Saturday, 19 December 2020

RECURSION by Blake Crouch

4 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Goodreads

How I discovered this book:  I've read loads of Blake Crouch books and hadn't bought one in a while, so I took an Amazon browse and decided on this one.

In a Nutshell: Parallel lives and time travel.

Scientist Helena's life's work is making a memory device - a 'chair' - that can extract memories from the brain and store them.  The purpose of this is to help her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer's.  Out of the blue, she is approached by entrepreneur Marcus Slade, who wants to fund her project.  She little realises that Slade has other plans...

Barry is a cop whose daughter died when she was fifteen; this death led to the break-up of his marriage.  When his world collides with Helena's, the fate of the entire human race is affected.

I admit to getting slightly lost with the science in this book, as I didn't absolutely understand how the reliving of memories could work in the way they did, though this is perhaps because I found it difficult to think of time as anything other than linear; I'd be about to grasp it then not understand the next bit.  It amounts to time travel, as Helena goes back to her sixteenth birthday over and over again, in an effort to alter the catastrophic outcome of the technology that she created and Slade misused.

I did enjoy reading it, and I liked all the parallel life stuff; it is clear that this book has involved an incredible amount of work and thinking through, and I love the way Mr Crouch writes, generally, but it's not my favourite of his books (my favourites are Abandon, and his collection of short stories, Fully Loaded). I found it overly complicated, and ended up just reading it as a story without trying to understand exactly what was happening.  It has a good ending, which I always appreciate.


  1. I found the parallel universes and concept of time in a sort of multiverse fascinating, and I couldn't help falling in love with the love story:) And as you say, such a well thought out plot. I'll be checking out the other books you recommend.

    1. Yes, I always love a parallel universe, though I'm rarely interested in the love stories!