Recursion

A Novel

paperback, 336 pages

Published March 10, 2020 by Ballantine Books.

ISBN:
9781524759797

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (64 reviews)

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.

That's what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. 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 …

8 editions

Review of 'Recursion' on 'Storygraph'

3 stars

Interesting concepts about memory and time and how screwing around with both/either can have catastrophic consequences. I didn't think the world building or the characters were very well-developed, but it did make for an entertaining story. 

Exhaustive, as in fully comprehensive

4 stars

The book starts out slow with a few cliches. I wasn't impressed. But that's all part of the plan; I'm glad I didn't give up.

The conceit of the story, recursion, is investigated completely and exhaustively to the point where you are completely exhausted and thrilled. Beautiful ending (It shouldn't be an epilogue though! Too necessary.).

Review of 'Recursion' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

TW: suicide, described brutal motor accident, death by fire, mentioned domestic abuse, mentioned child rape & murder
4.2

It began 8 months ago, a disease inflicting people with two sets of memories- one real, one not, though both feel as if they've been lived through. An NYC cop is on the scene for a suicide, a woman who does not want to live in a world she swears her child has been deleted from. She's not the first to kill herself due to not being able to deal with the memories, but it's her death that sends that cop, Barry Sutton, onto a path that will change everything. A path begun years ago- life times ago, really. He will stumble into the truth... False Memory Syndrome is not at all what the world believes.

This book grabs you from the very first page. Nothing about this book is filler, it …

Review of 'Recursion' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

A clever premise, worked out in detail, described clearly and consistently. A story that starts slowly but builds with some real surprises. Prose that flows, a pleasure to read. Well-drawn characters all with their own emotional baggage. This is the first of Blake Crouch's books I've read. I will read more.

Review of 'Recursion' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

DNF. Just when you think the story has a decent foothold and you know where it's going, it suddenly turns into Terminator, with the scientist character suddenly aware of knowing how to use a shotgun and be a generic Sarah Conner. The cop who should be trained in firearms and dangerous situations is useless and shot within the first few minutes of the scuffle.

Then when you think, "Okay, good. Now it's over and I can just pretend this ending spot didn't happen." there's more, and the "twist" lands with a wet, soggy thud.

So, I'm gonnna pass.

Review of 'Recursion' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I love these kinds of books that explore some weird ass philosophical theory and craft an awesome sci-fi story around it ... because what if the theory is true?

Recursion explores the theory the linearity of time and how people can change it.
It's a cool read and will certainly fuck with your thoughts for a couple days :p

~~

When a person dies, he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past .  .  . All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. — KURT VONNEGUT, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIV

Review of 'Recursion' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Fun premise, though whenever I listen to sci-fi that involves multiple universes/timelines I kind of have to "blur my brain" so I don't get super lost trying to make sense of the science. That said, Crouch does a good job taking crazy concepts and making them grasp-able for regular people. This book was fun - but got a bit slow/repetitive (as one might expect with the topic is recursion) in the final 25%. There were also so plot holes that I'll omit for fear of spoilers... and I wasn't sure if they were intentional, if I had simply missed a key detail somewhere, or if they were the bi-product of dealing with a messy topic. In any case, they stood in the way of this book seaming itself up perfectly and feeling like a magic trick.

Review of 'Recursion' on 'GoodReads'

2 stars

Стерильное и бесхитростное нечто (young adult?.. ревьюеры не разделяют эту точку зрения, но я не знаю других ярлыков, позволяющих не материться на настолько ленивую писанину, а относиться с некоторым снисхождением), прикидывающееся научной фантастикой; секция обсуждения на Goodreads задаётся вопросом "вот это ничего себе, уж не лучше ли это, чем Дэн Браун?".

Не знаю.

Наверное.

Вообразите, что вы только что в ходе ночной википедия-сессии потыкались по линкам о квантовой природе сознания, квантовом же бессмертии, и, наконец, блочной вселенной, вздохнули, и отправились всё же в постель. С очень высокой вероятностью вы успеете в общих чертах вообразить сценарий, несколько более интересный, чем лежащий в основе Recursion, прежде чем наконец заснёте.

Отдельно замечу, что очень хочется верить, что упоминание в книге систем D-Wave также происходит скорее по глупости, чем в рамках утверждённой кем-то коммерческой инициативы.

Две звезды потому что все любят альтернативные таймлайны и временные петли, это узаконенное guilty pleasure.

Review of 'Recursion' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I've been forgetting things. Not like Helena's mother. At least not yet. But I don't know that externally recording my memories and playing them back to me would really help. I think it's just a plot device.

I didn't forget to review this book. I just didn't know what I wanted to say. There's nothing like a love story with time travel. That's why there are so many of them. I mostly enjoyed this one and will give it that extra star I didn't give [b:Dark Matter|27833670|Dark Matter|Blake Crouch|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1472119680l/27833670.SY75.jpg|43161998] though the ending where it looked like he may not make it didn't fool me. I knew it couldn't end that way so I found that part annoying. I'm being a bit vague to leave out the spoilers, but did it fool you? Maybe it would work in the movie version.

The idea of time and memory being connected …

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