Miz Moffatt's Reviews > Remainder

Remainder by Tom McCarthy
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's review
Oct 02, 10

bookshelves: literary-fiction

Tom McCarthy spins an outlandish, addictive thread to please readers with a penchant for the anti-hero. In his debut novel, Remainder, a nameless survivor of an unnamed accident receives an £8.5 million settlement on the condition that he remains silent on the event. The problem is "fixed" through no fault of his own -- our narrator suffers from memory loss and cannot recall the details of his injury. After stumbling through his initial post-rehab world, the narrator becomes fixated on the idea of rediscovering the fluid, uncalculated movements he once took for granted. With his newfound riches, he enlists the help of a bizarre agency to furnish his fantasy. The narrator invests his time and resources into "re-enacting" real or imagined moments, both mundane and violent. What begins as a bizarre past-time builds toward a tragic end for all those closest to him...

McCarthy is an expert with convincing, first-person narration. This nameless narrator is relatable and has a simple sort of charm to him. For fans of Torchwood out there, all I could picture was Rhys Williams (played by Kai Owen) inhabiting this role. Excellent choice, I should think.

Ideal for: Fans of first-person anti-heroes; Kids who like of experimentation in their fiction; People who love the smell of liver and the constant repetition of piano music (and also hate cordite).

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