- 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)
The Tesseract Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook
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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.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read this for the first time in printed form many years ago - will be reading this version at some point as from memory, one of the most cleverly crafted stories ever.Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
Lack of plot renders this a sordid and dark tale with no end ! Dull.Published on 20 May 2015 by D. A.
Clever, interesting piece. Garland writes tight effective prose and has a heart I shall read more o his work.Published on 8 May 2015 by Pedro
Merchant seaman Sean is waiting in a deserted hotel in Manila for Don Pepe, who runs a shipping protection racket. Read morePublished on 31 Jan. 2015 by Bob Ventos
So I read this book as I really enjoyed the beach by Alex Garland. As expected, the book was unconventional, with an arrangement of strange characters not usually written about. Read morePublished on 29 April 2014 by Laura Williams
Brilliant quick page-turner. Just like The Beach, I devoured this book. Garland clearly knows his craft. Read morePublished on 22 Dec. 2013 by Kieron Hegarty
While i enjoyed it it didnt really feel like a finished novel, had some nice ideas but didnt explore them enough and didnt really feel finished, more like a work in progressPublished on 28 April 2013 by kindleaddict