- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: Alma Books; Paperback edition (13 Jun. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846880416
- ISBN-13: 978-1846880414
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 825,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Remainder Paperback – 13 Jun 2007
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|Paperback, 13 Jun 2007||
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A splendidly odd novel... a refreshingly idiosyncratic, enjoyably intelligent read. --The Guardian
Remainder is an intelligent and absurd satire on consumer culture. --The Times
McCarthy's prose is precise and unpretentious. His anti-hero is a sympathetic Everyman, and it is difficult to resist the dominion of his obsession... its minatory brilliance calls for classic status. --The Independent
Traumatised by an accident which 'involved something falling from the sky' and leaves him eight and a half million pounds richer but hopelessly estranged from the world around him, "Remainder's" hero spends his time and money obsessively reconstructing and re-enacting vaguely remembered scenes and situations from his past: a large building with piano music in the distance, the familiar smells and sounds of liver frying and spluttering, lethargic cats lounging on roofs until they tumble off them...But when this fails to quench his thirst for authenticity, he starts reconstructing more and more violent events, including holdups and shoot-outs. A darkly comic meditation on memory, identity and history, "Remainder" is a parable for modern times.See all Product description
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After his release into "real life" (and on the receipt of considerable compensation from the accident), he gets the urge to re-enact memories and incidents that he viewed as "real." As the book develops, the re-enactment get weirder and weirder. At one stage, for example, he wants to see a cyclists murder re-enacted. On another occasion, he has a tyre change repeated again and again.
The book's weird. I didn't really get it. I couldn't see the point of it if I'm honest. It's well written, it's just I found it hard to believe (oh and the compensation was far too low)
I read this on regular half-hour train journeys and, each time, when I arrived at the destination I didn't want to tear myself away from it. And when I did and finally stepped out into the Railway Station I viewed everyone in a completely different way and began seeing things previously unnoticed. No-one else around me seemed to be taking anything seriously - until I realised that everyone else was behaving normally and it was just me that had been reprogrammed. Another reviewer mentioned that the book `got under their skin' - it does just that. All of a sudden, every action, little task or movement takes on greater import.
The only disappointment was the ending, where the whole bizarreness just got to be a bit too much. But by that time the book had already altered my mind. It was too late for me.
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