Into Thin Air
In an inventive novel, radio technology signals the start of a violent era
by Tom McCarthy
$25.95 List Price
Tom McCarthy's novel Remainder, published in 2007, is a work of clean and seamless guile. There's no messy and cumbersome interiority, no ruminating, no sociopolitical context, nor much context at all. Just a contemporary city (London), rendered soberly by an unnamed narrator with a metaphysical problem: He's had a terrible accident of some kind, feels inauthentic as a result, and proceeds to reenact events of escalating complexity in order to recapture a kind of "rightness," of time coinciding with itself in an idealized manner. He tries to describe his own post-traumatic condition but has little insight, nothing but a feeling that everything is now "completely second-hand." The joke here, perfectly orchestrated, is that Remainder's story line points like a dagger toward the blot or lie at the heart of narrative.
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