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3.2 out of 5 stars
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3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 11 April 2000
If you enjoyed "The Beach" you may not necessarily enjoy "The Tesseract". The narrative is less easy to follow and I found that it was therefore less engaging. Whilst still well written "The Tesseract" is not quite such a page-turner as "The Beach".
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on 22 February 2000
Can I just say, I loved the Beach and Alex Garland is my hero, for real, I am writing a novel myself and he is my latest inspiration - but this book, I did not understand, did not care about and wondered at the end, what was that all about? Alex if you read this, please explain...
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on 12 October 1999
After having read the beach which I thought was excellent I bought the teseract - totally awful. First book in years I have been unable to finish as it was so awful.
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on 7 May 2001
I read this book on the strength of 'The Beach'. I was expecting much of the same, a slow-paced story, building up to a dramatic climax. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the same as 'The Beach' and not as good.
The opening was excellent but ran on for too long. What was atmospheric and intersting to start off with became boring and mundane. This set the tone for most of the book.
The story seemed to go off at tangents that detracted from its pace and effectivness; I held out, hoping for a good ending. - A lot can be forgiven if there is a good ending. - Sadly, it never came. The book slowly but surely burnt itself out. All in all, not one I can recommend.
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on 13 May 2003
i read this upon a recomendation from a friend who raved about it. but i can't see what the fuss is about. comparisons with garland's first novel are not the issue; after all, it is the book we are interested in, not the career development of a young promising writer. the book basically consists in a number of segmented depictions of entirely independent characters' lives, which intertwine at the disappointing climax of the book. somewhat ambitiously, perspective is accordingly switched throughout. there are also jumps in chronology. but this playing around with character-perspective, time and space does not make it a good book, whatever anyone says about its great structure (stunned that j.g. ballard touched on this). the characters are sometimes interesting, but illustrations of their mundanities lapse into a 'so what?'. none of the story strands are strong enough to be overly interesting, nor deep enough to warrant the extent of page space given to them. it may be a page turner, but this is because we want to know how all these sometimes cardboard, sometimes cliched, characters end up being connected. this would be the saving grace, one would hope. but, sadly, it is an event that lacks any sophistication or interest that links them, and you are left feeling that it was only worth reading to say that you read it and to have an opinion that someone might discuss with you over a beer or a coffee.
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on 14 November 2006
After reading the beach and enjoying it thoroughly, I was excited to plunge into another Alex Garland novel. How disappointed I was.

As I approached the last 1/4 of this book it became obvious where it was heading and any surprise ending was non existent. I completed this book when working away and threw it in the star bucks bin after finishing my coffee and the book although I did contemplate sending it to the publisher outlining what a waste of my time it was reading it.

Still, in Garlands defense, it must be incredibly hard to reproduce such calibre as the Beach. Better luck next time.
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on 25 February 2002
This book lacks any kind of distinctiveness that could set it apart from many other kinds of fiction that loosely engages and barely entertains. It could have been written by anyone, possessing none of the characteristicts that made his first work 'stand out' - and that was certainly way over-hyped too. I found myself breezing through the pages without really taking anything in, and when I got to the final thirty or so pages I'd lost interest who was being killed, who was killing and who survived. Maybe that's testament to my reading ability, but I beleive it's due to a lack-lustre novel on the whole.
Garland has been compared to JG Ballard many times. I can see the likeness: they both promise so much but can't create likable or distinct characters.
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on 5 April 2002
It's called the Tesseract. The author offers two meanings of the word, at the end, and describes his version of a tesseract a few pages before.
The rest of the book dodges backwards and forwards through time until the reader feels that each page should bear time and date references.
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