“Carl just had too much mass – we couldn’t stop falling into his gravity any more than we could jump to the moon”
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
Review by: Ivy
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It’s 2018, so when April May sees a giant metal statue randomly placed in the middle of her Manhattan sidewalk, naturally, the first thing she does is make a YouTube video about it. As videos chronicling first contact with aliens tend to do, it goes viral overnight, and April May is the new figurehead for the next stage of humanity.
But we are dealing with humans here, so no matter how wonderful and life-changing a giant robot (christened Carl) arriving on Earth may seem, bigots rise up out of their stinky, sweaty caves to be their self-important antagonist selves. And April May is pushed forward to fight them. As she and her team of friends combat the forces of evil on Earth while attempting to find peace with the powers that be in outer space, April May, along with the rest of the world, learns a little bit more about the human condition, and what we can accomplish if we’d just trust each other.
I don’t understand how people couldn’t like Remarkable Thing. A bisexual protagonist who discovers a robot named Carl and bands together with her friends to solve puzzles and save the world, written by Hank Green, my new favorite Green brother (Sorry, John.) Somehow, with this one book, Hank has made me fall completely and totally in love with the way he writes.
The novel felt very relevant without being heavy handed in its relevancy, accurate while staying relatable and enjoyable. Remarkable Thing is written like a real account of events, a sort of meta historical journal. April May has a fantastic voice and is a likable character, which gets kinda freaky because, within the context of the story, she talks a lot about creating a fake persona when presenting herself to the media: Is who we see in the book eVeN rEaLlY wHo ShE iS?
Conspiracy theories aside, Remarkable Thing is a fantastic book that didn’t get nearly as much press and fanfare as it deserved. It’s less about aliens and more about humanity, and what we can do together. Relevant in many more ways that one, this is a book that I think could, if given a chance, change the world.
This person made a very good playlist for Remarkable Thing. I really liked it. Maybe you will. I don’t know: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5N13rYJDfehf7SKlnItnwf
For Fans Of: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, The Martian
- “Behold the field in which I grow my fucks. Lay thine eyes upon it and see that it is barren.”
- “Even on this most terrible days, even when the worst of us are all we can think of, I am proud to be a human.”
- “We are each individual, but the far greater thing is what we are together, and if that isn’t protected and cherished, we are headed to a bad place.”
- “What is reality except for the things that people universally experience the same way?”
- “Knowing something is a bad idea does not always decrease the odds that you will do it.”