An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green


The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work 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 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 – everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires – and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.
 Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

The power that each of us has over complete strangers to make them feel terrible and frightened and weak is amazing. 

I've been really excited to read this book. I've been watching the Youtube channel by Hank and John Green for years but especially this year I started listening to their podcast and have been very invested in their productions, thus, it's been such a nice coincidence that they both published books this year and I my enthusiasm and expectations have been, accordingly high for both books. That being said, I sadly have to admit that, while I recognize that An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is an objectively good book, I just didn't enjoy it that much as such.

There were a lot of aspects that I thought were really well done: the pacing was good, the examination of fame was interesting, the sci-fi aspects were super cool (arguably my favorite part) and the narrative voice was confident and distinct. That being said, most of these things just didn't click with me, the examination of fame was interesting but I felt a little too detached from it to actually care about it, the narrative voice was nice to read but it didn't grab me in any way, the pacing was good but I often found myself not really caring what was going on. Yes, I really enjoyed the Sci-fi aspects and ideas and I really enjoyed the ending but, while I was able to get through the first 95% of this book easily, I can't say I've been super excited about it.

You should take this "criticism" with a grain of salt or two because I'm convinced a lot of people are going to absolutely fall in love with An Absolutely Remarkable Thing - I'm just not one of them. But, because I recoginze this books potential (I just couldn't tap into it) I really don't have that much to say about it. You should totally check it out for yourself, I'd recommend it, nevertheless, this will probably end up being one of those books I forget about rather quickly again and, if asked about, will tell people "it was good, just not really my thing - but I don't remember why anymore."

"Even on this most terrible days, even when the worst of us are all we can think of, I am proud to be a human."


3.5 out of 5 stars, it would have been 3 stars if it weren't for the ending.


Name: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
Deutscher Titel: Ein wirklich erstaunliches Ding
Author: Hank Green
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 352
Where?: Amazon (English edition), Amazon (deutsche Ausgabe)


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