When Harry August dies, his life resets – in the exact same way, with the exact same family. He is born over and over and over. But he doesn’t have to make the same choices every time.
It was an extremely violent book. One part was so gratuitous that I had to put the book down and roll my eyes. Yet because of the way the book is structured, it’s hard to say how much of the violence really “counts.”
For example, Harry comes across this serial killer and decides to murder him before he can claim his first victim. Only problem: everything resets when Harry is reborn, so he has to murder the serial killer every single lifetime. If the man keeps coming back to life, did Harry really kill him?
That’s just one of the hundreds of questions in this book to make you think.
He also has a very removed way of talking about the things that happened to him that keeps the readers from being traumatized. For instance, he gets tortured multiple times. The second time, he was more or less like, “So, then I got tortured. Again. It sucked, but then I died, so whatever.” I think since he's telling his story from his fifteenth life, most of the events he talks about happened to him centuries ago, so he's able to distance himself from them.
Let me put it this way; I'm usually very sensitive to what happens to characters, but in this book, I was really only disturbed by it that one time that cued the eye roll.
Did you read The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August? What did you think?
Books by Claire North