Misc. Historical Fiction. · Misc. Lit

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

by Claire North.

Harry August is a man who is born again in repeated lives. The Cronus Club is a secret organization which oversees similar individuals like him. Some of the plot to do with the Soviets seemed a bit too complex to get my head around but mostly it was an OK book.

It seemed Harry’s main prerogative during most of his lives was to try to track down Vincent, the villain of the story. I don’t think North was really going to give us a sappy little story about a man who can be born again in repeated lives but who is just willing to settle down and be married throughout the durations of these different lives. Perhaps the presence of children would cause a rift in the kalachakra existences. Who knows?

If you want meaningful existences of strong characterizations, then look elsewhere. The constant change in locale, year and existence denies characters any solid basis at all. They are all reduced to archetypes. What could have been. What has been. What could still happen. As a result, I really didn’t forge any strong emotional relationships with the book characters. This also denied me the right to feel any emotions when anything stirring happened. Even the ending throws up possibilities. Still interesting, though.

Ultimately, a good book if you’re looking for something to read on the train. I did lose interest at some points (mostly when it concerned the Soviet stuff) but I didn’t hate it to so as warrant it being flung aside in disgust.

MY RATING: ***.5 / *****


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