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Remainder by Tom McCarthy
  

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A darkly comic meditation on memory, identity and history, Remainder is a parable for modern times.

If you like Tom McCarthy you might also like to read books by Samuel Beckett, Thomas Pynchon and Roberto Bolano.

Synopsis

Remainder by Tom McCarthy

Traumatised by an accident which involves something falling from the sky and leaves him eight and a half million pounds rich but hopelessly estranged from the world around him, Remainder's hero spends his time and money obsessively reconstructing and re-enacting vaguely remembered scenes and situations from his past: a large building with piano music in the distance, the familiar smells and sounds of liver frying and spluttering, lethargic cats lounging on roofs until they tumble off them...But when this fails to quench his thirst for authenticity, he starts reconstructing more and more violent events, as his repetition addiction spirals out of control.

Reviews

'one of the great English novels of the past ten years'
Zadie Smith

'a refreshingly idiosyncratic, enjoyably intelligent read.'
The Guardian

'Remainder is an intelligent and absurd satire on consumer culture.'
The Times

'McCarthy's prose is precise and unpretentious. His anti-hero is a sympathetic Everyman, and it is difficult to resist the dominion of his obsession... its minatory brilliance calls for classic status.'
The Independent

'...strangely gripping... Remainder should be read (and, of course, reread) for its intelligence and humour.'
TLS

'The storyline mesmerizes in its imaginative brilliance... the novel explores complex philosophical ideas about beingA in a simple and direct way..'
The Sunday Telegraph

'Enthralling, dotted with dark humour and undoubted originality... it really sticks around in the mind, nagging at one afterwards, and the most complimentary thing that can be said about this novel of repeating scenes is that it really does deserve to be read a second time.'
The Irish Times

'This isn't how we expect a novel to be, but it's why it's a very good novel indeed. It trains you out of a certain way of thinking.'
London Review of Books

About the Author

Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy was born in 1969 and grew up in London. His creation, in 1999, of the International Necronautical Society (INS), a 'semi-fictitious organisation' that combines literature, art and philosophy, has led to publications, installations and exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world, from Tate Britain and the ICA in London to Moderna Museet in Stockholm and The Drawing Center in New York. Tom regularly writes on literature and art for publications including The New York Times, The London Review of Books and Artforum.

Below is a Q&A with this author.

1) What led you into writing?
I always wanted to write.

2) What was your earliest career aspiration?
To be Shakespeare. I wrote 'Macbeth, by Tom McCarthy' aged 7.

3) Can you describe your book Men in Space and its inspiration in thirty words?
It's about disintegration – of all types – in the wake of the collapse of communism in Prague.

4) Do you have any plans for your next book (C)?
It's about technology and mourning.

5) What has been the most exciting moment in your career?
Having my first novel, on its initial limited release by a small art press, reviewed at length in the Times Literary Supplement. I hadn't expected that, and knew that nothing would be the same again.

6) What are you reading right now?
Your questions.

7) If you could have dinner with any three people, past or present, who would they be?
They'd be characters, not writers: one of Sade's libertines, Huysmans's Des Esseintes, Melville's Queequeg.

8) Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
I'd have liked to be a regular at Warhol's Factory. Or the French Revolution.

9) If your house was on fire, which three books would you save from the flames?
My copy of Finnegans Wake; my diary from when I was eight (best thing I've ever written); my copy of The Sound and the Fury.

10) What do you do to relax?
Look out of my twelfth-floor window.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th June 2015

Author

Tom McCarthy

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Publisher

Alma Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
288 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781846883804

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