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The Tesseract by [Garland, Alex]
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The Tesseract Kindle Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Length: 292 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

Amazon Review

A single evening in Manila hints at shared consciousness and the circular nature of time and experience. More ambitious than his successful debut The Beach, Alex Garland's second novel follows three seemingly disparate stories that converge just this side of possible. Opening pages are reminiscent of a Raymond Chandler detective story: the dirty hotel room that "didn't know it was a hotel, or had forgotten"; the flinty, deep thinking protagonist; a meeting with rough-cut thugs. But just when we expect the arrival of the stock sultry woman, the cast of characters begins to assume the more recognisable aspects of ordinary life--to eerie effect.

Garland shows a talent for finely crafted phrases that emboss an image and encapsulate a moment. One minor character's brief sensory flashback provides more human insight than the pages of descriptive overload in the usual thriller. The Tesseract is an exciting tale that never stoops to the level of popcorn storytelling. --Samantha Starmer. This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Astonishing . . . A brilliantly structured, surprisingly compassionate novel, disguised as an exotic, speedy thriller (Mail on Sunday)

Proves defiantly that Garland is far from a one-hit wonder (Time Out)

A powerful narrative drive, exotic locations that unfold like a corrupt and mysterious flower, and a moody intelligence that holds everything together (J.G. Ballard)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3103 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (2 Aug. 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LLIHKE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #114,550 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In a slightly different perspective to most reviewers I read the Tesseract first and then backfilled later with The Beach.
The unique point for me was the structure of the story. Garland creates a series of beautifully crafted plotlines that give depth to both the characters and events. His attention to detail and use of Filipino history and culture creates a gritty reality where you can almost feel the heat and humidity. Having lived and worked in the Philippines I really felt the book come alive and each page brought new twists and layers of subtlety. By the end I felt less as though I'd read a book than unfolded an intricate puzzle. For me, this made the whole experience immensely satisfying.
By comparison I found the Beach, although a good read, relatively mundane. I can see why so many readers failed to make the jump. I just hope that Alex Garland continues to produce books in the vein of the Tesseract.
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Format: Paperback
Close to the gripping read that was 'The Beach', Garland's second bestseller shares the originality and deepness portrayed beforehand.

From the beginning of this book comes an air of curiosity, as the reader is sent spiralling into a web of episodes, leading to the inevitable marring of violence.
The story begins in (the highly appropriate) 'roach infested hotel' as Sean awaits the arrival of Gangster Don Pepe. Rising is the immediate cloud of mystery, all but setting the pace, tone and estranged excitement that remains throughout.
Acknowledged is the difficulty the young author faced as he aimed to reiterate the sheer quality of 'The Beach'. Although somewhat disorderly and at times slow paced, in grasping the cultural background and social landscape of one country, Garland has put together a touching, compassionate, yet no less satisfactory novel.
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Format: Paperback
Once in a while an author is hyped for all the wrong reasons and it's up to the future generations (or me) to repair the damage and deliver the poor guy to his rightful place. It happened with Philip Roth, reduced for decades to being the "Portnoy guy", until Sabbath's Theater came along, showing everyone how much better, and dirtier, he could be.
Something similar will hopefully happen to Garland. Marketed as the standard-bearer for the backpack army's eastern division, this is an outrageously talented writer, much better than that label suggests. This book basically takes Graham Greene's story-telling ability and eye for local colour and turns the great man's themes upside down (also: better scenes with guns). It doesn't have The Beach's compelling narrative voice, but it's more plot-driven, more thought out, and ultimately a better novel. It's an atheist hymn, and more original than anything any british writer has written since Ballard's The Unlimited Dream Company. Buy both, actually. Yeah, I hadn't thought of that, but what a great idea: buy both!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Tesseract, by Alex Garland, is a strange book, because it takes 4 sets of characters (an Englishman in Manila, the local "heavy" that he's due to meet, 2 street kids, and a family) and watches what happens in the run up to (and after) the time when these 4 groups collide.

It's a good, but rather, depressing book. It's set in a third world country which has very little evidence of "forward momentum" and you know from how the book's written that no one's going to be happy at the end (unless something startling happens).

In a strange way, it actually reminded me of the last series of A League of Gentlemen (without the laughs) for those who are interested in how it's structured.

Incidentally, one of the closest things I have to a claim to fame is that I actually went to school with Alex Garland, and if you were to read anything by him I'd say that this book was closest to his take on things as a teenager.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant quick page-turner. Just like The Beach, I devoured this book. Garland clearly knows his craft. It kind of felt like watching a film reading this book as a lot happens quickly but he goes into detail without it being remotely laborious. Interestingly he is good at writing film-scripts so perhaps there is something in what I say!

If you have not read it I would recommend Coma or The Coma by Garland. A short story but worthy read.
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Format: Audio Cassette
having read the book and listened to the tape i can say that it has lost nothing in the translation. all of the verbal imagery that garland sculpted so marvelously in the book comes across well. it was his first book the beach that got me reading regularly and this just got me reading too much. the story told from three perspectives is excellent, remenicscent of pulp fiction or lock stock + 2 smokin barrels, although films garlands imagery is just as graphic. the three characters all have individual backgrounds that are each as belivable as each other and not just the fictional stereotypes. my favorite is the moralistic gangster who cant bring himself to shoot the dying cat that they ran over. it jumps from one character to the other just as you are getting emersed into one of them leaving you at a cliffhanger. that makes you want to get through the next couple of chapters so you can get back to it. but by then you want to get back the the one you've just read. this can keep you reading it until you get cramp from sitting down. the actual plot is fairly non eventfull with alot of the book taken up by flashbacks. its a bit like several different stories in one, neatly weaved together. there are a few of the characters and story lines that i would have prefered him to have gone further into and others he hadn'nt, but there's only so much you can fit on a few pages.
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