IF YOU CAME ACROSS AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING
AT 3 A.M. IN NEW YORK CITY . . .
WOULD YOU KEEP WALKING?
OR DO THE ONE THING THAT WOULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER?
The Carls just appeared . . .
While roaming the streets of New York City at 3 a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture she calls Carl. Delighted by its appearance - like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armour - 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.
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 centre of an 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 . . .
Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with how the social internet is changing fame and radicalisation; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration can follow a life in the public eye.
'A fun, contemporary adventure that cares about who we are as humans, especially when faced with remarkable events' Kirkus (starred review)
'Hank Green hasn't just written a great mystery adventure (though he has), and he hasn't just written the most interesting meditation on the internet and fame I've ever seen (but he did that too), Hank has written a book [that] expands your mind while taking you on a hell of a ride' Joseph Fink, author of Welcome to Night Vale
'An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is pure book joy' Lev Grossman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Magicians Trilogy
'Fun and full of truth. To be honest, I'm a little irritated at how good the book is. I don't need this kind of competition' Patrick Rothfuss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kingkiller Chronicles
The younger Vlogbrother (John Green is the other) draws on his passion for science and his experience as a "Tier 3" celebrity ("You'll probably trend on Twitter if you die") for a comic debut that combines science fiction and mystery with philosophical musings about the perils of internet fame. His main character, the unfortunately named April May, is a recent art-school grad who happens upon a 10-foot-tall robotic sculpture in the darkened streets of Lower Manhattan. Entranced, she summons Andy, a classmate with a video camera, and the two introduce the figure they dub Carl to the world via YouTube. April May becomes a celebrity but soon discovers that dozens of Carls have appeared in cities across the globe. As she and her friends search for an explanation, she struggles with her newfound addiction to fame and the damage it causes to her most important relationships. April May's narration, which doesn't fully work, is both self-effacing and contradictory: she bemoans how much she enjoys fame while cynically crafting a message stressing community, which she determines will best resonate with her fans, thus growing her fame. Though the ending is disappointing (it appears to be setting up a sequel), fans of Green's YouTube channel will find his humor and perceptiveness intact in this novel.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I hadn’t read a book in so long. This has made me itch for more and more to read. Getting to know the characters, getting to understand how their lives were changed by a simple event and the decisions they made at every turn. It was so much and it kept me coming for more. I even recommended the book to friends way before I even reached half of the book and they too are as excited about it as I am!
I’m by no means a book critic and I really don’t know what makes a book good or not other than “did I enjoy it? Did it teach me something I didn’t yet know? Did it allow me to see things from a different perspective?” This book did all of that and, more than that: it made me want to read more.
I have only one tiny complaint: she is a graphic designer working with “pixels and vectors” as clearly stated. The fact that she didn’t know HEX baffled me, as any digital designer nowadays has to deal with colours in that format. But oh well, we are not all perfect ☺️