An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

A Novel

Hardcover, 343 pages

English language

Published Sept. 6, 2018 by Dutton.

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4 stars (9 reviews)

In Hank Green's sweeping, cinematic debut novel, a young woman becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she's part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagine.


Roaming through New York City at three A.M., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship--like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor--April and her best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world--from Beijing to Buenos Aires--and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of …

1 edition

Review of 'An Absolutely Remarkable Thing' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

TW: biphobia, terrorism/bombing, gun violence, fire

When April May stumbles upon a sculpture, making a video of it with her friend doesn't seem like a life changing choice. But it turns out that her video, carelessly presenting the statue and naming it Carl, only stars one of many Carls, and was the first to document them after their sudden appearance. Rocketed into surprising fame winds up being surprisingly addicting, and April jumps to become the face of it all. But does she really know what that means?

I do this thing where I pick up books knowing maybe 5% of what it's about (usually because it's been long enough that I've just forgotten) and then refuse to look it up. So I had zero idea what I was getting into with this book, and that wound up being kind of the perfect way to read it!

I love bizarro …

Review of 'An Absolutely Remarkable Thing' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Review copy provided by publisher - review first posted at Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

Walking the streets of New York one night, April May stumbles upon a giant robot. She assumes it's an art installation, New York's like that, and calls her friend Andy to come make a video. She names the robot Carl. Little does she know that Carls have been appearing all over the world, and her video goes viral. Soon she's at the centre of a global mystery. Where did the Carls come from and what do they want?

I'm only aware of Hank Green because of his brother, John, and I have never watched any of their videos. However I can imagine a lot of what is in this book is based on their own experiences of internet fame. I was pleasantly surprised by An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, it's much more about fame than aliens.

April …

Review of 'An Absolutely Remarkable Thing' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was a fun read! And an unexpectedly poignant reflection on fame, especially in the era of social media.

Good, crisp writing on the back of a well-formed lead character, interspersed with good reflections on fame and the performative nature of the self. But it's the premise that was absolutely wonderful for me. And Hank Green has done an absolutely remarkable job with the world-building for the next book. (No, I'm not apologizing for that.)

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