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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Narrated by: Hank Green, Kristen Sieh
Series: The Carls, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (591 ratings)

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Summary

In his much-anticipated debut novel, Hank Green - cocreator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers and SciShow - spins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realising she's part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagined. 

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., 23-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship - like a 10-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor - April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. 

News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world - everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires - and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the centre of an intense international media spotlight. Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are but what they want from us. 

Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social Internet is changing fame, rhetoric and radicalisation; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring from the same dehumanisation that follows a life in the public eye. 

©2018 Hank Green (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

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I love it

I love it sooo much. I don't know you but I want you to listen to it and love it too because that is what this book has inspired in me. Now I am going to listen to it again.

7 people found this helpful

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Hank freaking Green how have you done this to me??

I've so rarely felt so intrigued, called out, baffled, angry, comforted, and understood all at once as I did while reading this book. It truly is an absolutely remarkable thing (sorry). Even through the voice of April, it felt like I could hear so much of Hank in there, perhaps because it felt so real it seemed as though it had to be an actual human person speaking to me. either way it was a fantastic listen and good company on long train rides. Thank you.

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing debut book

I loved this book. It has great pacing that keeps you "turning the pages" from start to finish.

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing!!

I avoided this book for a while, I know of hank green and I know that he is internet famous. I know that he could get a publishing deal, and that people would buy his book regardless of how good the content was. So it didn’t feel credible. I was so wrong. This book was fantastic, I finished it in just a few days. I stayed up until 3am to listen to the last 4 hours of it. The story line is brilliant, so entertaining and with great plot twist. The way the book is written lets you know there’s more surprises to come, and keeps you anticipating. There was no point in the book I felt bored with the story or at a stale point. Every bit felt interesting and important and as if it was building towards something bigger. With a book that built so much anticipation I was worried the ending would let me down. It didn’t. I really hope Hank continues this story.

3 people found this helpful

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I don’t like sci-fi... but I love this book

My wife suggested I read this, and a year later I still hadn’t gathered the strength to open the first edition hard back we had on the bookshelf, so thought I’d see if it was available on audible. And it was. From the moment I hit play I was hooked. Initially thinking it could be a traffic entertainer, expecting it to take a few weeks to claw through, I found myself sitting outside our flat listening, not wanting to escape the next line of words. Wanting to know what happens. (Guess my wife is indeed, always right). Narrated with the most accessible and emotive American accent I’ve heard in a while, this really is something you’re going to want to listen to without stopping. So, the story. I bought this without really knowing what it was about. Just that my wife wanted to discuss the ending and therefore I needed to read it. I usually avoid anything sci-fi, as it’s just not my thing. But the complex tones around fame, social media, humanity, politics - you just totally overlook the fact ‘aliens’ are in any way part of the plot. Mostly because they’re a string, as opposed to a protagonist. This is well worth a listen. And I’m grateful to know the next book is out in summer 2020, as now I know why my wife wanted to discuss the ending! No spoilers. Listen. And you’ll know what she means.

2 people found this helpful

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easy listening but still interesting

narrator was great, storyline was really interesting, just sometimes felt like a 'young' book with some of the vocab ending was brilliant though

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Brilliant!

Both enjoyable and thought provoking. This is a well written and compelling story that shines a light on humanity to reveal the full spectrum of qualities that make us what we are.

2 people found this helpful

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amazing!

i could hardly put it down! an AMAZING mystery that had me hooked from the start

2 people found this helpful

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I just loved it, guys

Wow. Best read in a long time. Thrilling, touching, thought provoking- absolutely remarkable, I guess.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic

A truly remarkably well written and performed story of first contact in this moment today. It feels true and vital in ways these types of stories rarely do. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Arrow
  • 04-10-18

Wow!

Holy shitballs Hank! You should be so proud. This was an amazing story and it was told so well. Kudos.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Signe Lemhagen
  • 15-10-18

If you wanna have a good time (just give me a Carl?)

Holy shitballs! Sorry, I just finished reading and am still a bit caught up in the story. It’s a really exiting, can’t-put-it-down kind of book. What I like most about it however is that it is the kind of art that helps you (or at least helped me) to think about and interact with complicated and heavy subjects. I’m glad so many people will read it because I’m gonna need to find someone to talk with about it all. It feels like a important book in how It could not have been written in any other time than now. Not just because of technology, but because of the challenges specific to our time. And I liked the characters. Glad I read it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Susanne
  • 25-09-18

DFTBA!

If you liked Sleeping Giants you're gonna love this book. It's entertaining and a great read

1 person found this helpful

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  • Seán Hannan
  • 07-03-20

Read it, then listened to it, then listened again.

Loved it. Keenly anticipating the sequel, A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor. Hank does story better than John. John writes character better.

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  • Yaakov Gorensteyn
  • 29-01-20

Good book, well read.

I enjoyed Hank's writing, probably more than his brother's even. Nice sci-fi book, can't wait for the sequel.

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  • Andy
  • 25-11-19

My poor heart

This book came as a balm to me. I have a twitter account where my opinions are weapons to toss at people with the wrong ones. It’s easy to forget that we’re all just trying to get by. Thanks to April May and the Carls, maybe I’ll be able to remember more often. This is hope punk.

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  • nechemiah s.
  • 31-10-19

this was an excellent story, recommend it

I absolutely love the story, great plot, great performance, great writing, an excellent ending.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-06-19

A great story.

I loved every minute of it. It gives us a peek into the life of the Internet and how fame can change us.

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  • Lior
  • 16-04-19

Recommendable

I enjoyed that story. There is no long prelude, it goes right to the action. There is always things happening and yet I got more and more excited towards the end.

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  • net
  • 11-04-19

It was fun

Very contemporery. Interesting ideas, light read. The narrator(s) did a good job. Still don't know why people will take that much interest in April but yep...very nice