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Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

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A Mind-blowing Ride.


The Second Eric Sanderson woke up on the wet carpet of his bedroom floor, coughing and gasping for air.  The fact that he is alive and breathing meant he did not have to panic, except, everything else around him was unfamiliar. He can draw nothing from inside his head save a blank canvas.  A quick patting of his pockets revealed his driver’s license and name, nothing more.  Downstairs, at the front hall, he found a table containing a blue envelope bearing “THIS IS ADDRESSED TO YOU”, a telephone, car keys, and a Polariod of an old yellow jeep. Soon, he'll found out that this is not the last letter he will receive from the First Eric Sanderson.

“I did not know who I was. I did not know where I was. That simple. That frightening.”

Steven Hall did not bother with any preamble; he went straight to the shocking news and how the story developed from there.  Any details and backgrounds were revealed during the progression in a flashback fashion.  There was no dilly dallying, which pretty much worked for me.

Those letters sent by the First Eric Sanderson contained much of what the Second Eric Sanderson needed to understand and survive his current situation.  Foremost, his warnings contained details regarding a conceptual shark, the Ludovician, that is preying on him and eating away his memories. Secondly, he was given information about someone who might be able to help him.  So eventually, the Second Eric Sanderson went on a quest to find Trey Fidorous.  From here on, the plot went from weird to weirder, and -I will not hold back- weirdest.

Reading this book, I was plunge into a world of absolute strangeness and cockamamie ideas. I have to hang on to a ledge and pick things up coming my way. I have resolved into accepting and believing that everything was perfectly natural and rational, rather than oppose and assume that those ideas were from an unhinged subconscious. Be warned, though, that if you consider reading this, you have to accept the crazies, or else you will not get past page 60.

I enjoyed Hall’s writing. He knows how to describe the mood of the story. It was generally easy to follow every string of thought he meant to convey. Even though it required a suspension of disbelief, the story was readable. There were only few characters, but developed firmly and substantial. The ending was ambiguous as any bucket of cold water, whether it was a happy ending or mere delusion was up to the reader to decide. There is no doubt that this book deserves the Borders Original Voices Award for Fiction (2007).

If you like adventures with an unusual setting, unconventional love story, and perplexing psychology, you might want to try reading THE RAW SHARK TEXTS


Book details:
Author:  Steven Hall
Publisher:  Canongate
Published:  April 11, 2008
Rating:  ★★★★


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