The First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

it’s a great concept–people who come back life after life, to the same life, and remember the previous ones. well, some of them remember. so all that fear of death stuff? pffft. it just becomes a drag, knowing that you’re going to have to get potty-trained all over again.

for Harry, things get complicated when he finds a true friend who, like him, comes back and remembers it all. and finds out that his liveslong friend is slightly nutbaggy, intent on building a machine that will destroy the future. can Harry talk him out of it? convince him to spend his time knitting instead? stop him before he starts? or is he really going to have to kill him for good?

the book’s well-written enough–not going to blow anybody’s literary socks off, but it’s a workmanly job. the pacing has problems, but hey, nobody’s perfect, and they’re not serious enough to ruin the book, only enough to toss you out of it from time to time.

for a book that relies so heavily on this one friendship, however, the characterization is a bit thin. Harry we get to know pretty well, but not so Sebastian. and the friendship itself–the relationship, is told with such reserve that one can’t really feel the heart of it.

genuine friendships between straight guys seem to be a rare event in litrachaa. in fact, the best guy friendship i’ve ever seen was in DS9, between the chief and the doctor. tv did it, so why not books? but scanning the shelves in my head, i’m not finding any.

anyway not a bad read. not a great one. add it to the popcorn shelf.