C

C

Book - 2010
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C has been shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize.


The acclaimed author of Remainder, which Zadie Smith hailed as "one of the great English novels of the past ten years,"gives us his most spectacularly inventive novel yet.

Opening in England at the turn of the twentieth century, C is the story of a boy named Serge Carrefax, whose father spends his time experimenting with wireless communication while running a school for deaf children. Serge grows up amid the noise and silence with his brilliant but troubled older sister, Sophie: an intense sibling relationship that stays with him as he heads off into an equally troubled larger world.

After a fling with a nurse at a Bohemian spa, Serge serves in World War I as a radio operator for reconnaissance planes. When his plane is shot down, Serge is taken to a German prison camp, from which he escapes. Back in London, he's recruited for a mission to Cairo on behalf of the shadowy Empire Wireless Chain. All of which eventually carries Serge to a fitful--and perhaps fateful--climax at the bottom of an Egyptian tomb . . .

Only a writer like Tom McCarthy could pull off a story with this effortless historical breadth, psychological insight, and postmodern originality.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780307593337
0307593339
Branch Call Number: FICTION McCarthy Tom 09/2010
Characteristics: 310 p. ;,25 cm.

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k
kepicturewoman
Aug 04, 2012

I could say this is stranger than ficton - but then! I was compelled to go back to read more, not out of suspense but more fascination to figure out what it was all about. I certainly felt I came away with information I hadn't considered about a young man who served in World War I.

brianreynolds Dec 19, 2011

Author's that choose to create an unlikable main character must do so in order to make some sort of point about life, or else the disrespect shown the reader seems twice insulting. There isn't a lot to recommend C's Serge Carrafax, the son of a turn of the 19th Century teacher of the deaf and experimenter with wireless, and yet the novel belongs to Serge and little else. Tom McCarthy tempts us with extremely detailed historical and scientific data in several eras and a number of fields and far flung locations, but fails, for me, to connect any of the dots that might redeem the effort needed to keep up with his prose. For this is more prose than story. Nice prose. Smart prose. Sometimes mind-numbing prose. But instead of a narrative (which after all seems to be the purpose of prose) TM serves us Serge in a few quite separate images of his life, each of which is made difficult to digest by a dog's breakfast of factual background information, none of which lead us to some scenic Kodak moment or even an epiphany about the pointlessness of Kodak moments.

2
2rich2thin
Mar 11, 2011

This was uneven. The writing was really good, and the individual segments were good stories but--perhaps I missed something--I was left wondering what the point of the overall story was.

h
hawks08
Nov 18, 2010

well written book, but found the technology descriptions difficult to concentrate on. also thought the lack of emotion by characters made it hard to connect to the book.

debwalker Nov 18, 2010

C is for the precocious and strange hero, Serge Carrafax, the son of an eccentric inventor, and for many other incidental bit players (cocaine, the myth
of Ceres) in this hall-of-mirrors picaresque.

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