“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, #1 New York Times bestselling 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, #1 internationally bestselling author of Pieces of Her
“Brilliant. Crouch’s innovative novels never fail to grip!”—Sarah Pekkanen, #1 New York Times bestselling 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, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Private series and author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky
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Read an Excerpt
November 2, 2018
Barry Sutton pulls over into the fire lane at the main entrance of the Poe Building, an Art Deco tower glowing white in the illumination of its exterior sconces. He climbs out of his Crown Vic, rushes across the sidewalk, and pushes through the revolving door into the lobby.
The night watchman is standing by the bank of elevators, holding one open as Barry hurries toward him, his shoes echoing off the marble.
“What floor?” Barry asks as he steps into the elevator car.
“Forty-one. When you get up there, take a right and go all the way down the hall.”
“More cops will be here in a minute. Tell them I said to hang back until I give a signal.”
The elevator races upward, belying the age of the building around it, and Barry’s ears pop after a few seconds. When the doors finally part, he moves past a sign for a law firm. There’s a light on here and there, but the floor stands mostly dark. He runs along the carpet, passing silent offices, a conference room, a break room, a library. The hallway finally opens into a reception area that’s paired with the largest office.
In the dim light, the details are all in shades of gray. A sprawling mahogany desk buried under files and paperwork. A circular table covered in notepads and mugs of cold, bitter-smelling coffee. A wet bar stocked with expensive-looking bottles of scotch. A glowing aquarium that hums on the far side of the room and contains a small shark and several tropical fish.
As Barry approaches the French doors, he silences his phone and removes his shoes. Taking the handle, he eases the door open and slips out onto the terrace.
The surrounding skyscrapers of the Upper West Side look mystical in their luminous shrouds of fog. The noise of the city is loud and close--car horns ricocheting between the buildings and distant ambulances racing toward some other tragedy. The pinnacle of the Poe Building is less than fifty feet above—a crown of glass and steel and gothic masonry.
The woman sits fifteen feet away beside an eroding gargoyle, her back to Barry, her legs dangling over the edge.
He inches closer, the wet flagstones soaking through his socks. If he can get close enough without detection, he’ll drag her off the edge before she knows what--
“I smell your cologne,” she says without looking back.
She looks back at him, says, “Another step and I’m gone.”
It’s difficult to tell in the ambient light, but she appears to be in the vicinity of forty. She wears a dark blazer and matching skirt, and she must have been sitting out here for a while, because her hair has been flattened by the mist.
“Who are you?” she asks.
“Barry Sutton. I’m a detective in the Central Robbery Division of NYPD.”
“They sent someone from the Robbery—?”
“I happened to be closest. What’s your name?”
“Ann Voss Peters.”
“May I call you Ann?”
“Is there anyone I can call for you?”
She shakes her head.
“I’m going to step over here so you don’t have to keep straining your neck to look at me.”
Barry moves away from her at an angle that also brings him to the parapet, eight feet down from where she’s sitting. He glances once over the edge, his insides contracting.
“All right, let’s hear it,” she says.
“Aren’t you here to talk me off? Give it your best shot.”
He decided what he would say riding up in the elevator, recalling his suicide training. Now, squarely in the moment, he feels less confident. The only thing he’s sure of is that his feet are freezing.
“I know everything feels hopeless to you in this moment, but this is just a moment, and moments pass.”
Ann stares straight down the side of the building, four hundred feet to the street below, her palms flat against the stone that has been weathered by decades of acid rain. All she would have to do is push off. He suspects she’s walking herself through the motions, tiptoeing up to the thought of doing it. Amassing that final head of steam.
He notices she’s shivering.
“May I give you my jacket?” he asks.
“I’m pretty sure you don’t want to come any closer, Detective.”
“Why is that?”
“I have FMS.”
Barry resists the urge to run. Of course he’s heard of False Memory Syndrome, but he’s never known or met someone with the affliction. Never breathed the same air. He isn’t sure he should attempt to grab her now. Doesn’t even want to be this close. No, f*** that. If she moves to jump, he’ll try to save her, and if he contracts FMS in the process, so be it. That’s the risk you take becoming a cop.
“How long have you had it?” he asks.
“One morning, about a month ago, instead of my home in Middlebury, Vermont, I was suddenly in an apartment here in the city, with a stabbing pain in my head and a terrible nosebleed. At first, I had no idea where I was. Then I remembered . . . this life too. Here and now, I’m single, an investment banker, I live under my maiden name. But I have . . .”—she visibly braces herself against the emotion—“memories of my other life in Vermont. I was a mother to a nine-year-old boy named Sam. I ran a landscaping business with my husband, Joe Behrman. I was Ann Behrman. We were as happy as anyone has a right to be.”
“What does it feel like?” Barry asks, taking a clandestine step closer.
“What does what feel like?”
“Your false memories of this Vermont life.”
“I don’t just remember my wedding. I remember the fight over the design for the cake. I remember the smallest details of our home. Our son. Every moment of his birth. His laugh. The birthmark on his left cheek. His first day of school and how he didn’t want me to leave him. But when I try to picture Sam, he’s in black and white. There’s no color in his eyes. I tell myself they were blue. I only see black.
“All my memories from that life are in shades of gray, like film noir stills. They feel real, but they’re haunted, phantom memories.” She breaks down. “Everyone thinks FMS is just false memories of the big moments of your life, but what hurts so much more are the small ones. I don’t just remember my husband. I remember the smell of his breath in the morning when he rolled over and faced me in bed. How every time he got up before I did to brush his teeth, I knew he’d come back to bed and try to have sex. That’s the stuff that kills me. The tiniest, perfect details that make me know it happened.”
“What about this life?” Barry asks. “Isn’t it worth something to you?”
“Maybe some people get FMS and prefer their current memories to their false ones, but there’s nothing about this life I want. I’ve tried, for four long weeks. I can’t fake it anymore.” Tears carve trails through her eyeliner. “My son never existed. Do you get that? He’s just a beautiful misfire in my brain.”
Barry ventures another step toward her, but she catches him this time.
“Don’t come any closer.”
“You are not alone.”
“I am very f***ing alone.”
“I’ve only known you a few minutes, and I will be devastated if you do this. Think about the people in your life who love you. Think how they’ll feel.”
“I tracked Joe down,” Ann says.
“My husband. He was living in a mansion out on Long Island. He acted like he didn’t recognize me, but I know he did. He had a whole other life. He was married--I don’t know to who. I don’t know if he had kids. He acted like I was crazy.”
“I’m sorry, Ann.”
“This hurts too much.”
“Look, I’ve been where you are. I’ve wanted to end everything. And I’m standing here right now telling you I’m glad I didn’t. I’m glad I had the strength to ride it out. This low point isn’t the book of your life. It’s just a chapter.”
“What happened to you?”
“I lost my daughter. Life has broken my heart too.”
Ann looks at the incandescent skyline. “Do you have photos of her? Do you still talk with people about her?”
“At least she once existed.”
There is simply nothing he can say to that.
Ann looks down through her legs again. She kicks off one of her pumps.
Watches it fall.
Then sends the other one plummeting after it.
“In my previous life, my false life, Joe’s first wife, Franny, jumped from this building, from this ledge actually, fifteen years ago. She had clinical depression. I know he blamed himself. Before I left his house on Long Island, I told Joe I was going to jump from the Poe Building tonight, just like Franny. It sounds silly and desperate, but I hoped he’d show up here tonight and save me. Like he failed to do for her. At first, I thought you might be him, but he never wore cologne.” She smiles—wistful—then adds, “I’m thirsty.”
Barry glances through the French doors and the dark office, sees two patrolmen standing at the ready by the reception desk. He looks back at Ann. “Then why don’t you climb down from there, and we’ll walk inside together and get you a glass of water.”
“Would you bring it to me out here?”
“I can’t leave you.”
Her hands are shaking now, and he registers a sudden resolve in her eyes.
She looks at Barry. “This isn’t your fault,” she says. “It was always going to end this way.”
“My son has been erased.”
And with a casual grace, she eases herself off the edge.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Recursion is an outstanding contemporary science fiction thriller that is a great adventure full of suspense and power struggles and demonstrates how we can corrupt ourselves in controlling history. When you realise you’ve made a mistake can you go back and erase it, or is that the actual mistake. The concept of capturing memories from the neural databases in our heads and replaying them as core memories is utterly fascinating. To imagine doing that for those with dementia would be an awesome breakthrough and accomplishment. This is the fundamental dream and motivation of Helena Smith as she watches her mother live with Alzheimer’s. Helena is a highly talented neuroscientist who is enrolled in the breakthrough research and development of a device (CHAIR) to capture memories. The team managed by her under the funding leadership of Marcus Slade discover if a person dies in the Chair they can capture and send their memories back in time to a point of a specific memory. The life they then live can be altered but when they arrive back to the date of transfer, the memories of both lives merge. This mental collision has serious repercussions as false memories when they come flooding back are causing suicides and breakdowns. Detective Barry Sutton investigates the phenomenon, only to be drawn into the fragile and recursive existence of time travel. What constitutes a human life, what constitutes existence, what happens with multiple timelines, are our bodies just transport equipment for our minds – oh my head hurts! When I think about time travel, there are two issues that always play on my mind, the obvious one, how do you send physical material to a previous time period, and secondly the recognition that it’s all bound to end in chaos. The time travel bit whether physical matter or programmable memories still requires a suspension of reality and it’s better to set aside and remain a believer. What I loved, however, about this story was that it dealt with the chaos and built a compelling thriller around the eventual leak of the technology into the wider world and the major national forces that would pursue and use the technology. The escalating sense of chaotic fallout is brilliantly portrayed throughout the novel. At another level, we experience through the well-drawn characters the different motivations and competing pressures of altruism versus reward. Power corrupts and absolutely power corrupts absolutely. Helena becomes the Frodo Baggins of this world, to remain incorruptible and resolve the impending doom, even if it costs her own life. I enjoyed this book and it is a wonderful escape into a science fiction world that appeals to our recurring dream of being able to travel in time to right our wrongs and prevent catastrophes. Stuff integrity I think I’d still do that Lottery now that I know the numbers. I would recommend this book and I’d like to thank Crown Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC copy in return for an honest review.
Compelling story about time travel and a condition called False Memory Syndrome. The logical twists are very interesting. It wasn't just about the ability to time travel, it was about the emotional consequences. The characters were well developed and memorable. Enjoyed this very much.
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review. Wow! Wow! Wow! I write 200-word reviews. They are exactly 200 words. For Blake Crouch's Recursion, my review could be just writing the word "wow" 198 times and to end it with "read this!". I rarely rate a book 5 stars. They have to be extraordinary, either extraordinarily written or be an extraordinary story. This was both. I also usually write my reviews soon after finishing a book but I needed time to decompress and process this story. I was a Psychology major and had several people close to me suffer from Alzheimer’s so I am fascinated by memory. In Recursion, in 2007, a scientist works to create technology to preserve our memories to help her mother who has Alzheimer’s. In 2018, people suffer from False Memory Syndrome, an affliction that drives people mad with memories of living an entirely different life, a life they never lived. Recursion asks, "what if you could go back through your memories and “fix” them? Change events in order to protect children, countries, civilizations." Would you? I have wanted to read Blake Crouch for more than a decade but did not get around to it. I am annoyed I did not read him sooner. This review was published on Philomathinphila.com on 7/2/19.
Blake Crouch has done it again!!! Recursion was fascinating, confusing and brilliant! Dark Matter is one of my favorite sci-fi books of all time so I was almost scared to delve into Recursion - nervous it wouldn't live up to my expectations for Crouch. This book was ambitious. Thankfully, I had nothing to fear. Mr. Crouch's brilliant mind hasn't failed us yet. Recursion deals with memory - preserving memory, and using it to shift our reality. What a roller coaster ride this was. Can you imagine going back into a specific memory with all the knowledge you have now? What would you change or do differently if given the opportunity for a "do over"? Barry Sutton is a NYPD Detective who answers a "jumper" call. As he attempts to talk her down from the ledge he learns she is suffering from False Memory Syndrome - vivid memories of an alternate life. These memories feel real and those suffering from FMS have difficulty reconciling the dual memories/lives. Meanwhile, neuroscientist Helena Smith has devoted her life to memory research. She wants to map memories to preserve them. Her greatest hope is to help people with Alzheimers, Dementia and brain injuries. Ultimately she uncovers more than just a way to map memories. Her research leads to the discovery that causes FMS. Helena and her researchers travel back into past memories. This leads to changes which cause dual timeline memories for everyone involved. Barry and Helena's stories intersect as they find themselves face to face with the darker implications of the research. Each change comes with a cost. As more and more people suffer from FMS, mass hysteria builds. Are our minds strong enough to handle dual realities? Can multiple timeline memories coexist in the same person? Can the world handle this type of technology? Recursion certainly made me think and question everything I know about reality. I couldn't help but wonder about those moments of deja vu we all experience. What if there was more to them? Ultimately our memories make up who we are. They are definitely powerful and I love how Crouch explored this topic. It was thought provoking, emotional and made for fascinating reading.
Excellent Thriller, with not-quite-accurate Mandela effects I loved reading the newest thriller by Blake Crouch, “Recursion.” I love the way the story revolves around a real-life scientific neurological breakthrough in which memories have been successfully implanted in mice, and I love the way the story invites us to contemplate the true nature of reality and the role we—and our consciousness and memories—play in all of it. The plot of “Recursion” dances back and forth in time, and also zig-zags wildly through various reality and time-lines. This roller-coaster ride turns out to be necessary for keeping the story moving forward while the main characters develop, and while we gain a sense of how reality created from memory might behave. While 'Recursion' uses the term 'reality shift' many times throughout the story, and also includes frequent mention of Mandela effects, readers who actually experience such things deserve to be forewarned that these reality shifts are not exactly the same as what many of us experience. The reality shifts and Mandela Effects in "Recursion' operate as one-agreed-upon-objective-reality, rather than the subjective (not always in agreement) realities that were experimentally proven in quantum physics laboratory tests the year this book was published, in 2019. While this may seem a trivial or nit-picky point, subjective reality is at the very heart of reality shifts and Mandela Effects, such that not everyone agrees upon any given reality shift, including the one involving Nelson Mandela that the Mandela effect was named after. Having said all that, 'Recursion' is still a wonderful story, and well worth reading. And I can't help but wish for another book to come that will more completely address the depth and breadth of reality shifts and Mandela effects in all their breath-taking (and subjective) glory.
Im totally floored after reading the last sentence of this mind blowing. Awesome book! Could not put it down and highly recommend! Kkep writing more iof your amazing thrillers Blake Crouch, you rock!
IF you are looking for a light, breezy, beachy, summery kind of read, keep moving because this isn’t it. IF you are looking for a book that will compel you to call in sick to work, lock the doors, turn off the electronics, close the blinds, and read it in one sitting, you found it! Have you ever wondered if your memories are real, false, on your current timeline, or maybe a different one? You will after you read Recursion. This story will bend your mind, break your heart, and then mess with your head. The book starts with some character development and sad history of the lead characters. The story quickly becomes larger than the characters without losing the emotional impact of the backstory. IF you don’t like Science Fiction, read it anyway. IF you like stories with time travel, read it. IF you like Thrillers, read it. I wouldn’t spend too much time reading “about” the book, I would just read the book. Thank you to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I know I’m incredibly late to this party, but read Recursion! I’m often skeptical when a book’s reviews are loaded with adjectives that sound overly effusive--but Recursion is mind-bending, terrifying, engrossing, and fantastic all at the same time! If you had the power to change the past, would you? Now imagine that you *and* your enemies could wield this power. Then, picture that people who hadn’t considered the ethical implications could also rewrite reality. This problem looms in the world of Recursion. I won’t spoil the plot, but be ready for a small crash course in quantum physics as you read. The points made about the nature of reality and memory melted my brain, but in a good way! Honestly, I have no idea what genre I’d call this novel. It’s part thriller, part sci-fi with a dash of philosophy. I must’ve been living in a cave when Dark Matter came out because I never got around to reading it, so I’m a new Blake Crouch fan! Five stars for Recursion, and I’ll definitely be checking out the author’s other work. Thanks to NetGalley and Crown for giving me a DRC of this novel.
What are memories, and what kind of power do they hold? Are they simply mental scrapbooks of moments in the past, or could they be something more? Helena Smith is a neuroscientist dedicated to finding ways to preserve memories, especially for those who are afflicted by Alzheimer's, dementia, or similar diseases. Her passion leads her to invent groundbreaking technology that has the potential to help a lot of people. Barry Sutton is an NYPD detective who stumbles upon a case related to False Memory Syndrome (FMS), a disease where people wake up one day with vivid memories of a life they didn't live. His curiosity leads him to discover that FMS is not at all what he thought it was, and his discovery leads to life-changing events for both him and Helena. This was a solidly enjoyable read for me! Thrillers are not my go-to book, but as a psychology student, I was intrigued by a thriller revolving around memory and perceptions of reality. The story is driven by the characters, and I really enjoyed both Helena and Barry. I loved Helena's intelligence, compassion, and drive to do the right thing. Barry is likable as well. I appreciated his steadfastness and sacrifice throughout the book. Slade also made for an interesting antagonist. We get his back story in brief moments, but it's still compelling enough to make him into a complex villain. The plot is complex, and while it did mess with my mind at points, I admire Crouch for coming up with all of it. It had a good amount of technical information which was just enough to make the story believable, but it was never overwhelming for someone who does not have a background in medical technology. In terms of pacing, I was never bored, but the first half of the book is definitely slower than the last half. I didn't really mind how the plot took off in the last part of the book, but it felt like being on a slow, winding river and then suddenly being dumped into a long series of rapids. Overall, this was a fun read. I always enjoy books that have brilliant, complex plots, and this definitely fits the bill. If you enjoy thrillers that are unique, this would be a great option! If you're like me and aren't drawn to thrillers as a genre, it might worth it to know that it's not as dark as other thrillers can be, and there's a lot of creative storytelling to appreciate as a reader. Thanks to Blake Crouch and Crown Publishing for allowing me to read an advance copy!
I might be a little biased but I love all Blake Crouch books. It started with Wayward Pines and continues with Recursion. This book is like Groundhog's Day but a lot more serious. What would you do if you designed something that would eventually lead to the destruction of the world? That's what Helena and Barry have to figure out. Over and over until they get it right. A must read!
4 stars Thank you to Crown for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Published on June 11, 2019. Another great novel by Blake Crouch. Having read Dark Matter a couple years ago I was taken by this author. I am not a great fantasy or science fiction fan. However, this author can twist that science fiction into something that sounds and feels real. Maybe futuristic, but a good possibility of being right on track. He hit the nail right on the head again with Recursion. "False Memory Syndrome " is the current project of Neuroscientist Helena Smith. It was so named by the media because it causes people to remember an untrue life. There comes a point in their life that they remember all these memories of a life that never happened. A parallel life to their own, that finally drives them crazy. Smith buddies up with a rich philanthropist to further her work, until she realizes that she has been taken advantage of and he only wants to use her invention in a personal selfish way and not for good. Once she escapes from this bad situation she rebuilds her chair and numerable times under goes the process to stop and return time in the hope of saving the world before her opponent destroys it. Done in a very good way this equates to "Groundhog Day" with the repeating of this time frame again and again - with each time being spent in a different location. There was some techie talk in this story, that might be hard to follow if you are not aware of technical terms. However, it by no means ruins the story or interferes with the flow of the narrative. For me it just advanced the futuristic feel of what Crouch made seem...all to possible.
Brilliant! A great book, as good or maybe better than, "Dark Matter."
What an absolute mind binder! This book took me on a journey from point A to point B in a way I never saw coming. I have never been so invested in a story before. Filled with characters that absolutely jumped from the pages as their dreams, desires, fears and failures consumed me. ”Life is nothing how he expected it would be when he was young and living under the delusion that things could be controlled. Nothing ca be controlled. Only endured.” I thought I knew what I was getting into when I began this book. Now that I’ve finished it, I wonder how the heck this author did this to me. I definitely feel as if I’ve been tossed out into the universe, reeled back in, only to be tossed out again, repeatedly. While my brain feels like mush and I’m sure I’ll have a book hangover, I already want to jump into this world again and again. This is a story that will captivate you from the first page to the last. I do not consider this a romance, although there is a wonderful romance that runs through a portion of this story, one that actually made my heart beat faster because of what these characters had to endure. It’s actually one of the most beautiful tales of love I’ve ever read when you break the story down. I urge you to go in blind with nothing but the blurb to guide you. If sci-fi, super science stories are your thing, you definitely need to look into this one. If sci-fi, super science, and a love that lasts through the ages is your thing, you need to one click immediately. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and Crown Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
REVIEW PROVIDED BY: Kelly NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 What would you do if you had a memory but couldn’t tell if it was real or just a story someone told you? What lengths would you go to to learn the truth. Once you are there do you think you can handle the truth? Blake Crouch does an amazing job of writing a very disturbing story. Because I could easily see this happening to us in the future. The ending had me look for more pages in the book. I was left wondering what the heck (haha) in a good way!! If you are a Blake Crouch fan you will love this book. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
Recursion is an enjoyable surprise - a story with a remarkable hook that defies expectations or predictions. Crouch seamlessly investigates how our memories make us who we are - while taking the reader on a thrill ride of a detective story. I had a great time reading this book!
06/11/2019 Recursion by Blake Crouch This was fantastic! Absolutely amazing! More exclamation points please! If you enjoyed Dark Matter or the Wayward Pines trilogy, definitely pick this one up. By the way, since no one asked, the Wayward Pines books lead to me binging Twin Peaks last summer and that show was so incredibly odd and I never quite knew what was going on. Anyways. Recursion is the story of what happens when brilliance meets desperation. Searching for a way to help stop the dementia that is slowly stealing her mother, Helena creates a device that will change the history of medicine. What was meant to be a way to preserve a person’s precious memories turns into a potential weapon that could have devastating effects. Barry, depressed and steal grieving for his daughter a decade after her death, is investigating a woman’s suicide after he is unable to talk her down from the ledge. Plagued with FMS, False Memory Syndrome, the woman is devastated by the memories of a loving husband and son. But she was never married and has never been a mom so how does she know about this other life? Why does it feel so real? With more and more FMS cases coming to light, Barry gets swept up in a mystery so profound it’s capable of destroying the world. This is one of the fabulous sci-fi books that are better when you know nothing about it. I went into this not knowing the plot, only the author. The characters are great, the science went way over my head, and the story moved very quickly. There are so many twists and turns and explosive events that it just got better and better the further you read. Fast paced, gripping, and emotional, Recursion is an incredible story of strength and perseverance. Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this title. All opinions are my own.
RECURSION DOES BOGGLE THE MIND........ A mysterious epidemic of suicides....odd painful memories....and madness! What's going on? NYPD Detective Barry Sutton is overcome with shock as he answers a call, hears an astounding story, and is now curious.....too curious. Helena Smith is a neuroscientist and a genius with a dream to help Alzheimer victims like her mother be able to recall memories, and when offered the opportunity to make her technological dream a reality with unlimited resources, she jumps at the chance. But all does not go according to plan. Promises are not kept and her creation enters a danger zone of evil doing. And for Helena....her deepest, darkest fear come true. I'm a big fan of Blake Crouch and time travel stories, but this wild crazy ride is like no time travel novel I've ever read. So much suspense in the changing timelines, continual grief, fear and pain....and a world that turns into a horror show....or does it? What's the worst that could happen? Read RECURSION and find out! ***Arc provided by Crown Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
I just LOVE Blake Crouch, he has the most amazing imagination and manages to find innovative ways to explore time, tech, and science in each book (at least the ones I've read)... The memory chair is a fantastic concept, reminiscent of Fringe or Counterpart but with an utterly original slant and marvelous characterization. The pacing is - as always - spot-on and the writing crisp and clear while still painting vivid pictures that draw the reader on completely. It's a fabulous thing, knowing that any title I pick up wll be an entertaining, thought provoking, wholly immersive read - there aren't many authors I can say that about with confidence, and the fact that he's prolific on top of that makes him one of my favorite contemporary authors. My review copy was provided by NetGalley.
Neuroscientist Helena Smith is working on a project that she hopes will recover the memory of her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer. Barry Sutton is a New York detective who is investigating cases of False Memory Syndrome - a mysterious affliction that makes people go crazy from the false memories they are experiencing. This story is about how Barry and Helena's lives intersect over and over, as technology proves that in the right hands much good can be created, but in the wrong hands it can wreak chaos and destruction. This book was mind-blowing. It was scary realizing the possibilities and consequences of time travel in order to alter memories. I could not put this book down. It kept me riveted until the very last page. If you like fantasy/science fiction/suspense, then this is the perfect book for you!
What if instead of living with remembered life changing regrets you could go back in time and change them? What if you realized today's reality might be part of a false memory? What if there is no true present, only past memory? All these what ifs become plausible in Blake Crouch's breathtaking novel Recursion. In an online interview with Entertainment, Crouch said "Memory makes reality, so what happens if you start messing with memory? What does that do to the present moment?" His protagonist, Barry Sutton, finds himself swept away by this question. Is he a NYC grieving NYC policeman in 2018? Or is he the parent of a successful daughter who is a social worker? or is he married to a brilliant scientist? or ... This sounds confusing. It is not. Crouch's control of theme and plot are such that this reader never had an "oh c'mon!" moment. In October, Netflix announced that Sondra Rhimes and Matt Reeves will be adapting this work as a movie and a television series. Amazon lists Recursion as A Best Book of June 2019. Don't be left out. Read it now. Full disclosure: I received this e copy from netgalley and Random in exchange for an unbiased review.
Review Copy Ohhh, Blake Crouch, you pushed all my buttons. As I get older I find myself wishing I could go back and do life over. In my mind I've picked the time I'd like to go back to and restart. And here you go and write a novel that kept me glued to its pages until I finished. I read it cover to cover in one day until I finally, sadly, ran out of words. In a sense, RECURSION is a time travel story. Fans of David Gerrold's THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF and Robert Heinlein's future history and tales of Lazarus Long will fall into this easily. Like the epic TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE, RECURSION is a love story. It's about love of family and and finding your soul mate. The writing is strong and never boring. It's hopeful and yearning. If ever there was a book I wanted to dive into, this would be at the top of my list.
Wow! I read this several days ago and am still thinking about it. I read so many books that they often blend together. So when I'm still thinking about a book, that's a big deal to me. This book is about memory, and how we store it. Wait, it's about time travel. No it's not, it's about the mapping and manipulation of memory.. You know what....you just need to read it. It's crazy. It's thought provoking. .. It's a well written journey that you should try.
In 2018, Helena Smith's mother is living with Alzheimer's. She is increasingly losing her memories and Helena is working non-stop to find a way to stop this from happening. A brilliant neuroscientist on the verge of an incredible breakthrough, Helena is quickly running out of time and money. Her invention, a memory chair with the ability to map a person's memory and return them to someone like Helena's mother is still years away from trials. When Helena is approached by an investor who is willing to give her unlimited funding to create her chair she is desperate to say yes but at what cost will this be to her in the long run? Barry, living in 2007, is a New York City policeman heading towards a call to help talk down woman on top of a building. She is convinced she is suffering from False Memory Syndrome. This "illness" has started to pop up all over the city but no one knows what is causing it, whether or not it's contagious or how to treat those inflicted. Though it's not exactly his job to investigate the FMS outbreak, Barry follows a lead not knowing that he will be altering everything he knows to be true as well as those he loves most. Blake Crouch has written an absolutely genius, twisting and complex story involving multiple timelines, memory and a race to undo the end of time. For fans of "Dark Matter" this new work by Crouch is not one to miss. Do yourself a favor and pick up both of these today.
GoodReads interview with Blake Crouch: https://www.goodreads.com/interviews/... 'Memory is more fundamental than time. Memory is the actual thing that gives us the illusion of time.' What if you could go back in time using a memory as a portal and change things that happened? Helena Smith is a Stanford neuroscientist who is working on an invention she'd call an 'Immersive Platform for Projection of Long-Term, Explicit, Episodic Memories' if she succeeded. In layman's terms, she's hoping to build a 'memory chair' to help people with Alzheimer's disease like her mother retain their memories. She is quickly running out of grant money when she is offered a life-line to continue her experiments with no-limit funding by wealthy Marcus Slade. (Cue the dramatic music as the evil guy enters the stage.) Hint: his goals might not be what Helena has in mind. Meanwhile in NYC, Detective Barry Sutton tries to stop a woman from jumping to her death from the 41st floor of a skyscraper. She explains to him that she has False Memory Syndrome: memories of another (and much better) life where she has a husband and son. And because she can't have that wonderful life, she'd just as soon end it all. Afterwards, Barry starts to investigate using some of the details she gave him. He's finding some truth to her story. Other reports of FMS are coming in from around the country. What is going on? Is it contagious? Barry's daughter was killed by a hit-and-run driver when she was 13. What if he could go back in time and prevent that from happening? What are consequences when you diddle around with time and memories? These kinds of stories just fascinate me. The plot is complicated but hang in there--it's worth it. Strong characterizations drive this story. Crouch leads them to the apocalypse--can they figure out how to stop it? I received an arc of this inventive thriller from the publisher via NetGalley. Many thanks for an enthralling read.