Sunday, August 04, 2019

49. Recursion by Blake Crouch

I can basically quote most of my review of the first book by Blake Crouch that I read "Dark Matter" and use it again here, minus the plot details.  And happily minus my major criticisms of the book (the consumer brand/status-focused narration and lame character).  I won't be that lazy, though.

Once again, meezly brought this book home from a work colleague.  She devoured it in a week and after Davy I really needed something easy to consume.  Recursion was clearly it.  It is the story of a woman who while working on a machine to capture and retrieve memories (as a way to if not cure Alzheimer's at least to alleviate its symptoms; her mother suffers from it) accidentally discovers what is in effect time travel.  By going back to old captured memories and dying, you actually go back in time to the point of that memory and can live again making new choices.  However, there are also some pretty nasty side effects, as the people's lives who have gone on to different paths will suddenly begin to remember their previous lives on the day that the original person went back in time.  Anyhow, things get really messy.  Like globally destructively messy.  It's a lot of fun and both a bit of a mindbender and kind of moving.  Ultimately, like Dark Matter, it ultimately is about a love affair.

I am curious if Crouch has read Replay, because there is a lot in Recursion that borrows from that book.  In some ways, Replay is more emotionally satisfying, as it explores deeply what would happen if you could go back and start again.  Recursion is much more of an action thriller and while fun doesn't quite leave you as emotionally satisfied.  Still, an excellent summer read.

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