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The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
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The Raw Shark Texts (edition 2007)

by Steven Hall

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1,920943,567 (3.74)114
Member:thalassa_thalassa
Title:The Raw Shark Texts
Authors:Steven Hall
Info:Canongate Books Ltd (2007), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 430 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction
Rating:**
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The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

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English (84)  Finnish (3)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (94)
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
The Raw Shark Texts: I kept waiting for this book to disappoint me like the movie "Vanilla Sky," or the book "People of Paper" by Salvador Plascencia did. You know: start of with great promise and then fall flat on its face b/c the writer isn't quite as creative or original as you had thought at first - or is just merely whining about losing their ex-girlfriend and that's all. "The Raw Sharks Texts" didn't do that though. It was solid throughout and I would recommend it. It's not the most outstanding thing I've ever read - it didn't knock me on the head with its brilliance like, say, "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami did, but this book is worth a read. Maybe wait until paperback though.
  lonepalm | Feb 5, 2014 |
This is a bizarre novel which follows the journey of the "Second Eric Sanderson" who wakes up with amnesia and is unable to recall the life of the First Eric Sanderson. Without any knowledge of what transpired before, Eric follows clues and letters sent to him through the mail by the First Eric Sanderson, in an attempt to make sense of what happened to him. As the clues start arriving, so does a "conceptual shark" which feeds off Eric's memories in a "literal" way. To escape the shark, Eric eventually leaves his home in search of people who can answer his questions. The story is complicated and wierd, though actually rather easy to follow (though hard to explain). By the end I was not completely sure what had happened, which is no doubt the point, since the author has scattered real clues all over the internet for those with enough interest to go and seek them.

I picked up this book in a bookstore at random and after flipping through it, was curious since it had pages that resembled "The House of Leaves". This book was actually easier to read than HOL (as the cult-like fans call it) but the story was more abstract. I generally enjoyed the story as I had no idea what would happen next. However, given how odd and bizarre the storyline was, I am left wondering.... what the hell happened!? ( )
  voracious | Feb 4, 2014 |
Copied from my journal:

I can't remember the last book I read that was so new I had to buy it in hardback. It's alright, I'm only about 50 pages into it. So far it hasn't struck me as brilliant.

(four days later)
I've read 200 pages since, and it's great.

(four days later)
I finished it last night. It's good, not awesome. ( )
  allisonneke | Dec 17, 2013 |
This has to be the strangest book I ever read. I might have given it three stars except I'm not sure I really understood it! ( )
  shirleybell | Sep 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
The Raw Shark Texts manages to reach the loftiest goal of speculative fiction: making its outlandish situations illuminate real human emotion. When the second Sanderson begins to share his previous incarnation's affecting grief over his lost love Clio, the concept of a memory-eating shark takes on additional layers of significance.

Comparisons with The Matrix, Fight Club and Memento have been thrown around, and it's telling that all these action-thrillers were on the big screen. The prose is often self-important and less brilliant than the situations it describes, and many of the story elements dogmatically adhere to Hollywood conventions. But Hall borrows a number of effective techniques from film. A metaphysical book such as this easily could have become dense and inaccessible, but Hall's unrelenting focus on visual storytelling keeps it lucid.

The book fully succeeds in exploring the tenuous hold we have on our sense of self, which is, after all, only "a concept wrapped in skin and chemicals."
added by sduff222 | editUSA Today, Eliot Schrefer (Apr 24, 2007)
 
The rest of Hall's ambitiously conceived but irritatingly self-serious novel concerns Sanderson's "Jaws"-like quest to put an end to the shark before it eats him, punctuated by a stock romantic plot and pictorial games that include a flip-book shark attack. Oddly, given all the textual high jinks, Hall's weakness for ending chapters on cliffhangers suggests that his book may actually wish it were a film.
added by sduff222 | editThe New Yorker (Apr 9, 2007)
 
Quirky even for metafiction--the novel includes abstract diagrams and flipbooks--Hall's debut can be confusing. But when he hits his stride, particularly during a climactic manversus-shark chase on the high seas, Texts is exhilarating. B+
added by sduff222 | editEntertainment Weekly, Karen Leigh (Apr 6, 2007)
 
Though Hall's prose is flabby and the plethora of text-based sight gags don't always work (a 50-page flipbook of a swimming shark, for instance), the end result is a fast-moving cyberpunk mashup of Jaws, Memento and sappy romance that's destined for the big screen.
added by sduff222 | editPublishers Weekly (Jan 15, 2007)
 
First things first, stay calm." So reads a cryptic letter early in The Raw Shark Texts, but it's difficult not to get worked up by Steven Hall's dizzying debut novel. Already the object of a bidding war among filmmakers, the book grabs readers with a series of set-ups reminiscent of everything from Jaws to Memento.
added by sduff222 | editKirkus Reviews (Jan 15, 2007)
 
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Er is een niet zo sterke, steeds flauwer wordende
herinnering blijven bestaan aan Herbert Ashe,
ingenieur bij de zuidelijke spoorwegen, in hotel
Adrogue, tussen de expansieve kamperfoeliestruiken en
in de bedriegelijke diepte van de spiegels.

Jorge Luis Borges
Dedication
For Stanley Hall
1927-1998
A gentleman and a scholar
First words
I was unconscious. I'd stopped breathing.
Quotations
"Since I've left home on this journey, I've thought a lot about this–how a big part of any life is about the hows and the whys of setting up machinery. It's building systems, devices, motors. Winding up the clockwork of direct debits, configuring newspaper deliveries and anniversaries and photographs and credit card repayments and anecdotes. Starting their engines, setting them in motion and sending them chugging off into the future to do their thing at regular or irregular intervals. When a person leaves or dies or ends, they leave an afterimage; their outline in the devices they've set up around them. The image fades to the winding down of springs, the slow running out of fuel as the machines of a life lived in certain ways in certain places and from certain angles are shut down or seize up or blink off one by one. It takes time. Sometimes, you come across the dusty lights or electrical hum of someone else's machine, maybe a long time after you ever expected to, still running, lonely in the dark. Still doing its thing for the person who started it up long, long after they've gone."
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"Eric Sanderson wakes up in a house he doesn't recognize, unable to remember anything in his life. All he has left are his diary entries recalling Clio, a perfect love who died under mysterious circumstances, and a house that may contain the secrets to Eric's prior life. But there may be more to this story, or it may be a different story altogether. With the help of allies found on the fringes of society, Eric embarks on an edge-of-your-seat journey to uncover the truth about himself and to escape the predatory forces that threaten to consume him. Moving with the pace of a superb thriller, The Raw Shark Texts has sparked the imaginations of readers around the world and is one of the most talked-about novels in years."--from cover, p. [4]… (more)

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Average: (3.74)
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Canongate Books

Three editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 1841959022, 1847670245, 184767156X

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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