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Recursion Paperback – 11 June 2019
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A breath-taking exploration of memory and what it means to be human, Recursion is the follow-up novel to the smash-hit thriller, Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch.
What if someone could rewrite your entire life?
'My son has been erased.'
Those are the last words the woman tells Barry Sutton, before she leaps from the Manhattan rooftop. Deeply unnerved, Barry begins to investigate her death, only to learn that this wasn't an isolated case. All across the country, people are waking up to lives different than the ones they fell asleep to. Are they suffering from False Memory Syndrome, a mysterious, new disease that afflicts people with vivid memories of a life they never lived? Or is something far more sinister behind the fracturing of reality all around him?
Miles away, neuroscientist Helena Smith is developing a technology that allows us to preserve our most intense memories, and relive them. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.
Barry's search for the truth leads him on an impossible, astonishing journey, as he discovers that Helena's work has yielded a terrifying gift - the ability not just to preserve memories, but to remake them . . . at the risk of destroying what it means to be human.
PRAISE FOR RECURSION
'It's not often I plough through a book in two days. But Blake Crouch's action-packed, brilliantly unique Recursion had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page. A fantastic read' Andy Weir, author of The Martian
'Recursion takes mind-twisting premises and embeds them in a deeply emotional story about time and loss and grief and most of all, the glory of the human heart' Gregg Hurwitz, author of the Orphan X series
'Blake Crouch has invented his own brand of page-turner--fearlessly genre-bending, consistently surprising, and determined to explode the boundaries of what a thriller can be' Karin Slaughter, author of the Grant County series
'Blake Crouch's fantastic, mind-blowing philosophical thriller' Yahoo News
Frequently bought together
It's not often I plough through a book in two days. But Blake Crouch’s action-packed, brilliantly unique Recursion had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page. A fantastic read -- Andy Weir, Number one New York Times bestselling author of The Martian
Blake Crouch has invented his own brand of page-turner--fearlessly genre-bending, consistently surprising, and determined to explode the boundaries of what a thriller can be -- Karin Slaughter
Blake Crouch is brilliant. His innovative novels never fail to grip! -- Sarah Pekkanen, best-selling co-author of The Wife Between Us
This is a mind-twisting exploration of memory and what it means to be human. If you’re into thoughtful, fluidly written science fiction, this one will hit the mark ― ES Magazine
Blake Crouch's fantastic, mind-blowing philosophical thriller ― Yahoo News
Smart and twisty, Recursion will make you rethink everything you thought you know, not just about time travel, but about time itself ― SciFiNow
Praise for Dark Matter: Brilliant . . . I think Blake Crouch just invented something new -- Lee Child
Praise for Dark Matter: It also might be the most helter-skelter, race-to-the-finish-line thriller you'll read all year ― Guardian
- Publisher : Macmillan (11 June 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1509866663
- ISBN-13 : 978-1509866663
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Dimensions : 15.2 x 2.7 x 23.3 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 38,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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I read Dark Matter before this and found it quite bleak so I almost didn’t read this one. I’m glad I persevered.
The quantum mechanical branching leaves every other time based sci fi story looking monochrome and pathetic. No fish bones of absurdity to catch in your throat, it’s fiction Feynman could enjoy. But it’s so much more than the science which it turns as a mirror to reflect our timeless stupidity, vulnerability, love and genius.
Well done Mr Crouch.
The story is well paced but longer than expected and broken into 5 "books". This services a timeline of events and makes it easier to read in order.
That said what starts out as two distinct stories destined to converge - The send half of Recursion is more sci fi futuristic and all together linear changing up the reflections and mystery for straight up action.
The last arc of the narrative is suitably repetitive while also stretching the credibility of its own ideas. There are points towards the end where it.just.doesnt.end. And then very easily it does and yet the final ending feels unfulfilled, it felt like so many threads had been retconned and left unresolved.
If there is one issue with Blake's story is that he seems intent on telling a story of two destined lovers, and yet then totally ignores that poor wife and daughter of one of the main characters. The daughter especially is ignored in the backhalf dead twice and relegated to never being born, the wife an afterthought. I was expecting some resolution here but alas, at least the 2 main characters found each other again .
Not the Notebook, or the Butterfly Effect or Looper this book does what Blake Crouch does best.
Well worth reading!
Top reviews from other countries
The novel opens with Barry Sutton, an NYPD officer, trying to coax a distraught woman away from the edge of a Manhattan rooftop as she tells him of her pain at remembering a life she never lived. "My son has been erased," are the final words she says to Barry before throwing herself off the building. This event is the catalyst that leads Barry to further investigation into a bizarre, unexplained condition called False Memory Syndrome (FMS) which causes people to develop memories of things that never actually happened.
His investigation takes him down a path of shocking discovery with implications that could change the world forever.
Sound vague? Well, this is a story you'll want to dive into without knowing a lot. It makes the many revelations and twists better - the same with DM.
With a narrative built around questions of memory and consciousness, I found the descriptions of the characters' memories particularly vivid and convincingly tangible. I also liked that the story was told completely in the present tense as it made the scenes feel as though they were happening in the present moment and helped bring them to life.
Recursion is perhaps more relevant to today than DM was, as there are references to things like the Mandela Effect, deja vu, and a recent real-life experiment where scientists successfully manipulated the memories of mice. Because these are things that have recently circulated pop culture, things people are familiar with, these references add a layer of realism to the story.
The stakes are colossal, the characters are the perfect propelling forces of the story, and the big reveals are placed at exactly the right moments. Crouch is talented at putting super complicated ideas - involving things like quantum particle physics - into words in such a way that they are digestible to readers who aren't scientifically inclined. Recursion does get a tad convoluted and confusing towards the middle of the book, but this is probably inevitable with the scale and complexity of the ideas within it.
I hope Crouch continues to write more books in this goldmine-of-a-niche he seems to have struck. They are gripping and unlike any other books I have read.
Fantastic characters, thrilling, complex plot line and compelling story that leaves you racing to the end and then sorry that you did because then it's all over!
Besides all that amazingness Mr Crouch explores fascinating science and physics and leaves you questioning and thoughtful about our place in the Universe, and about the passage of time itself, in fact does time even exist?
Like many science fiction novels they pave the way for new and exciting steps forward in science development and Recusion is no different, already there are similar experiments on memory capture being made! Who knows what the future holds, but let's hope its not the downfall of mankind!
Highly recommended read.
How in hell such a colossal yet effortlessly evolving plot manifested from anyone’s brain I guess I’ll never know. But I am convinced their house is wallpapered in trillions of Post-It notes and they can’t have slept for at least five years.
The timeline is never-ending loop that is over-written with almost every page turn. As a result it contains a bounty of memories forged by characters whose intentions form the tip of a ruddy great iceberg of unforeseeable consequences.
Interfering with the natural order of events will certainly raise moral eyebrows everywhere, particularly as the ordinary folk featured in this tale are carried along by events but are unable to process the overlapping confusion that ensues.
In short, this book is a crisscrossing, mind-melting imagining of mammoth proportions and I’m delighted to have stumbled across it by happy accident, as its concept commanded my full attention throughout. Would seek out this author again for sure.