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Recursion

Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom, Abby Craden
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (671 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

12 people found this helpful

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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..

3 people found this 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 people found this helpful

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Stop alienating your readers on Twitter Blake

Let's get this straight, I will not buy anything from anyone who gives political lectures that suggest you must agree with their ideology else you are a 'insert relevant slur' regardless of where they lean politically. In these fractured times we need to have open, honest, discussion rather than pandering and finger pointing. p.s. Narrations for both Berry and Helena were sterling. The book itself is a solid sci-fi thriller but characterisation could have been stronger and sci-fi elements explored further. Prose was at times monotonous and lacked descriptive flair. Great concept however and steady pacing.

2 people found this helpful

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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!

2 people found this 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 people found this helpful

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An excellent performance and engrossing story

The two narrator's Jon Lindstrom and Abbey Craden do a great job. Clear speech, distinctive characters and good pace. I totally believed their roles. Blake Crouch has written a very absorbing story. A new slant on time travel and memory. It has everything. Romance, fight scenes, science, secret agents, nuclear weapons, pathos, tragedy and above all suspense.

1 person found this helpful

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Another great story by Blake Crouch

If you liked Dark Matter then you’ll like this. It’s a different type of story to DM but also includes interesting theories (I won’t go into detail to avoid spoilers). I thought that Dark Matter was my favourite book by Crouch but this might top it.👍🏻

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Suburb

Probably the best listen I've heard for a long while. The 2 narratives, Jon & Abby, combine well to produce a well absorbing story.

1 person found this helpful

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loved it

great story well told, fully recommend this book. having 2 narrators enhanced the listening experience.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ally
  • 03-01-20

Everything I'd hoped for

Since we listened to Dark Matter, my husband and I have been huge Blake Crouch fans. This book was everything we had hoped for. An amazing gripping story with the perfect amount of Scifi, romance and mystery. Absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Manoj Mahalingam
  • 03-09-20

Poor SciFi and long read

Usually SciFi authors are vague about the initial premise and that is acceptable as it's about the imagination given the premise that really pulls us into SciFi. The author has taken the vagueness to the extreme and the main inventor herself has no clue whats happening and in the middle of the book the author tried to give some mumbo jumbo around wormholes. And the imagination around how the story proceeds given the premise is also poorly done. And for a book that deals with time, it took too much time to end. The last third was just a huge stretch that could have been easily effectively compressed. The ending was a easy way out for the author, and author taking it easy becomes a theme across the book. Overall, if you have read and enjoyed SciFi books, don't expect this book to impress you. If you weren't impressed with Dark Matter, you wouldn't be with this one as well.