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Recursion

Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom, Abby Craden
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (236 ratings)

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Summary

A breathtaking 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.

©2019 Blake Crouch (P)2019 Penguin Random House LLC

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Crouch Hones His Craft!

Blake Crouch once again returns to similar themes to Dark Matter, he seems to be indulging in recursion himself but this time he really has probably nailed it. There have been lots of books involving multiple, alternate realities but to my mind, this one has a freshness of approach that works particularly well. It's written from dual points of view. Firstly, Barry, a New York cop who becomes intrigued by a strange syndrome which seems to inject false memories of alternate lives into people's minds. The book's opening chapters include a powerful scene of him trying to talk down a female sufferer from throwing herself off a building and his subsequent adventures lead him deeper into the mystery. Secondly, we follow Helena, a brilliant neuroscientist driven by her mum's encroaching dementia to find a way to preserve memories.

What follows is a gradually accelerating story that spirals and twists and yes which lives up to the book's title. To my mind, it's a particularly fine example of this kind of story with many tense moments as it builds into quite epic territory before finishing with a powerful and poignant ending. Unlike many books which deliver a great build up but often a disappointing ending, I feel this one delivers hugely. While in no way would I describe this as a romantic tale it does have an epic love story as its heart that spans lifetimes and which adds that poignancy.

The narration is really decent too, with Jon Lindstrom narrating from Barry's perspective and Abby Craden taking Helena's, naturally. The only weakness I felt was in Craden's narration early on where I found some of her intonations slightly unnatural and a lack of rhythm. I stopped noticing this well before the end though so I don't think it is any major weakness.

But the star here is the story and I think that in a very crowded genre Crouch has produced something that goes some way above the norm with a good build-up, exciting, pretty much epic core and that poignant, clever ending.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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A real head spinner

I really enjoyed this and is told very well, although at the beginning it’s a lot like diary entry’s between different characters which started to get hard to follow. The story it’s self tho was very good but not as good as dark matter (which was insane) it is a real head spinner and although there was a destination to the story you couldn’t guess which way it was going to go, always kept me wanting more.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Nick
  • Greece
  • 21-07-19

Wow....

Wow, the story was great and so was the performance! Honestly, i think it had a lot in common with "Dark matter" but it felt a lot more mature. Its a must for time travel fans..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Mind blowing

Bit slow to start but this one is worth it. The storyline is tangled and hard to get your head around but in a good way. I could see this being made into a film. I don't want to spoil the story, so I will just say if you liked Dark Matter or Wayward Pines then this one is slightly better, the narration was good, not the best but good enough not to put me off. I will have to listen to it once more to make sure I understand fully, but I like it when I book reels me in so much I want to listen again. Listened to it all within 24 hours, very unusual for me usually takes me days but I could not stop listening especially during the last 5 chapters.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good story, gets a little confusing.

I liked this story, at times it was very fast paced and I couldn't stop but with the complex nature of the story and listening on work commutes it was sometimes hard to pick up where you left off.

Narration was excellent!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Intelligent time argument

Allot of good thought went into this. Modern thinking into the nature of time. The mind experiments that are done today! A bit like the idea behind schrodingers box in that time is a relative concept in the idea that we only witness it through the biological machine we live in and the machines limited abilities..

All put together with the marvel or driving force of love and the willingness to suffer to relive joy

Good stuff!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enthralling

Really good book the story had me gripped from the beginning to the end, I really enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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can I give it 10 stars?

This is a perfect book. I wish I could climb into the chair and wipe my mind and read it again anew.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A companion piece to Dark Matter.

Blake Crouch continues the themes explored in Dark matter, and produces another challenging, but rewarding novel, exploring the nature of time and multiple lives. I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Mind-blowing

Absolutely loved this book, the time travel was complex yet believable, the various timelines continuously weaving into unexpected new narratives. I was blown away when the full implications of the device were revealed, and even more surprised with the emotional, heartfelt moments that followed.

The dual narration is a little odd at first, with different gendered voices being given to the same characters, but after a few chapters I was too hooked on the story to notice.

This is definitely one of the best audiobooks I've listened too, can't recommend it enough. Bring on a movie!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful