remembering The Raw Shark Texts

I’ve been waiting to get my hands on this must-read book for the past few months.  After reading and hearing about The Raw Shark Texts (Steven Hall) from a variety of respectable folks, I knew I had to get to it.  And now that I have?  Most definitely worth it.  Worth the late nights I stayed up to finish it and worth the disastrous self-inflicted nail biting.

If you haven’t heard the short of the long yet, here goes:  it’s about a man who wakes up one day with no memory.  He attempts to put together the missing fragments of his life and eventually finds out that he is being chased by a conceptual shark who feeds on people’s memory.   Um yes.  A conceptual shark.  You got that, right?

There’s a lot of other movie thriller stuff here, like romances and death-defying adventure.  But mostly what it is about is memory and grief, and how the introduction of the latter can alter the former.  How one can fall so deep inside a sense of loss that all other mechanics of self-awareness disappear.   It is one of those clever meta-textual novels that can drive one to distraction, but somehow first time novelist Hall gets away with it without falling into Da Vinci Code drivel.  His narrative is fascinating, and some of my favourite sections are those which include Eric’s memories of his conversations with his dead girlfriend, Clio (enter grief as mentioned above).  Like this (page 42):

“It’s tiring not knowing people, isn’t it?”  Clio said later.

“It isn’t word-efficient.” I agreed.

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3 Comments »

  1. ragdoll said

    I’m so glad you loved this book as much as I did, and I think we adored the same sections: the bits with Clio. The whole book was just so different, and that I appreciated greatly.

  2. DJ Cayenne said

    Respectable? Clearly we’ve never met. Thanks for the link. It is a great book. I’ve been handing them out as gifts all summer.

  3. Ooh… I love a good book recommendation. I’m definitely going to pick this up for the week (yes, week!) that I have to spend alone with my mother-in-law and The Peanut.

    (P.S. you probably don’t recognize the name… it used to be eastcoastelle!)

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