This genre-bending national bestseller is “a horror-dystopic-philosophical mash-up, drawing comparisons to Borges, The Matrix and Jaws” (The New York Times Magazine).
Eric Sanderson wakes up in a house he doesn’t recognize, unable to remember anything of his life. A note instructs him to call a Dr. Randle, who informs him that he is undergoing yet another episode of memory loss, and that for the last two years—since the tragic death of his great love, Clio, while vacationing in Greece—he’s been suffering from an acute dissociative disorder. But there may be more to the story, or it may be a different story altogether.
With the help of allies found on the fringes of society, Eric embarks on an edge-of-your-seat journey to uncover the truth about himself and escape the predatory forces that threaten to consume him. Moving with the pace and momentum of a superb thriller, exploring ideas about language and information, as well as identity, this is ultimately a novel about the magnitude of love and the devastating effect of losing that love.
“Paced like a thriller, it reads like a deluge . . . Herman Melville meets Michael Crichton, or Thomas Pynchon meets Douglas Adams.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Rousingly inventive.” —The Washington Post
“Unforgettable fiction.” —Playboy
“A thriller that will haunt you.” —GQ
“Sharp and clear . . . Writing on the edge of the form.” —Los Angeles Times
“Huge fun, and I gleefully recommend it.” —Audrey Niffenegger, international–bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife
“Fast, sexy, intriguing, intelligent.” —Toby Litt
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.