The Raw Shark Texts – Steven Hall

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The Raw Shark Texts – Steven Hall

Post by Graham on Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:39 pm

This is an astounding novel, possibly the best I have or ever will read. It is impossible to categorise and may have started a whole new genre. Conceptual fiction I’ll call it. Imagine your worst fear, the most terrifying thing in the world, that cannot possibly get at you safe here in suburban Britain (especially because it doesn’t really exist) Then imagine it attacking you in your own living room. And that is just for starters. I wanted to tell you what it was but the blurb on the jacket doesn’t give this detail away which is a bit coy considering the title.

To say it is a heart-pounding thriller is an understatement. There were points I had to put the book down because my nervous system was at breaking point. It is also a heart-breakingly poignant love story. I cared so much for the characters I resolved to hunt Hall down and feed him to a great white if he didn’t make things right. Although I’ve finished it, I still haven’t decided if I need to do this.

It is not a horror story, it is not science fiction and it may not be quite fantasy but the journey that Eric Sanderson has to take to confront his nemesis is surely the most bizarre in all fiction. Think Richard Dawkin’s memes coming to life and populating a tale co-written by Herman Melville and Peter Benchley. It is a difficult trick to pull off, but Hall does it with superb writing. He takes enormous liberties with the English language and makes it do thing it has never done before but it all pays off. There are even pages of what amounts to Concrete Prose. Incredibly this is Hall’s first novel but it has been wildly successful both critically and commercially.

And I haven’t even mentioned Ian the cynical cat.

Graham
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