Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.
In the summer months, there’s very little I like more than a fun, twisty-turney book. After blowing me away with his 2016 novel, Dark Matter, I knew I had to check out sci-fi author Blake Crouch’s latest, called Recurison, which came out this summer. Luckily, I can report that it was a heck of a lot of fun.
Recursion tells the story of two individuals living in different years: Barry Sutton is a detective in the year 2018, a year when a new neurological disorder is beginning to grab headlines: It’s called False Memory Syndrome, and it’s when people suddenly remember entire lifetimes they never lived. It’s weird and confusing and it can drive people mad: In the book’s opening pages, Barry fails to save a jumper suffering from the disorder.
The other character is Helena Smith, who, in 2007, is working to cure Alzheimer’s disease to save her mother and teams up with with a tech guru with deep enough pockets to make all of her wildest research dreams a reality.
The fun of both Dark Matter and Recursion come from watching the characters get hurtled into the kind of sci-fi alternate reality thought experiments that your mind may never fully comprehend, but are a lot of fun to consider none the less. In Recursion, there’s time-travel and memory manipulation, and two people struggling to sort through one mind-bender after another, with the clock ticking.
Sometimes, reading can be an adrenaline rush of entertainment, and Blake Crouch’s Recursion delivers that in spades. It’s the big, original summer blockbuster full of spectacle and action that we never got this year at the movie theater.
Blake Crouch’s novel, Recursion, is now available in bookstores
I’m Evan Rook.