Vonia's Reviews > Remainder

Remainder by Tom McCarthy
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

liked it
Read in March, 2012

Well... this book was unusual... not in a fantasy way... but in a truly, truly unusually random way... which was good... it made for an interesting concept & read... but I personally saw it as not my style.
The novel is about a man who goes through a mysterious accident (which is never fully explained)... When he awakens, he is awarded a Settlement to the tune of 8.5 million pounds, which is close to 13 million $$$$$... He then becomes adamant on "re-enacting" situations in which he feels most authentic... Thus, he utilizes his millions to hiring actors, a personal assistant, buildings, etc., buying out store fronts, entire buildings, etc. These re-enactors are paid to do the same thing all day long in five different scenarios he eventually is adamant on recreating... alas, the re-enactors can't be available 24/7, so various understudies are hired... Needless to say, he has enough money & basically throws money at whatever he desires... this continues for some time until he is adamant on recreating a bank heist... which he subsequently has the "inspiration" to recreate in a real bank, rather than a set, in which the bank employees wouldn't realize it was merely a re-enactment, thus making it even more "authentic"... The actors are also not told about the genuine nature of the situation... This,obviously, is not as innocuous as his other re-enactments... & doesn't end so well...
It was definitely an ingenious idea & all the details McCarthy writes, from different "levels" in the re-enactors, to the feelings the main character experiences as he runs various scenes through his brain, to the sheer byzantine ideas he creates clearly exemplify McCarthy's genius... Alas, it wasn't my style... but it is a piece of writing I respect.

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