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The Tesseract Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

3.2 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette: 2 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks; Abridged edition edition (1 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141800364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141800363
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.7 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,824,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Tesseract is a novel composed of three separate stories, which come together at the very end. All are set in Manila, capital of the Philippines, in modern times. In the first, a merchant seaman waits in a shoddy hotel for a meeting with a notorious gangster. In the second, a doctor is putting her children to bed and worrying about their future whilst reflecting on her past as a girl in a small fishing village. And in the third, two street boys earn money by telling their dreams to a psychologist doing a project on street children.

If these sound like very dissimilar stories, that's because they are. They are all well written and convincing. And they do come together eventually, but only at the very end. The trouble is that the three are kept completely separate and each is finished (or near finished) before the next. This makes the book feel a bit disjointed, not helped by the fact that some move around in time within the narrative as well. That said, Garland is a compelling writer and I quickly got 'into' each story. They showed different aspects of life in the Philippines - that of the wealthy, the middle class, and the poor. I think Garland was over ambitious in the number of characters and plot threads he tried to bring in - the backstory of the psychologist could have been dispensed with for example, as this was just another tragic tale for the reader to try to absorb and assimilate with everything else, very late on in the book.

There were some aspects of the story that I didn't quite 'get' and the ending, whilst dramatic, left loose ends. But it was a compelling read and Garland should be applauded for writing very difficult characters successfully. It's quite different from his most famous novel, 'The Beach' but not necessarily worse.
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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: 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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Format: Paperback
I felt an initial disappointment from the first page of The Tesseract. Having loved the style and sharpness of The Beach, The Tesseract at first appeared rather derivative and no where near as ambitious. However, as the story slowly drew me in I began to appreciate it's unique format. When Garland breaks off from one character to another the suspense is excruciating. Just as this new character starts to take shape and you stop worrying about the last one he will break off again into an entirely new story, yet all are cleverly interlinked. In The Tesseract Garland demonstrates the perfection of a slow boil.
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