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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
by Hank Green




Overview -
THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Sparkling with mystery, humor and the uncanny, this is a fun read. But beneath its effervescent tone, more complex themes are at play." --San Francisco Chronicle

In his wildly entertaining debut novel, Hank Green--cocreator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShow--spins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she's part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagined.

The Carls just appeared.

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 fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring for the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye. The beginning of an exciting fiction career, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a bold and insightful novel of now.

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Overview

THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Sparkling with mystery, humor and the uncanny, this is a fun read. But beneath its effervescent tone, more complex themes are at play." --San Francisco Chronicle

In his wildly entertaining debut novel, Hank Green--cocreator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShow--spins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she's part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagined.

The Carls just appeared.

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 fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring for the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye. The beginning of an exciting fiction career, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a bold and insightful novel of now.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781524743444
  • ISBN-10: 1524743445
  • Publisher: Dutton
  • Publish Date: September 2018


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BookPage Reviews

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Art school graduate April May nearly walks past the first robot and dismisses it as another cool New York City thing. It’s the middle of the night, after all. She’s tired, she wants to go home, and there are so many “cool New York City things.”

Then she reconsiders. How sad would it be to ignore the 10-foot-tall sculpture simply because it appeared in the middle of a city where remarkable is the norm? April calls her friend Andy. They make a video and post it on the internet. April goes home and goes to sleep.

She wakes up to a new world.

The video has gone viral literally overnight, and the world wants more of April, and more of the robot-sculpture, which she named Carl. In fact, Carls have appeared throughout the world, and people turn to April for insight. She’s convinced that the Carls exist to unify the world, but others aren’t so sure. When a communal dream travels from one person to the next like an infection, popular opinion becomes further divided. April quickly becomes a pundit—the very sort of person she once railed against in her art and conversation.

“It’s so much easier for people to get excited about disliking something than agreeing to like it,” April thinks. “The circle jerk of mockery and self-congratulation was so intense I didn’t even notice I was at its center.”

In An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green explores the power of social media. As co-CEO of Complexly, a production company whose work includes the popular YouTube channel Crash Course, Green is well-versed in that realm. He is also known as one half of the VlogBrothers, alongside John Green, his superstar novelist brother and author of such YA bestsellers as The Fault in Our Stars. Green’s debut novel is an adventurous romp that combines science fiction and interpersonal drama to explore identity, relationships, a polarized world and the influence of media and popular opinion. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a fun, fast read that invites readers to contemplate their position in the modern world.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our Q&A with Hank Green for An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.

This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 

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