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Publisher's Summary

A breathtaking exploration of memory and what it means to be human, Recursion is the follow-up novel to the smash-hit thriller Dark Matter, 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 than 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 re-experience 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.

©2019 Blake Crouch (P)2019 Penguin Random House LLC

Critic Reviews

"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, international best-selling author of Orphan X)

"A fantastic read." (Andy Weir, number one New York Times best-selling author of The Martian)

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What listeners say about Recursion

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Mind Blowing

Mind Blowing Mind Boggling Mind Numbing Mind Twister In short what a wonderful rollercoaster Do read

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Highly enjoyable

This book reminded me of so many things. And instead of coming off as a cheap ripoff of them all, it turned into its own unique thing. Massive props to the author for really running with the central idea and exploring it as much as possible while still telling a compelling story. I also really enjoyed both the narrators, they managed to bring this story to life.

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Awesome awesome awesome

Loved the plot, great narration, a gripping story. Demonstrates a great deal of human emotion like an avalanche. First half is way better than second.

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Terrific. Just go for this read👍🏼

This read was amazing as the authors previous book. The story is amazing with great dynamics between the characters. Each chapter gets better and better as it goes. A good amount of drama and horror with perfect amount of science thrown in there. Narration is also top notch. So without any ado, you should read this. A must read novel of the year or lifetime.

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Worth it!

Beautiful, thought provoking, edge of seat story. Its a scary, amazing, saddening yet exhilarating journey! Life is all about memories :)

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Good read for Sci-Fi lovers

There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing. - Brian Tracy. This is my first sci-fi read. Personalities were so well explained. Loved all the sci-fi aura. The narration by Jon Lindstrom and Abby Craden were beautiful. How both of them distinguished male and female voices in their way. Highs and lows. Full of emotions. And each of them carried an own story narration which made it more interesting. This audio book version shines having two narrators.

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Thrilling Recoursion of Nerve gripping experience

From start to end, the story and the story telling never fails to amaze! Waiting for this book to be be made into a killer TV series like GOT.

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Superb

Super. Just Super! Loved the plot, pace and ending of the book. A must read for a sci-fi buff.

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Amazing Sci-Fi Thriller

A brilliant thought provoking science fiction thriller from Blake Crouch. While it first the story seems too abstract and difficult to comprehend the False Memory Syndrome (FMS), the author has been able to beautifully explain the concept of manipulating memory, shifting realities over again and the grave dangers associated with such a potent reality, should it fall into wrong hands. Neuroscientist Helena has an extremely good intention to help people with Alzheimers, like her mother in experiencing the happy moments before they loose their memory. However, as the plot progresses, she realizes how her memory chair can be misused for polictical and economic sabotages by the world's powerful. In an attempt to eliminate such a possibility, she has to undo her invention. Both Berry and Helena go through several memory timelines until those are eradicated as dead memories. A well written book that is curious and takes the reader to the brink of ingenuity, but simply ends with the fact that life cant be lived in the past and let the memories be as they are. Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Waiting for more such sci-fi intelligent thriller.

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Book of the year

one of the best books I ever read, a beautiful love story within a sci fi apocalypse.

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  • Ally
  • 03-01-20

Everything I'd hoped for

Since we listened to Dark Matter, my husband and I have been huge Blake Crouch fans. This book was everything we had hoped for. An amazing gripping story with the perfect amount of Scifi, romance and mystery. Absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Manoj Mahalingam
  • 03-09-20

Poor SciFi and long read

Usually SciFi authors are vague about the initial premise and that is acceptable as it's about the imagination given the premise that really pulls us into SciFi. The author has taken the vagueness to the extreme and the main inventor herself has no clue whats happening and in the middle of the book the author tried to give some mumbo jumbo around wormholes. And the imagination around how the story proceeds given the premise is also poorly done. And for a book that deals with time, it took too much time to end. The last third was just a huge stretch that could have been easily effectively compressed. The ending was a easy way out for the author, and author taking it easy becomes a theme across the book. Overall, if you have read and enjoyed SciFi books, don't expect this book to impress you. If you weren't impressed with Dark Matter, you wouldn't be with this one as well.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 18-06-19

Crouch Hones His Craft!

Blake Crouch once again returns to similar themes to Dark Matter, he seems to be indulging in recursion himself but this time he really has probably nailed it. There have been lots of books involving multiple, alternate realities but to my mind, this one has a freshness of approach that works particularly well. It's written from dual points of view. Firstly, Barry, a New York cop who becomes intrigued by a strange syndrome which seems to inject false memories of alternate lives into people's minds. The book's opening chapters include a powerful scene of him trying to talk down a female sufferer from throwing herself off a building and his subsequent adventures lead him deeper into the mystery. Secondly, we follow Helena, a brilliant neuroscientist driven by her mum's encroaching dementia to find a way to preserve memories. What follows is a gradually accelerating story that spirals and twists and yes which lives up to the book's title. To my mind, it's a particularly fine example of this kind of story with many tense moments as it builds into quite epic territory before finishing with a powerful and poignant ending. Unlike many books which deliver a great build up but often a disappointing ending, I feel this one delivers hugely. While in no way would I describe this as a romantic tale it does have an epic love story as its heart that spans lifetimes and which adds that poignancy. The narration is really decent too, with Jon Lindstrom narrating from Barry's perspective and Abby Craden taking Helena's, naturally. The only weakness I felt was in Craden's narration early on where I found some of her intonations slightly unnatural and a lack of rhythm. I stopped noticing this well before the end though so I don't think it is any major weakness. But the star here is the story and I think that in a very crowded genre Crouch has produced something that goes some way above the norm with a good build-up, exciting, pretty much epic core and that poignant, clever ending.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 21-07-19

Wow....

Wow, the story was great and so was the performance! Honestly, i think it had a lot in common with "Dark matter" but it felt a lot more mature. Its a must for time travel fans..

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shane Nelson
  • 01-07-19

A real head spinner

I really enjoyed this and is told very well, although at the beginning it’s a lot like diary entry’s between different characters which started to get hard to follow. The story it’s self tho was very good but not as good as dark matter (which was insane) it is a real head spinner and although there was a destination to the story you couldn’t guess which way it was going to go, always kept me wanting more.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-06-20

Stop alienating your readers on Twitter Blake

Let's get this straight, I will not buy anything from anyone who gives political lectures that suggest you must agree with their ideology else you are a 'insert relevant slur' regardless of where they lean politically. In these fractured times we need to have open, honest, discussion rather than pandering and finger pointing. p.s. Narrations for both Berry and Helena were sterling. The book itself is a solid sci-fi thriller but characterisation could have been stronger and sci-fi elements explored further. Prose was at times monotonous and lacked descriptive flair. Great concept however and steady pacing.

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  • thomas miller
  • 30-07-19

Good story, gets a little confusing.

I liked this story, at times it was very fast paced and I couldn't stop but with the complex nature of the story and listening on work commutes it was sometimes hard to pick up where you left off. Narration was excellent!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Flutterbi
  • 17-06-19

Mind blowing

Bit slow to start but this one is worth it. The storyline is tangled and hard to get your head around but in a good way. I could see this being made into a film. I don't want to spoil the story, so I will just say if you liked Dark Matter or Wayward Pines then this one is slightly better, the narration was good, not the best but good enough not to put me off. I will have to listen to it once more to make sure I understand fully, but I like it when I book reels me in so much I want to listen again. Listened to it all within 24 hours, very unusual for me usually takes me days but I could not stop listening especially during the last 5 chapters.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Bob
  • 04-01-20

An excellent performance and engrossing story

The two narrator's Jon Lindstrom and Abbey Craden do a great job. Clear speech, distinctive characters and good pace. I totally believed their roles. Blake Crouch has written a very absorbing story. A new slant on time travel and memory. It has everything. Romance, fight scenes, science, secret agents, nuclear weapons, pathos, tragedy and above all suspense.

1 person found this helpful

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  • m froude
  • 21-12-19

Another great story by Blake Crouch

If you liked Dark Matter then you’ll like this. It’s a different type of story to DM but also includes interesting theories (I won’t go into detail to avoid spoilers). I thought that Dark Matter was my favourite book by Crouch but this might top it.👍🏻

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  • Muffin
  • 24-10-19

Suburb

Probably the best listen I've heard for a long while. The 2 narratives, Jon & Abby, combine well to produce a well absorbing story.

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  • M. Mcdonald
  • 03-10-19

loved it

great story well told, fully recommend this book. having 2 narrators enhanced the listening experience.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-11-19

Insanely good!!

One of the best books I've ever listened to or read. I just can't stop thinking about it all the twists and turns. Brilliant.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Adam Monterosso
  • 29-12-20

Very interesting concept

Interesting ideas and explores the concept of time and our perceptions of it with some thought provoking twists.

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  • Julian Rich
  • 23-12-20

What a story!

I liked that they two sets of narrators. Both were excellent and made the story more immersive. The plot was very engrossing. I couldn’t wait for the next listen. If you love sci-fi you’ll like this one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-10-20

A thrilling read

This is one of the most well written and gripping books I have ever read. I was completely enthralled after only half an hour of listening, although the plot is extremely intricate and sci fi based the character development is very relatable keeping you wanting more. Couldn’t recommend this book more if you want to be entertained and invested in a book READ THIS!

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  • Miss Lauren Ashley
  • 30-09-20

garbage.

i wish I didn't waste my money. I could barely finish it. after about halfway it turned to rubbish.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-09-20

Enjoy the journey

This is the sort of thing I'd expected Inception to be; like Inception when it's conventional it falls apart, but unlike Inception it waits for the very end to do that. The idea of a lesson really doesn't belong in this mind-bending story. But listening as the story goes is so fun. there's barely a dull moment. I've reccomended this to three people now, and it's best to go in cold.

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  • sandra darling
  • 15-09-20

Another great story

I’m so grateful for the ending being written as it was, another excellent story that had me on the edge of my seat the entire way through. At times the apocalyptic themes were overwhelming, especially during Covid lockdown, but worth it.

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  • Daylan
  • 03-09-20

A lot of fun!

Got into Blake Crouch a couple of weeks ago via Dark Matter. He’s found a great little niche of sci fi that keeps you guessing the whole way. Great characters. Entertaining the whole way. Really enjoyed this one.

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  • Onyajay
  • 24-08-20

A fantastic time bending thriller

If you enjoy a good think, a bit of a thrill and a solid story you’ll really enjoy this. Great narration by the two narrators who give voice to the two main characters.

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  • nanoboy
  • 06-07-20

Inception

If you loved the movie ‘Inception’, then this is a must-read book that unfolds like it was written specifically for Nolan to bring to life on the silver screen. Highly recommended!