When Eric Sanderson wakes to amnesia and a haunting note from himself, he discovers an eerie world of thought and concept, a world in which ideas have a life of their own. Attacked by a force he cannot see and memories he cannot ignore—including those of a perfect love now lost—Eric discovers he is being relentlessly pursued by a shark that may exist only in his mind but which stalks him through the flows and streams of language and human interaction. Hunting the answers as he is hunted, Eric is led on a journey that will either bring the First Eric Sanderson back to life or destroy both Eric Sandersons forever.
An astounding and daring book by debut novelist Steven Hall, The Raw Shark Texts confronts readers with a fascinating puzzle as well as an intensely absorbing story.
Hall's debut, the darling of last year's London Book Fair, is a cerebral page-turner that pits corporeal man against metaphysical sharks that devour memory and essence, not flesh and blood. When Eric Sanderson wakes from a lengthy unconsciousness, he has no memory. A letter from "The First Eric Sanderson" directs him to psychologist Dr. Randle, who tells Eric he is afflicted with a "dissociative condition." Eric learns about his former life specifically a glorious romance with girlfriend Clio Aames, who drowned three years earlier and is soon on the run from the Ludovician, a "species of purely conceptual fish" that "feeds on human memories and the intrinsic sense of self." Once he hooks up with Scout, a young woman on the run from her own metaphysical predator, the two trek through a subterranean labyrinth made of telephone directories (masses of words offer protection, as do Dictaphone recordings), decode encrypted communications and encounter a series of strange characters on the way to the big-bang showdown with the beast. Though Hall's prose is flabby and the plethora of text-based sight gags don't always work (a 50-page flipbook of a swimming shark, for instance), the end result is a fast-moving cyberpunk mashup of Jaws, Memento and sappy romance that's destined for the big screen. 125,000 first printing; $150,000 promo.
I love this book, this is the second time I have read it and it was just as good as the first. It is very entertaining and keeps you guessing right until the end.