An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

by Hank Green


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In his much-anticipated 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. 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 armor—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 center 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 radicalization; 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524743444
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/25/2018
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 154,076
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Hank Green is the CEO of Complexly, a production company that creates educational content, including Crash Course and SciShow, prompting The Washington Post to name him "one of America's most popular science teachers." Complexly's videos have been viewed more than two billion times on YouTube. Green cofounded a number of other small businesses, including, which helps online creators make money by selling cool stuff to their communities; and VidCon, the world's largest conference for the online video community. In 2017, VidCon drew more than forty thousand attendees across three events in Anaheim, Amsterdam, and Australia. Hank and his brother, John, also started the Project for Awesome, which last year raised more than two million dollars for charities, including Save the Children and Partners in Health. Hank lives in Montana with his wife, son, and cat.

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "An Absolutely Remarkable Thing"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Hank Green.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down. Fun, engaging, trendy, weird (in a good way) and just plain interesting!! On the edge of my seat through most of it!!
LaynieBee-Blog More than 1 year ago
I’d like to start this review by making it clear that I have been a Nerdfighter (i.e. a part of the community that rallies around Hank and John, actively works to decrease world suck, and generally allows themselves to experience the joy of being excited about things) since the early days of their YouTube channel. I've since found myself watching their videos less and less, but still supporting their other endeavors. This, however, only sways my opinion slightly. Hank, to me, has always been the “left-brained” brother. I associate Hank with things like SciShow (an informative web series based around scientific topics) and songs about space and the universe. John is the bookish one. The one with the book club. The one with all the quotes about reading. If the brothers were high school teachers, Hank would be math and science and John would handle the English and history. So naturally when I found out Hank was releasing a book, I thought it would be non-fiction. Maybe about the universe, or how science has changed the world. I was very worried when I found out it was fiction. Would it be another John Green novel? Would it live up to the standard that I have come to expect from the Greens? Would I have to pretend to like it while actually DNFing it? So, while I saw the hype, I shied away from learning too much about it. In fact, I didn’t even read the description until after I started the book. I did see pictures of the statues at BookCon, because, well those were hard to miss but I had no idea what I was in for and, honestly, I kind of like that it happend that way. Right off the bat I came to several conclusions. One: This is most definitely not a John Green novel. The age of the protagonist (early 20s) is one of the determining factors of this, as is the SciFi aspect. But the voice is what really sets it apart. The MC of most John Green novels is a incredibly self reflective, almost brooding, introvert with a quirky side. April May, the MC of this novel, is in-your-face spunky and incredibly outgoing. She takes pride in being fun, carefree, and never too serious. Obviously there is some introspection, but usually at the cost of making fun of herself. Two: I wasn’t going to be able to stop reading even if I tried. Much to the dismay of my friends, family, and employer, I walked around in an AART haze until I finished the book. Wait. No. Scratch that. I am still in an AART haze. Hank pulls you into this world that almost feels like it could happen. He makes you feel for the inanimate objects and April May. As April grows and her character arc develops, she starts to point out many things that make you stop and think. About the world. About people. About yourself and what you truly desire and what you are really scared of. What, on the surface, is just a book about a few metal robot statues and a quirky graphic designer turned vlogger is actually both a love letter and a warning to/about the Internet and Internet fame. How it brings people together, but can also tear them apart. About how addictive fame can be and how it feels to continuously chase the next thing that will keep you relevant so as not to lose your audience. April May and the story of the immovable robots that show up in the middle of the night, isn’t actually the story here. This novel is more about the way the community either rallies behind or against them. It’s a story of humanity and togetherness. Working towards a common goal with your fellow man. Looking
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome! I hope Mr.Green does a sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Way to go, Hank!!!!!
Anonymous 13 days ago
Anonymous 29 days ago
This book is fun and something very different than what I would normally read. I read it for a book club and really enjoyed it. It was like Transformers and Aliens meet social media. My husband and I read it together and surprisingly we both were really into it. I think it would appeal more to, let's say, the "under 40" crowd due to the high level of swearing, robots, and social media and internet references, but certainly a book that really makes you think...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
While I cannot quite say that I *liked* this book, I certainly did *appreciate* it. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is very well written and is easily the sort of book that will ensnare the reader. April May discovers a mysterious statue on her late night trek home in New York City, and thinking it's a beautiful new art installation, she call her friend and the two make video and introduce the sculpture as "Carl". The next morning, April discovers that not only is Carl not quite an art installation, but there is a Carl in every major city in the world. Where did they all come from? What do they mean? And how in the world did April May manage to get in the middle of the whole event? Between the question of the Carls and the elements of the Dream, there's a lot of interesting puzzles in this novel. It reminded me in parts of both Ready Player One and Sleeping Giants. The pacing is perfectly done and it manages to capture not only the fascinating parts of the genre, but also the rise to fame and how it affects an individual. My only complaint about An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is entirely personal. There's nothing truly wrong with this book, and I think that the high rating is well-deserved. The only thing I didn't like was April May herself. April is a flawed character and a self-proclaimed horrible girlfriend... but it was her self-absorption and selfishness that made me dislike her. Again, this is nothing related to the way April was WRITTEN. She's written perfectly. I just didn't click with her. I'd like to hear this story from Maya's POV, and I would have enjoyed this story much more. But April made me cringe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AdelineMirren More than 1 year ago
This book was really interesting, and a fast read. The characters were very relatable and the concept of the book was fun and weid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rylea_Anderson More than 1 year ago
April May, a bisexual university-educated graphic artist who is in a relationship with a woman, discovers what she thinks is a work of art on the streets of Manhattan one very early morning on her way home from work. On a whim, she and her best friend make a YouTube video about it that launches them both into the world of YouTube superstardom. Together with a small group of her friends, they solve the mystery of the alien-thing they named “Carl” and share it with the world. I’m going to start with all the things I loved about this book. The protagonist and cast of characters are diverse, intelligent, and interesting. I am in love with the idea of a book that reflects the landscape of twenty-somethings as I know them, not only the subset of heterosexual white people. They are educated. They are nerds. They use the internet and social media as a primary means of connection. They do not have their shit together. Even so, I felt myself emotionally holding this book at arms-length. The first third of the book felt like name-dropping gaming, esports, and nerd fandoms as a way to gain my trust or interest early and not as natural character development. I *hated* April May and I never stopped hating her. While she held agency as the protagonist, which I value as a woman reading about women, she was just not all that interesting. As a whole, the book felt like Green was plugging plot points into an equation in order to write a hip, modern novel with a diverse cast. Maybe this is not all that surprising given that he is a chemist with firsthand knowledge about streaming, Youtube, and managing social media as a brand. Then again, with firsthand knowledge, I wanted to feel the emotional connection and some sort of investment in what happens to these characters. I just didn’t. Tl;dr: I liked it. I didn’t love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book because I love listening to the Green brothers on YouTube. I didn't make it past the third chapter before I gave up on the childish writing style and the endeavor to include as much risqué material as possible without causing too much alarm. It's as if it was written by the kid at school who tries to use swear words to keep up with the "in crowd". Also it was quite a forced representation of the LGBT/ feminist/black lives movements all wrapped up into one character as if to make sure it could be accepted by the majority of millennials. The very first page warns of the "drama" and the character's unapologetic attitude towards what she has to say. I have no comment to make on political movements here, but I do not wish to encounter these issues every time I open a book- especially a fiction novel. From the beginning I was annoyed by the main character rather than interested in what she might have to offer. It might have been a good read if it had not stuck its toes in political waters.
piesmom More than 1 year ago
A different kind of novel. This novel had humor and fantasy and a unique perspective while also being dark. I wasn't going to buy the book but I enjoyed the last Barnes & Noble book club so I went for it. It was definitely worth reading. The character of April May was engaging, flaws and all. There was a certain sociological, political angle to the novel as well. I thought Hank Green did an awesome job of describing the way fame brings fans and haters of the world and of how that divide can turn suddenly wrong. I would have given the novel 5 stars because it was definitely better than 4 but I wasn't crazy about the ending. BTW. it turned out I had a conflicting benefit to attend so I never got to the Book Club. I so wanted to discuss the novel further.
alexcan3 More than 1 year ago
Like nothing I have ever read. Interesting. Intriguing, Fun. A page-turner. Give it a try!
Barb1966 More than 1 year ago
Would not put on my top 10 list but it was an interesting book. I wanted to give up on it, but for some reason it kept pulling me in, so I'm glad I finished it. I would call it an "intriguing" book. Would make a good movie. It is geared more toward the younger adult (20 - 40 year olds). I think there will be a sequel but I'm not sure I would buy it. Might go to the library instead to get it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is intriguing, I would love to read sequels and any other following. The book is easy to follow and the plot is twisty in its own way. I hope Green explore other perspectives in the story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was kind of silly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't get through the first chapter. I normally try to give a book longer before throwing in the towel, but not with this one. the writing style, the content, subject - I just couldn't do it.
Piglet11 More than 1 year ago
Hank Green knocked it out of the park with his first novel! An Absolutley Remarkable Thing was a great and surprising read with twist that I didn't see coming. This book was unpredictable and I couldn't put it down even when I needed to. I can't wait to see what/if Hank Green writes again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really hope there's a sequel for the big unanswered questions!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me in suspense til the end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great story! hope you write another <3