mark monday's Reviews > The Raw Shark Texts

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
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's review
Dec 15, 11

bookshelves: unstable-narratives
Recommended to mark by: Brad

10.

You are a book, The Raw Shark Texts. You are an unstable narrative. You are a story of loss and love and memory, of a broken heart and a broken mind. You are a mystery; you are a postmodern text; you are equal parts Burroughs and Palahniuk and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. You are a first novel, complete with a first novel's typical weaknesses: a certain stridency and repetitiousness that is occasionally tedious, a tendency towards wanting to amaze the audience with your brilliance, characters and dialogue that are intended to be cheeky & real but often come across as precious & cutesy-poo. You are overlong. Still, your 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 rather Liked. well, in a 3-star sort of way.

(view spoiler)

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2.

" - the view becomes the reflection, and the reflection, the view."

(view spoiler)
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Brad The first time I've seen the spoiler alert as a an essential part of a review. Nice.


message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark Ditto to Brad's comment. Really clever review and I loved the dissonance of 'cheeky and real' morphing to 'precious and cutesy-poo'. the latter being a phrase you don't often get to read


Alex Flynn Great review. I remember liking this book but feeling like it was intellectual candy. Smart enough to be entertaining for someone interested in being challenged while reading, but not so smart that the challenges can't be solved or lead to new ideas. Like a difficult video game, not a difficult novel. And the Jaws stuff kind of annoyed me.But it was a lot of fun and I would definitely read it again.


mark monday thanks guys!

really like your analogy Stu.

Mark, i am going to make an effort to now include 'precious & cutesy-poo' in 1 out of every 10 reviews.

thanks Brad for your original review! it is what got me reading this one in the first place.


message 5: by Blackbook (new)

Blackbook Great review.


mark monday thanks Blackbook


Brad You're welcome, mark. It was my pleasure.


message 8: by Donna (new)

Donna 'You are a first novel, complete with a first novel's typical weaknesses: a certain stridency and repetitiousness that is occasionally tedious, a tendency towards wanting to amaze the audience with your brilliance, characters and dialogue that are intended to be cheeky & real but often come across as precious & cutesy-poo. You are overlong. Still, your 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.'

Been pondering this off and on all day. That first novel is a certain species with certain characteristics and only a reader can see them sort of the way you can see yourself in the mirror but not how you look walking away. Only another person can see that. Then I started thinking about Carson McCullers and how she must have been able to see herself walking away, a rare gift which now makes me appreciate her first novel even more.


mark monday that's a beautiful analogy Donna. not being an author myself, i can only imagine what it must feel like, sending your firstborn out in the world, hearing what people have to say about it, how painful or wonderful that must be.

my gosh this comment thread is full of analogies. or metaphors. whatever... three in one thread! i think Raw Shark Texts must be impacting the commentaries.


message 10: by Aloha (new) - added it

Aloha Read without spoiler, but this book looks like my type of book!


message 11: by mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday Aloha, it is. i promise!


Christian Spot on! I like it when a book has enough "zing" to make me forget its faults


message 13: by mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday thanks Christian! i agree. Raw Shark Texts is often one of those books.


Kelsey Sherman I love this review! More than the book, actually. It does make me rethink my take on the book.


message 15: by mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday glad you enjoyed it, Kelsey!


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