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3.8 out of 5 stars41
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 26 June 2007
This is the kind of book that having read it keeps coming back to mind. I'm not quite sure why but it has the quality of somehow altering your perspective on the world for a short while. For that alone its definitely worth a read.
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on 22 August 2006
It took me a few pages to get into this debut novel, but it's not long before the narrator's damaged, compelling perspective wormed its way into my thinking and didn't let go. I found this book genuinely different to anything I've read recently in contemporary fiction -- different in type, and superior in quality. As a reader I felt akin to the novel's secondary characters, in that I was sucked into the nameless narrator's world not entirely with my consent. I was with him as he led me through an apparently harmless fascination with "re-enacting" old memories, with him as he raised the stakes with increasingly perilous memory re-constructions, and with him at the novel's blistering close, where his obsession leads to a truly chilling climax that must rate as one of the most original conclusions to a story I've ever read. The cover of this book is bespattered with high praise from every broadsheet and literary magazine under the sun, which normally makes me run for the hills, but for once I'm in agreement with the hype.
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on 1 April 2016
Unfortunately one of the worst books I have ever read. I managed to get about half-way through the novel before I had to give up. The story in itself sounds intriguing but instead comes across as flat and boring. The protagonist is extremely irritating and sociopathic. It's a shame the object that hit his skull, didn't kill him.
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on 25 June 2007
Remainder's hero has suffered brain damage. He's troubled by memories that may not have happened; but seem more familiar than his own life. He is driven to recreate these urban scenes in fine detail, funded by his enormous compensation.

McCarthy shows the reader a macroscopic image of daily life through his anonymous hero's altered view. To describe the atmosphere created here: altered reality - real life seen from the perspective of mild insanity, one has to refer to JG Ballard. Just like 'High Rise' and 'Crash', our hero is driven by some part of his personality into a quest that pushes him closer to the edge of society.

This book captures the strange wonder of looking at a familiar object and examining it for the first time, the weird sound of a normal word repeated until it loses all meaning.

As I write there is only one review on this page. I disagree with it, and would recommend buyers to read the reviews on the hardback page. This is not just another novel with comfy characterisation, an everyman's challenge and a tea-spilling plot twist.
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on 8 March 2007
This book came highly recommended to me, by someone who rarely tells me to go and buy books. So I went and go it. This book is unlike any other book I have read- in terms of its scope and its ambition. Everything about it seems to be set apart from the literary vernacular I'm used to. I don't know if this is the same as everyone else. For me the delivery f this book, the changing condition of its everyman narrator and the feel of its prose all combined to amount to something highly unusual, and as such, something original. I can't recommend it enough, if nothing else as a surreal foray into the ever-so-slightly unreal diorama that is our day-to-day existence.
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on 21 December 2012
Had an interesting premise and started well but I really felt it failed to deliver by the end.

The main protagonist was neither engaging or likeable. This was by design and an important part of the story, but the trouble was the story wasn't really engaging either (and the writing style was pretty standard). So as the book went on and the original set-pieces failed to deliver anything meaningful, it just began to feel like a bit of a drag.

Not a terrible book by any means but it wasn't good enough for me to recommend it to anyone as a worthwhile read.
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on 28 September 2015
Started well, but I think you'd have to be as crazy as the primary protagonist to enjoy it. Stopped reading halfway. Generally Man Booker long list is a safe bet but not this one.
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on 25 February 2013
An excellent story, one which is out of the ordinary and subtly insightful. Utterly relevant to 'modern' life and written in such a way that at no point does it feel tiresome.
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on 18 June 2008
I wanted (and want) to like this book more than I do. While I thought the premise quite original, and devoured the first 1/3 of the book in one sitting, I found myself becoming bored and - in the last 1/3 - not caring WHAT happened to Mr. McCarthy's protagonist. Quite frankly, I'm just not sure why. But the answer to that question is what prevents this from being (for me) a true classic. Like many of the other reviewers, I've given it 3 stars for the idea - but the execution of that idea just didn't work. Sorry.
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on 13 September 2007
From the first page to the last I could not get this book out of my head. It did make me start to look at the world in a different way. There is no real plot but somehow this was a real page turner as I could not wait to find out how it finished. However, when I did get to the end I was rather disappointed. The ending was inconclusive and left me empty. If you enjoy surreal books then read this.
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