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Recursion

A Novel
Written by: Blake Crouch
Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom, Abby Craden
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER •

From the best-selling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory - his most ambitious, mind-boggling, irresistible work to date. 

“An action-packed, brilliantly unique ride that had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page...a fantastic read.” (Andy Weir, number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Martian

Memory makes reality. That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome - a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. 

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. 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. As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease - a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it. 

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them? 

Praise for Recursion

“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, number-one internationally best-selling author of Pieces of Her

“Brilliant. Crouch’s innovative novels never fail to grip!” (Sarah Pekkanen, number-one New York Times best-selling co-author of The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl

“A masterful mind-bender of a novel. Crouch brilliantly infuses his story with dire repercussions and unexpected moral upheaval, and leaves you wondering what you would do if you had the chance to turn back the clock.” (Mark Sullivan, number-one New York Times best-selling coauthor of the Private series and author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky)

©2019 Blake Crouch (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Crouch isn’t just a world-class thriller writer, he’s a Philip K. Dick for the modern age. Recursion takes mind-twisting premises and embeds them in a deeply emotional story about time and loss and grief and most of all, the glory of the human heart.” (Gregg Hurwitz, number-one internationally best-selling author of the Orphan X series)

"Cutting-edge science drives this intelligent, mind-bending thriller...Crouch effortlessly integrates sophisticated philosophical concepts into a complex and engrossing plot. Michael Crichton’s fans won’t want to miss this one." (Publishers Weekly

“Fans eagerly embraced [Crouch’s] 2016 Dark Matter, a pulse-pounding thriller…Here, he again combines fast paced action with cutting edge scientific theory, this time taking a deep dive into memory, identity, and their intersections within the human mind. Reminiscent of the best and most fantastic works by Philip K. Dick, this is set to be a bestseller. Crouch is a rising star to watch closely.” (Library Journal)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

If you liked Dark Matter, you will love this!

RECURSION falls slightly short of his breakthrough novel DARK MATTER, but regardless, this is a stellar and mind bending follow up from Blake Crouch.

Recommended for readers who love thrillers and casual sci-fi (ex Andy Weir’s The Martian)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Bree Salyer
  • 2019-06-12

Mixed Feelings

I liked Dark Matter and other Blake Crouch novels so I came into this expecting another interesting read. Unfortunately, there was definitely something missing, though I'm not exactly sure what it was. I think a lot of it had to do with the narration. It wasn't bad, per se, just monotonous and really boring. Both narrators read with little inflection, and the female's performance outright annoyed me. Maybe it was just me, but it was if everything she said came across as either shaky or sultry, or a combination of both... and her attempt to deepen her voice for male parts was irritating.

As far as the story goes, although I wanted to know what was going on overall, I didn't like any of the characters. Helena, for an accomplished academic, was whiny and childish, Marcus Slade was a total douche who I wanted to punch and Barry, who is supposed to be good at solving puzzles can't even seem to find his own ass.

I found myself zoning out quite a bit. It was too much explanation and not enough natural dialogue. And to be honest, half of it didn't make any sense. It's like fake science was created solely for the benefit of moving the story forward. You have to be able to do way more than suspend your disbelief. So if you're looking for a light read that you don't have to think too much about, this probably isn't the book for you. If you're looking for unlikeable characters with an unrealistic and confusing, albeit intriguing, storyline, then give it a shot.


45 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lauren G. Brown
  • 2019-06-24

Smart, but Really Dragged On...

Brilliant concept, just like Dark Matter, but this one just simply lost steam and got super boring. Was counting down the remaining time so I could start something else. Disappointed. :(

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • RoniRN
  • 2019-06-24

Great story, flat narrative

Blake Crouch has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I love stories that make the impossible seem plausible, and he does that very well. A machine that records memories and allows people to time travel. Helena accidentally builds such a machine while trying to help cure her mother’s Alzheimer’s. Then spend the rest of her long life trying to correct the horrible impact this machine has on mankind. I loved it, Mr. Crouch, please continue. The male narrator lacks emotion. There were several “soul baring” moments that fell flat because of his monotone voice.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • 2019-06-16

Hot mess.

The story was a hot mess so damn tangled and stoned on at times. Ending was ok and the author untwined the mess he had created earlier but overall, would call the book “ok”; would have trouble recommending it to someone else. Multiple readers was distracting and did not add any depth to the story.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kathleen
  • 2019-06-25

I must be the only one.

I am going to return this book because frankly, I could not bring myself to care how it ended. The narrator was over the top dramatic. The story was beyond repetitive and I could not see the point. Maybe I was just having a bad couple of days. Moving on.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Larry
  • 2019-06-16

Are we there yet?

Fantastic! Couldn’t put it down. Best book I’ve read this year. In a similar vein to Crouch’s Dark Matter. One of the better depictions of time travel and it consequences I’ve read. Can’t wait to see how Crouch tops this. Both narrators were perfect!

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole
  • 2019-07-01

Disappointing

The narration was great. It made the story more interesting than it actually was. Halfway through the book I lost interest. It started off strong but petered our halfway through and the ending was disappointing.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • merrill overturf
  • 2019-07-12

Not good

Preachy. Full of time travel tropes. Full of what felt like filler. Super disappointed. Liked dark matter a lot.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lee Gesmer
  • 2019-07-05

I am suffering ...

... trying to make it through this book. Half-way, and I'm ready to give up. It is dull beyond belief, and trying to make sense of how false memories work is just impossible for me. I really enjoyed the Wayward Pines series, so this is even more of a disappointment. Hate returning books to Audible, but tempted to return this one.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • A. Musser
  • 2019-07-05

Enjoyable despite some flaws

This is my first experience with Blake Crouch but I've been on a bit of a time travel kick lately so I decided to give this one a go. I actually really enjoyed the premise and even enjoyed the plot which I know other reviewers heavily criticized. However it is not without flaws. Ultimately, without any other Blake Crouch works in my memory to compare this to, I still felt that this was worth the credit.

The biggest flaw is that it does get a little drawn out. I have to be careful not to give any plot spoilers away but the protagonist can't figure out how to fix a problem and the author lets her struggle with this a bit too long in a way that isn't all that exciting for the reader.

The second flaw is that there are people that just seem to be far too smart in the book to take such illogical action. It's a huge pet peeve of mine when authors make characters act in a way that doesn't logically jive with their character in order to build suspense.

If you think too hard about it, there are other ways the plot could have gone and other things different characters might have done that would have made more sense.

I think the author missed out on some character development opportunities that would have made the story more intriguing. He just kind of gets stuck in a time loop at one point that is almost maddening and I think there was a bit of missed opportunity there.

Despite the shortcomings, I still really enjoyed the story and the premise. I'll be looking for more Blake Crouch works to check out based on this one and the reviews that seem to suggest this wasn't as enjoyable as some of his other works.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful