Saturday, May 26, 2007
The Raw Shark Texts
The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
I come straight from the pages of The Raw Shark Texts, overjoyed at the freshness of this book and wondering how on earth I can post a review without putting people off reading a fantastic book.
It is probably one of those 'love it or hate it' books that will polarize those who read it. What will you make of the seven blank pages towards the end of the book? They contain no words yet, in context, they say a lot. What will you make of the 'letter graphs', the little pictures made up of letters and words that are scattered throughout the book? Difficult to understand at first, yet so much a part of the story.
By now you will be getting the idea that this is an unusual book and so it is. But in the midst of this strangeness Steven Hall weaves a compelling and well written story. Conceptually this book shouldn't have happened (who would have thought a publisher would take it on?) and it shouldn't work (what reader could enjoy its confusion?) but the facts are; it's here and it does work; very, very well.
Douglas Adams (the infinite improbability drive) meets Rene Descartes (I think, therefore I am) might sound like a scary and unlikely combination but it's what came to my mind early on and that conviction didn't shift by the time I got to the end. It's a psychological thriller, its a love story, its an action mystery and, if I were to try to give you the gist of the story, I would probably give too much away.
Advice; get hold of it quickly, the literary sharks are circling and it's bound to get snapped up.
Definitely a five star read.
"The Raw Shark Texts" by Steven Hall, Published by Canongate, ISBN 978-1-921145-74-2