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Publisher's Summary

The instant number-one New York Times best seller

In his much-anticipated debut novel, Hank Green - co-creator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShow - spins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she's part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagined.

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., 23-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship - like a 10-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor - April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world - everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires - and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social Internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring from the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye.  

The beginning of an exciting fiction career, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a bold and insightful novel of now.

©2018 Hank Green (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a thrilling journey that takes a hard look at the power of fame and our willingness to separate a person from the brand. Green manages to blend humor, mystery, and science-fiction in his fast-paced debut novel.” (Associated Press)

“A deceptively romp-y novel about mysterious samurai alien robot statues appearing all at once, everywhere that has hidden and absolutely remarkable depths.... Green's understanding of the power and limits of social media is incomparable; what Douglas Coupland did for the elation and misery of the tech-bubble with Microserfs, Green does for YouTubers and other social media stars. It makes for a novel that's always charming, always fast-paced, but which is sneakily and uncomfortably ambivalent about the things it celebrates. It gallops to a startling and great ending (I read it all in one sitting) and lingers afterwards.” (Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing)

“[An Absolutely Remarkable Thing] is perhaps as honest a look as we will ever get into the phenomenon of cyberfame, and Green balances this careful introspection with a plotline that is both fun and mysterious, puzzling, and compelling.... Green quickly proves himself adept not only at playing into our 2018 anxiety and love/hate relationship with social media, but also at driving suspense, world-building, and a true love for science-fiction.” (Bookreporter)

“Led by an earnestly flawed, bisexual heroine with direction and commitment issues, coupled with an abundant generosity of spirit, this read is timely and sorely needed. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal, starred review) 

What listeners say about An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

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2+2 in fact = 4

The narration, by the primary narrator, is excellent. The setting of the dilemma is intriguing. 80's Music references feels...a little too Ready Player One. Descriptive writing was pleasant (The beginning when April May discovers Carl and describes him).

HOWEVER. The whole story was really hard to digest when the protagonist describes how she's going down a path of being a terrible person, then the reader is subjected to listen to her be a terrible person. Either show me you're a terrible person, or tell me you're a terrible person (I prefer the former but will accept the latter if it helps move other facets of the story along)- But don't do both! This story hits you over the head and then kicks you while you're down with the dangers of being a public figure in our modern world. I was hoping for more subtle social commentary- but I think my nose is still bleeding from the ham-fisted attempts of shoving all of the problems of the world down my face.
All in all, there are great bones in this story. The ending was...lacklustre and disappointing, I hope it can be resuscitated in a sequel.

7 people found this helpful

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enjoyed all elements

swept up in the story and enjoyed how current and accurate the social media was woven into the story. more?

5 people found this helpful

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It is so good!

That was so good it deserves the time to rate it. And 15 words apparently.

5 people found this helpful

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Not what I was expecting (in a good way)

I'm not going to lie. Once I was around chapter 6 or 7 I was wondering where this book was going and if it truly was for me (I am quite picky about my audiobooks). Boy am I glad I hung on. There are parts of the plot that are unpredictable and I never saw them coming. There are other parts to the plot that were very predictable because the characters are well writen and you can guess how they will react to things. I think this book is a facetious remark on modern culture and social media. I can see how some people would not have liked the ending if they didn't know this was a series with another book coming out, but knowing that I think the ending was a great cliff hanger for the next book. The presentation was decent. It wasn't one of those books where they try to do a different voice for every character, but every single character of the same sex sounds the same. Give it a try. If you like the sample you'll likely enjoy the whole thing.

5 people found this helpful

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A delight to be wrong

I thought that Hank Green would probably write a good novel, for a scientist. I was afraid that it would be a little thin, but I expected it to be a fun, pop culture read.

I'm so glad I was wrong.

Hank Green served me up a piece of literature so absurdly relevant and insightful that I can't believe I delayed in consuming it. Thanks Hank, sorry I quietly diminished my expectations of you to myself.

3 people found this helpful

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absolutely remarkable book

I love this book and the story and narrator are so good I re-listen to it all the time.

3 people found this helpful

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Cool Story

An unconventional story. It's certainly a timely and worthwhile examination of fame and social responsibility in the age of "influencers," but it doesn't get preachy or anything, and it's still a fun and entertaining story. The characters are likeable and relatable, and I found myself invested in the outcome of their wild adventure. Didn't really care that much for the sequel, but that's just me.

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An Absolutely Remarkable Book

Incredibly poignant and relevant to the current social and political climate in both the western and global society. Hank's book takes a hard look at how we as a species participate in discourse and how the discourse we chose to engage in effects us. April May's journey through notoriety and fame is believable and heartfelt. It shows the difficulties in coping and making good decisions in the face of being rapidly propelled into the public eye. A great read. I will not so patiently await a sequel.

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AMAZING

Wow. This book is incredible. I found myself obsessed with listening and it totally consumed my mind. The performance is amazing and the book is very well written. I’m hooked. Immediately had to download the sequel.

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Entertaining Romp

Glad he managed to work the Doppler Effect in there! Performance was great until the end. Then some guy came on that sounded like John Green ;-) j/k Hank!

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  • Amy Alison Robinson
  • 2019-01-10

Wow!

This book was amazing and was quite a surprise with the plot twists. I had never heard of this title, but knew it was John Green's brother who wrote it. I've read so many John Green novels, so I took a chance. Wow! It was a real treat! I won't discuss any plotlines because it is better going in "blind."

27 people found this helpful

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  • Marissa
  • 2018-09-27

Grape jelly in the void

This novel is funny, gutwrenching, charming, and couched comfortably in a familiar world despite being properly absurD. In this story Hank Green peeks existential dread through optimistic curtains and tracks the most relatable of human emotions through subtle sci-Fi landscapes. The story is compelling. The characTers are dimensional, lovaBle, and deeply relatable. I


This novel is very good And I highly recommend it.

74 people found this helpful

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  • Spekle
  • 2019-01-11

Absolutely Remarkable

Please take a moment to stop and listen to this book. Pause for a while and enjoy the art for the sake of enjoying art.
An amazing ride with a heavy message. I adore the fact that to me, it is not preachy but delivers a strong theme that makes you think.
Worth. A. Read.
Or listen.
Why not both?
....
Why not Zoidberg?

23 people found this helpful

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  • Ann
  • 2018-09-29

Incredible

This story was astounding! It was moving and vivid and, yes, #relatable. I started recommending it to friends and family before I’d even reached the halfway point.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Emmi Virtanen
  • 2021-02-09

Not what I expected!

Let’s be honest: I didn’t have high hopes for this book. To me, Hank is a lovable goofy brother of a writer. I bought this mostly to support, not to listen to. It sat on my library for over a year. How amazed I was, when the book drew me in instantly, made me love and hate the characters, and truly enjoy the story from start to finish. Already bought the next one, and started listening.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Jacob
  • 2018-09-28

Flawless Narration to a Truly Remarkable Book

Hank Green not only captures the current social media world perfectly, but also does the same with people. He manages to covey, explain but also never justify the actions of a 'caught up in fame' main character somehow managing to make you hate, feel sympathetic for and understand her actions all at once. Hank doesn't create a character, he creates a human, with all the complex and dumb thoughts and emotions we all have displayed in a very modern tale.

It frankly has the potential to become a very dated book, with social media platforms like Twitter , YouTube and Reddit being use candidly and without explanation, assuming that everyone reading can interpret without needing explanation. Instead of hinder, that only helps to elevate the story as even non-twitter users know and understand it's layout and basic rules.

But the story also needs a consistent story to follow and it is created with a mystery that is both as compelling as it is awesome. A world wide mystery that all who read it would feel pretty great being able to participate in. By mimicking the ideas of many projects that have existed it never feels off, in fact doing the opposite and feeling completely natural in a highly connected social media landscape.

But finally a shout needs to go out to Kristen Sieh, who narrates this book, the character of April May and all supporting characters with such emotion that it is hard not to think of them as real. Often a small line of dialogue will be said so well that the following description of "he sounded scared" is completely unnecessary. But the absolute best part is the amount of time between panicked words. On a page it will be separated by a few dots, but in this it is full seconds between crying, hushed words. It, combined with the completely open dialogue into April May's thoughts that Hank writes, makes Kristen Sieh's performance feel like you are simply listening to April May.

Hank Green has written a book so modern, real and raw, that if the starting events where to physically happen to our world, no one would be at all surprised if this is exactly how it played out.

54 people found this helpful

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  • william e. setty
  • 2019-03-29

Uniquely aprapos

I started this book and did not get through the first chapter on my first attempt. Many months later I picked it up again and I was mesmerized.
An incredible story that I hope does not end here. Just wow.
Also, I love when a story teaches me something new that I will remember. This story did that several times. Thanks Hank Green!!!
Lastly, I wish your Commander in chief was our Commander in chief.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Azzarinne
  • 2018-10-01

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing it is indeed!

This book, as the title implies, is Absolutely Remarkable. It's been a long time since I got so lost in a story, and possibly the first time ever in one set in a world so close to our own. I've known for a long time that Hank Green could tell a good story, but this...

I'm so glad that after years of keeping it quiet, this story is finally out there for the rest of us to share. Thank you, Hank, and thank you everyone who helped make it happen. I can't wait to find out what happens next!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2018-09-27

Best book I've read/listen to for a long time.

It contains a lot of current topics and gives a very helpful perspective on a lot of dificulties we as a human species have, while beeing very entertaining and "can't stop listening"y.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Morrison
  • 2018-10-03

My first audio book

This was my first audio book, and this was an absolutely phenomenal experience. I listened during my hour long commute.

21 people found this helpful