again but with all the memories of their first time around. And their second. And their tenth…
Imagine the limitless possibilities, and the boredom, and the possibility to ruin the future of the human race… which is what happens during one of Harry’s lives.
You might already know Claire North as either Catherine Webb or Kate Griffin, maybe not. As for this first novel under her third pseudonym (as if jealousy doesn’t ooze from my every pore towards someone who has been successful under 2 different names already!) it’s well worth your time.
It rattles along and the concept is both bloody simple and ingeniously complex at the same time. It’s part Back To The Future, part Dr. Who but, as it’s set from the 1910s to the end of the 20th century, mostly historical “What If?” thriller. You do need a smidge of quantum physics and it has some lovely musings on the nature of the finite nature of human life to but that’s always a good thing in my book.
My only real regret here is that she didn’t write us a little more, but that’s a good thing, right?
Maybe next life.