In his much-anticipated debut novel, Hank Green - co-creator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers and SciShow - spins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realising she's part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagined.
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 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. 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 centre 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.
Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social internet is changing fame, rhetoric and radicalisation; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring from the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye.
Here's what people have been saying about Hank's book:
'A fun, contemporary adventure that cares about who we are as humans, especially when faced with remarkable events' Kirkus (starred review)
'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
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
An undeniably strange and delightful thing — V.E. Schwab
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is such a beautiful exploration of what humans can accomplish when we collaborate effectively. — John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars
[Green's] writing is light-hearted, clever, resonating and funny, tackling socially relevant themes, including the darker side of social media, sexuality, the naivety of youth and media representation . . . Get ready to be absorbed in the story, glued to the book and a little more afraid of Twitter — Stylist
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is perhaps most like a cheerier John Wyndham: a first contact story that, rather than dwelling too much on why aliens have arrived, focuses on how humans react. — GUARDIAN
Funny, thrilling, and an absolute blast to read. I knew Hank would be good at this, but I didn't know he would be this good on the first try — John Scalzi
A fun, contemporary adventure that cares about who we are as humans, especially when faced with remarkable events. — Kirkus (starred review)
By turns joyful, devastating, personal, zeitgeisty, modern, classic, fast-paced, and thoughtful, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing blew me away with its fresh take on first contact in this fragile, ever-connected world we live in. Quick but never shallow, it will stand as a snapshot of an era as well as just a darn good read — Catherynne M. Valente
You're about to meet somebody named April May who you're immediately going to want to be best friends with. And bonus, she spends all her time having incredible adventures with giant robots and dream puzzles and accidental Internet fame. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is pure book-joy — Lev Grossman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Magicians Trilogy
This is the book my teen self would have loved, and my adult self immediately obsessed over. I turned the pages of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing so quickly the pads of my thumbs were worn smooth by the time I finished it. It provokes the mind, tickles the spirit, and April May is the terribly relevant young protagonist we've been waiting for — Ashley C. Ford
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 in which the page turning story and the fascinating ideas inform and support each other. This book expands your mind while taking you on a hell of a ride — Joseph Fink, creator Welcome to Night Vale
At once funny, exciting, and a tad terrifying, this exploration of aliens and social media culture is bound to have wide appeal to readers interested in either theme. — Craig Clark, Booklist (starred review)
Led by an earnestly flawed, bisexual heroine with direction and commitment issues, coupled with an abundant generosity of spirit, this read is timely and sorely needed. Highly recommended. — Library Journal (starred review)
Hank Green, super-vlogger and brother to YA legend John, pens the heart-warmer An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. — COSMOPOLITAN
Packed with meditations on the nature of celebrity, social media, and the cultural response to the unknown. — HARPER'S BAZAAR
An Absolutely Remarkable is both completely realistic and utterly fantastical, while managing to touch on some incredibly deep themes — Belfast Telegraph
With this comic story about the ugly side of Internet fame, Green gives his brother John (The Fault in Our Stars) a run for his money — People
Part millennial social commentary, part sci-fi novel. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is both completely realistic and utterly fantastical, while managing to touch on some incredibly deep themes. — BELFAST TELEGRAPH
This is a book that almost demands discussion. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing refers not only to the event that sets the book in motion, but the whirlwind of unanticipated fame that exists more and more frequently across the internet. It makes you reflect on not only the image you craft for yourself, but how you react to what others have crafted for you. It's a reading experience that will not leave you any time soon. — HYPABLE
It's not in the nature of a sci-fi comedy blockbuster to shift boulders in your soul. But with his debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green pulls it off. — PASTE MAG
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is both realistic and fantastical, while touching on deep themes, including gender, the internet, fame and humanity. Green's firsthand knowledge of YouTube fame and fortune gives authenticity to the protagonist, 23-year-old April May. — THE HERALD
AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING is a thrilling journey that takes a hard look at the power of fame and our willingness to separate a person from the brand. Green manages to blend humor, mystery and science fiction in his fast-paced debut novel. — BOING BOING
Author Hank Green captures what's great about the internet, as well as what's bad about it. The polarising of opinions feels plausible, as online communities spring up both to solve the puzzles and to cook up evil plans. — SCIFINOW
A fascinating look at someone viewing one the greatest events in human history through Twitter. — SFX MAGAZINE