Book Review: Recursion by Blake Crouch | More2Read
 

Recursion 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 from 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 reexperience 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.

At once a relentless thriller and an intricate science fiction puzzle box, Recursion is a deeply felt exploration of the flashbulb moments that define us–and who we are without them.



Praise for Recursion:

“A fantastic read. It’s not often I plow through a book in two days. But Blake Crouch’s action-packed, brilliantly unique Recursion had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page.”
—Andy Weir
 
“Blake Crouch has invented his own brand of page-turner–fearlessly genre-bending, consistently surprising, and determined to explode the boundaries of what a thriller can be.”
–Karin Slaughter


Review:


“Just so you know, my primary goal is to help people. I want to find a way to save memories for deteriorating brains that can no longer retrieve them. A time capsule for core memories.”
This was Helena Smith’s ambition.

Then there is Barry Sutton, he has a dilemma and tragedy in the narrative.
“He’s been a detective for twenty-three years because he loves solving puzzles, and this one, this contradictory set of events, is whispering to him—a misalignment he feels a compulsion to put right.”

There is this fundamental question in the tale, to ruminate and intercept the conscious of the reader.
“There are so few things in our existence we can count on to give us the sense of permanence, of the ground beneath our feet. People fail us. Our bodies fail us. We fail ourselves. He’s experienced all of that. But what do you cling to, moment to moment, if memories can simply change. What, then, is real? And if the answer is nothing, where does that leave us?”

And fundamentally what the author set out to do with this work in his own words:

“What is the most precious thing we have?”
The answer came instantly: Memory. Take our memories away and what are we?
In the course of my research, I discovered memories don’t just define who we are. Memories create the very fabric of reality.
And if memory makes reality … then to destroy memory is to destroy reality. That mind-bending thought was my jumping-off point for Recursion.
How, you may ask, does memory make reality? The science behind the answer is some of the most mind-blowing stuff I’ve ever encountered, and you’ll see it play out in this book’s pages, which, in my totally unbiased opinion, comprise the wildest, most astonishing story I have ever concocted—something bigger in scope, more unexpected, and more emotional than anything I’ve attempted before. (And, if you read my books, you know that’s saying something.)
Recursion also carries at its heart a love story—one that played out in ways more profound than I ever imagined when I first sat down at my keyboard.
Every book I write is a conversation with you, the reader, and this one tackles a treasure trove of the fundamental questions of our existence. Time. Identity. Memory. Reality. Loss and love.
I hope you love Recursion, and I hope reading it changes how you see yourself. After all, who would you be without your memories?”
-Blake Crouch

Desperation to set things right, Déjà vu, that sense of familiarity, memories playing out again, Life playing out again in different strain and fate, recursion.
Things people carry, the past, the loss, and what about a second chance rewrite rewind start again? Ummm..complicated

Reverse engineering, second chances, undoing histories personal and social comes with consequences, the complexities and intricacies intertwined, in the wrong hands a deadly weapon, the power of undoing could be dangerous.
Great concept used in this tale with careful crafted storytelling techniques in a deep provoking tale, also maybe trigger stress too, one that would have you thinking of the past and what could be rewritten, prepare yourself for the fates of the chair in this mesmerizing mind storm of redoings and fates.



 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Blake Crouch is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. His novels include the New York Times bestseller Dark Matter and the internationally bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, which was adapted into a television series for FOX. Crouch also co-created the TNT show Good Behavior, based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. He lives in Colorado.

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 18 January 2019