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Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At first confusing, but ultimately gripping., 4 May 2004
This review is from: The Tesseract (Paperback)
Having read Alex Garland's "The Beach" and the "28 Days Later" film script I was looking forward to reading "The Tesseract". Garland's dark, descriptive and gripping writing makes his books so hard to put down, so I was expecting more of the same.
Basically the book tells the story of three scenarios which, although at first seem separate in their own way, are ultimately brought together through a series of events and circumstances. Firstly we have Sean, waiting for mob gangster Don Pepe in the most run down forgotten hotel in Manila fighting with his thoughts and emotions. Next we have a Filipino family living out in the suburbs in Manila and lastly we have some street kids.
So, first the good points. Garland manages to provide sound descriptions of all the characters personalities and backgrounds through a series of flashbacks, memories and thoughts. I was sometimes confused as to why Garland was describing certain incidents from some of the characters pasts, however when reading on further things became a lot clearer and you realise how cleverly written this book really is. Also, although "The Tesseract" is not as graphic as some parts of "The Beach" there are still moments of shocking brutality and dark twisted humour to keep the most sceptical of Garland readers entertained.

Bad points? Well, if you're not committed to reading this book when it starts veering off the track slightly then this will definitely be a hard read for you. I have read this book twice and fully understood and enjoyed it better the second time, getting to grip more with the characters and their individual situations. On the first read I found that I could not empathize with many of the characters and this made the final act of the book fall short of my expectations.
"The Tesseract" is a good read if you are committed to follow the twists and turns and flashbacks the story throws at you. The book is very cleverly written and has some dark underlying humour throughout. My advice is that the book is worth buying; however a second read is most probably required to get your head around some of its more confusing aspects and to also appreciate the way in which Garland has moulded the different stories into one.
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