Book Review – An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

As I’ve mentioned before, my Book of the Month subscription has really pushed me to read some books I probably would not have picked up otherwise, and October’s pick was no exception to that. I figured Hank Green would be a reputable author considering his brother, John, seems to know a thing or two about writing, but the genre/synopsis of this one seemed so bizarre to me. I stepped out of my comfort zone and was deeply rewarded. It was like The Handmaid’s Tale – incredibly weird, not something I would have chosen, yet something I couldn’t put down.

Book 36:
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
by Hank Green

Speculative fiction

September 2018

Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is the story of April May’s discovery of a large, not-from-this-world robot-type of sculpture in Manhattan in the middle of the night. She and her friend, Andy Skampt, film and post a silly video on YouTube of their “interactions” with the sculpture, whom April names Carl. The video goes viral overnight, making April a celebrity and changing the path of her life because, all over the world, Carls seemed to have appeared in major cities at the exact same time. How does April deal with the fame of being one of the first to interact with Carl? Where does she go from here? And what, on earth, are the Carls?

Favorite Quote(s):

“It didn’t even matter if I was right, because that was the world I wanted to live in; that was the world that made sense to me. And even if I was wrong, I believed the world would be better off if we just acted as if I was right.” 

-Hank Green, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Awards (based upon my brief research):
None yet.


My Overall Rating:
4 – This is one of the weirdest, most intricate plots I’ve ever read. It has everything from love to laugh-out-loud moments to the explanation of things like hexidecimal code. The plot grew and grew in depth as it went and finished with the perfect amount of resolution. I could not put it down. While the concept of the Carls was so bizarre, it was so well thought out, and the layer of April’s fame/how she addresses her fame was almost even more interesting. I really appreciated how the author took such a far-fetched plot and broke it down into the realities of day-to-day living – choosing what you believe in, choosing to live by what you believe in and standing up for what you believe in. This book had me questioning my own life choices, and I’ve yet to see a Carl in the world.