You know what I likeThis whole genre of stuffy British dudes who find themselves unwillingly going on adventures and discovering that there s to them than just being pasty and flusteredAnd eah it s a genre There s TONS of books with that same damn plot Thing is they re often very entertainingThey re also usually played for laughs Which is not the case in The Raw Shark Texts Yes the protagonist eventually finds himself drawn into a world where the old rules don t apply Yes he has an adventure Yes he even h For sheer ballsy creativity The Raw Shark Texts is an incendiary word bomb of conceptual fish mad world hungry pseudo immortals movie geekdom Greek tragedy and cats with mundane namesTo say there is something lacking in Steven Hall s first novel seems unfair and trite but I can t shake the feeling that something in Eric Sanderson s relationship with ClioScout felt too forced and way too indoctrinated by current gender attitudes If that was by design I can t imagine what the design was if it was merely the truth that Hall found in his characters I have to admit that I couldn t see that truth That could be down to meBesides it seems a petty complaint when weighed against the moments of sheer genius in Steven Hall s debut I know I will be back for multiple reads because there are so many uestions I need to examine again and again I almost started listing them here but instead I will simply provide words for which I am compelled to seek answers Dr Ryan Mitchell Dr Randle Mycroft Ward Ian Greg Ludovician one of the all time great antagonists in any novel ever Eric Richardson the first the other the secondThe Raw Shark Texts is a rich mine of thought that I look forward to returning to and Steven Hall is threatening to enter the rarefied upper region of my personal literary canon I just hope he doesn t slip in the direction of Chuck Pahlaniuk with his next work Promising beginnings can so often become failure to live up to potential Oh well who cares I ll always have The Raw Shark Texts to enjoy if the future doesn t work out The Raw Shark Texts was released back in 2007 by first time UK author Steven Hall In some circles it s been referred to as some bizarre cross between Jaws and The Matrix with perhaps a little Da Vinci Code thrown in there for good measure It follows the story of Eric Saunderson who awakes on his bedroom floor without any memories While the man retains his basic motor functions he remembers nothing resembling emotions or sense of identity Shortly upon awaking Eric finds a note left by the first Eric Saunderson with basic instructions on how to resume his life From this point forward a proverbial can of worms is opened and the mystery unfolds itself in an addictive way by which I mean it s really hard to put this book downI had an experience like this when I read House of Leaves The stories are uite different but the layout is just as ambitious While Danielewski goes above and beyond with liner and foot notes as well as scratches and interchanging fonts Hall goes with long gaps of pages with little to no words as well as diagrams and exhibits The changing style throughout the novel really adds to the experience and gets the reader involved in what is happening to Eric s world There s something about this style that I really like I guess it s refreshing to pick up a book that not only feels different but looks different as well Some people could probably write this off as some sort of gimmick but changing things up once in a while should be welcomedWhile Hall is working on a second book whether he can produce something on par to Raw Shark Texts remains to be seen but I know that I ll be checking it out Let s just hope he doesn t go in the direction of Danielewski s Only RevolutionsCross posted Every Read Thing A brief behind the scenes recap of The Raw Shark Texts Steven Hall is inspired Writes a brilliant one hundred pages of an unfinished novel The first hundred pages of The Raw Shark Texts are truly a great read hinting at something avant garde something page turning in the finest sense of the term We re all clicking off the rusty old disbelief mechanisms because The Raw Shark Texts is putting it all together OK sure it is Ska yet another piece my life back together after what would seem to be amnesia kind of plot but it is raging it is rythmic and totally unapolagetic like screwou if The Gods Themselves you thinkou ve heard this song before Steven Hall is promising to tease out the mystery with total originality and brio The characterization of the shrink in particular is extraordinary What is going on here The reader awaits the reader is prepared to suspend many further unknown belief mechanismsThen Steven Hall is feeling kind of dull and
uninspired but here we go Up and at em Another 200 pages of The Raw Shark Textsbut here we go Up and at em Another 200 pages of The Raw Shark Texts at Becoming Project Five Fifteen ya Ah hem Kicking in with cutesy poo winsome boy meets girl capers in post modern clich land But Steven Hall is just MESSING WITH YOU get it Ok ok let s get back to the good stuff Then JAWS Yeah we re gonna re do JAWS But it s gonna be like a CONCEPT SHARK get it No That s ok really no problem Because the girl who appears out of nowhere but could also but might not be the over simplified key to an overly convoluted plot is like fortunately the MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL OUR MEMORY LOSS DUDE HAS EVER SEEN and like THE COOLEST GIRL EVER and umm let s see SHE DROPS TONS OF WITTY ONE LINERS and stuff Also This might be the afterlifeOr A dreamI mean It s whatou what Britain, Australia and the Bomb you might think ifou re in a comaThen This reader is thinking I can t believe I finished this awful fraud of a book There might be very minor spoilers here but I doubt they will make any sense to Kiffe Kiffe Demain you ifou haven t read the book so read on unles Sanzoku Ou King of Bandits Vol 9 you are uber paranoid about spoilers The Raw Shark Texts It s supposed to be a literary psychological thriller where Jorge Luis Borges meets Danielewski meets Matrix meets Fight Club meets Jaws I thought Oh dear Steve I hopeou know what Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Artbook officiel you are running up against and I hopeour game is tightThe book starts with the main character waking up on the floor not knowing who or where he is His personal memory seems to have been wiped clean This is
A TRIED AND TESTED OPENING THAT IS SURE TOtried and tested opening that is sure to anyone from the first page The problem with it is that Becoming Enlightened you have to back it up The book has to live up to its premiseI give credit where credit is due Steve Hall had a superb idea Our narrator Eric Sanderson is hunted by a kind of conceptual. Eric Sanderson wakes up in a house one day with no idea who or where he is A note instructs him to see a Dr Randle immediately who informs him that he is undergoinget another episode of acute memory loss that is a symptom of his severe dissociative disorder Eric's been in Dr Randle's care for two Jim Hensons Labyrinth years since the tragic death of Fish the kind of fish that lives in a purely abstract world and feeds on thoughts ideas memories Somehow he stepped on the toe of the most dangerous conceptual fish out there the Ludovician a conceptual euivalent of the great white shark And it eats his memory Nom nom nomThere are also very funnyscary albeit gimmicky typographical illustrations in the text They even looked cute on my kindleWhile I think the idea was brilliant I feel there was a little of wasted opportunity there We are made to understand that the way to fight the shark or at least to keep it at bay so to speak is to use so some sort of flow of information to throw him offour scent and set up a conceptual loop which works like a shark cage And our hero uses other people s post and Dictaphones to do that Dictaphones What is it 1985 What else Maybe he should fax the shark as well Why not set up some computers with facebook and twitter accounts that would constantly get new followers and feedback to each other ad infinitum Perfect conceptual loop Or why throw letter bombs made of shredded phone books and such at Basic Training your shark Why not treat it with a stream of penis enlargement and Russian brides spam That should send it all the way back to last century Why go through other people s post whereou can just download their blogs twitters tumblrs facebooks and emails I mean if I were looking for tons of pointless information the Internet would be the first place I would go toBut fine Steve I am with Gambling for Dummies you Let s party like it s 1985 Dictaphones and all So I am suspending my disbelief conceptual sharks some zombie like figures Un spaceeah me neither until Hall introduces Eric s love interest in its two incarnations Scout and Clio And boy oh boy ain t she a dream come true for any nerdy boy She s got boobs and likes to show them she knows about computers rides a motorcycle and talks like she is reading a sitcom script She never mentions kids or marriage She is a superhero but also slightly damaged inside so can be occasionally protected She is Lara Croft meets Leelo from the Fifth Element And here comes the love story with the extra cheese on top Here comes the melodrama when Eric decides to sulk for half of the book over something that a PMSing sixteen Dancing with Ben Hall and Other Yarns year old girl would have a hard time sulking over for longer than 40 minutes I can t take this I shout Jeez louise Steve what areou doing Why are BUG DEATH you doing it And then at the end Steve tells my why he was doing it And it makes sense and I get it And he knew that I knew but I didn t know that he knew that I knew And ha ha the joke is on me Butou know what Steve I could ve stopped reading there and then if I wasn t so OCD about finishing every book that I start I really do get it but I still don t know why I was forced to read 100 or so pages of that bad soap opera So there goes one star from what could ve been a four star bookAnd then of course there is the ending Oh Personally I wouldn t have ended it on such a sappy note and OF COURSE he s reading Paul Auster in that scene towards the end but this was a pretty compelling and inventive read overall even if some of it felt a bit gimmicky at points One could only hope for such generous criticism of their first novel so that s why I m giving credit where credit due Four out of five stars 10You are a book The Raw Shark Texts You are an unstable narrative You are a story of loss
AND LOVE AND MEMORY OF Alove and memory of a heart and a broken mind You are a mystery Forests Hope (Timber Valley Wolf Pack you are a postmodern textou are a Burroughs with a certain sort of sunny spotless mind You are a first novel complete with a first novel s typical weaknesses an intermittent stridency and repetitiousness that is occasionally tedious a tendency towards wanting to amaze the audience with Keeping and Breeding Australian Pythons your brilliance characters and dialogue that are intended to be cheeky real but often come across as precious cutesy poo You are overlong Stillour ambition is pleasing Your level of writing ability is impressive There is a mad genius to it You exist on multiple levels You excited me then bored me then excited me anew You made me think on many things new ideas and old what is a person what is an emotion what makes a concept real You are a book that this reviewer liked sometimesview spoiler9You are the protagonist You have no name no memory no life You have a dissociative identity disorder Hester Roon you suffer from psychotropic fugue You have a cat named Ian and a house bereft of clues You wake up in this empty house and follow the instructions thatour former self has left for A Wayside Tavern you You seeour psychiatrist who tells ou little
besides platitudes You begin to receive letters and packages from our former self clues to our mystery aplatitudes You begin to receive letters and packages from our former self clues to Sanity is the Future of Wealth your mystery a to follow You have an enemy8You are the Ludovician shark You are a conceptual predator You devour memories wholeou leave Jelena '93 your victims emptied outou take what is them and ou eat it You will follow our prey anywhere7You are Mark Richardson You are the assumed identity of a man
Who Does Not Know Himselfdoes not know himself are on a journey through un space those places built and then left by man those empty spaces You must find Dr Fidorous How to Restore Your Bmw Motorcycle Twins 1950-1969 your uncertain ally You encounter Mr Nobody a hollow vessel You are rescued by a girl6You are Scout Or areou You have lived in un space for so many Faerie years Areou a figment of imagination a hope a resurrection of a dead girlfriend It matters not ou are on the run You rescue Mark Richardson but ou have Goodbye Soldier War Biography your own motives and agenda You must destroyour own enemy5You are Mycroft Ward You are old and rich an industrialist a man who wants to live forever You come up with a plan duplicate Cinnamon and Elephants: Sri Lanka and the Netherlands from 1600 (Rijksmuseum country series) your brain patterns imprint them on another You succeed You do it again You succeed again There becomes and ofou few whom Valkea kuin lumi you target are able to escape the girl Scout is one of them You search for her asou multiply You multiply You multiply You are legion4You are a conceptual shark boat named The Orpheus You are made by Dr Fidorous to kill a mind shark and to destroy a multiple man You are composed of planks of wood boxes 80s computers plastic barrels cardboard stepladders an office chair coat hangers a desk fan You are transformed How To Think Like A Manager for the CISSP Exam you become real The hunt is on3You are Eric Sanderson Your girlfriend the love ofour life has died on a trip to Greece You blame The Lady of Larkspur Lotion yourself You emptyour mind Five Wealth Secrets 96% of Us Dont Know you become nothing a living un space You are not to blame Eric You must freeourself You die ou are reborn hide spoiler A bit oversold but cert. Is great love Clio while the two vacationed in the Greek islandsBut there may be to the story or it may be a different story altogether As Eric begins to examine letters and papers left in the house by the first Eric Sanderson a staggeringly different explanation for what is happening to Eric emerges and he and the reader embark on.
Steven Hall Ú 1 REVIEWAinly creative at times with a sprinkling of novel ideas which for me almost worked but not uiteAt heart this is a simple love story which I didn t mind as I uite like simple love stories being an old romantic at heart That the love story was between a man whose memories had been eaten by a conceptual shark see later and a woman who he may have loved in his pre memory loss existence who is now dead but not a ghost nothing supernatural here matters not a jot There are homages all over the book and references to films and books Lots to Casablanca and of course Jaws the last part of the film is played out at the end of the book There are uite a few oddities A character we never meet called Mycroft Ward decides in the mid 19th century that he really does not want to die He studies hypnotism and finds a ounger suggestive subject and hypnotically gives him great detail about his own life and becomes him He continues to do this creating a number of versions of himself He eventually becomes an internet database Now the fish The novel depends on the idea that there exist conceptual fish that feed on well concepts and ideas The Ludovician is a large conceptual shark that feeds on memories and seems have have developed a liking for Eric the main character in the book Eric recieves messages from his previous self in the mail and from other sources telling him how to protect himselfThere is also unspace the empty spaces in our modern urban world behind shops empty factories and warehouses railway sidings The whole thing reaches a climax in the conceptual world which becomes real to the protagomists I uite like that ideaThere are some uite clever ideas and it has cult classic written all over it I also suspect it is designed to be filmed although uite how they re going to manage conceptual fish The ending is a bit of a cop out and the first part of the book deserves betterIt is entertaining but on closer examination rather flimsy Apparently for each chapter in the book there is a negative or unchapter out in the world somewhere on line in other editions of the book or Blood Magic Divided Realms yet to be discovered Am I bothered enough to seek them out nope That may tellou all Hooking Him you need to knowI did like Ian the cat and had every sympathy with him being dragged around Eric s rather mad adventures Duh DumDuh DumDum dum dum dum dum dum DUMOk that was a poor attempt to mimic the Jaws theme tune in text format but hey it s not that easyOn Animosity Island everyone is looking forward to the summer season The picket fences are suitably white the sky is picture postcard blue and the beaches of fineellow sand are ready to receive the beach towels and inflatable toys of hundreds of British holiday makers For Chief Brady head of the Animosity Island police department there is one fly in the sunscreen there s something in the water A girl is washed up on the beach with huge L s and U s bitten out of her Then little Alex Kidney is ripped from his inflatable doughnut and reduced to nothing than a red ink blot on the ocean waves Chief Brady and his faithful sidekick Mitt Hopperrenowned beard wearer and oceanographer take to the high seas to investigate They uickly stumble upon the half submerged and chewed up remains of a boat belonging to a local fisherman When Hopper explores the damaged hull he is startled to find a huge letter U embedded in the hull Then suddenly the boat shifts and a copy of the Raw Shark Texts drops in front of him Hopper screams and breaks for the surface THIS IS NOT WHAT THE RAW SHARK TEXTS IS ABOUTBut it does contain some heavy referencing to Jaws and as I love that film then that s ok by me The Raw Shark texts is conceptually uite brilliant and I have to admit I loved parts of it The first Eric Sanderson has been eaten by a Ludovician a conceptual shark which follows the stream of information that people generate thoughts conversations mail emails and slowly takes great big bitey chunks out of their memory until they become a sort of un person Brilliant Conceptual sharks Love itRemnants of Eric survive these shark induced fugue states and so following notes left by the First Eric Sanderson the Second Eric Sanderson tries to catch and kill the Ludovician before he s a goner too In order to do this Eric has to hunt down Dr Trey Fidorous who lives in un space Un space which is entered via Waterstones Brilliant To this end he is accompanied by Ian the cat and Scout who is an un version of the improbably super cool girlfriend Clio AamesThere are all sorts of other I m mad but Training the Trainer you re not supposed to know how mad subtext occurring most of which is based around the death of Clio Aames improbably super cool girlfriend of the First Eric Sanderson Women reading this will in all likelihood intensely dislike the conceptual memory of Clio Aames I was secretly hoping that she got eaten by a real shark and that is why she wasn t around any Sadly not In the end the attempt to catch and kill the Ludovician is based on the shark chase scene in Jaws complete with a couple of chapter titles which are an outright homage to these ad lib ed scenes including Farewell and adieu toou fair Spanish Ladies If this book also had a chapter called Show me the way to go home I m tired and I want to go to bed then I might well have given it five stars Wikipedia also says that as well as the 36 chapters of the book I ve just read there are also a series of 36 un chapters which have to be hunted down on line This book is clever This is also the kind of marketing wet dream that causes publishers to have a little sex wee and hi five each
other for being seven kinds of zeitgeist Probably not as clever as House of Leaves and a number of people havefor being seven kinds of zeitgeist Probably not as clever as House of Leaves and a number of people have it House of Leaves lite or maybe it was just me I forget as the Ludovician has been taking chunks out of my own memory recentlyAnyway the star of the show was Ian the cat He survived and wasn t as mad as Eric Sanderson either versions one or two and he wasn t as smug as Clio Aames either Hall s conceptual sharks are clever and
Original His Typographical Uirks AreHis typographical uirks are to interesting in one infamous instance hilariously terrifying effect Howevs the writing suffers from an overuse of dramatic verbs a overly stylised relationship between the heroheroine regardless of any ironic intentions moments of prolonged confusion and plot dullness and melodrama Still it shows a clear love of language words and books so I can overlook the long sloggy parts. A uest to recover the truth and escape the remorseless predatory forces that threatens to devour him The Raw Shark Texts is a kaleidoscopic novel about the magnitude of love and the devastating effect of losing that love It will dazzle Karsh Portfolio you it will moveou and will leave an indelible imprint like nothing Before Atlantis you have read in a long ti.