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Tom McCarthy was born in 1969 and lives in London. He is known in the art world for the reports, manifestos, and media interventions he has made as General Secretary of the International Necronautical Society (INS), a semi-fictitious avant-garde network. His previous books are "Remainder" and "Tintin and the Secret of Literature."
Serge Carrefax and his sister, Sophie, are born into a wealthy, eccentric English family at turn of the 20th century. In the style of the time, they experiment, invent, discover, and overindulge. Serge acts as an aerial observer in World War I, returns to London with a taste for cocaine and heroin, and is sent to Cairo as a spy after a near overdose just as Egypt wins its independence. While there, the pageant of human history and the interconnectedness of the past and the present are revealed to him. Writer/conceptual artist McCarthy (www.surplusmatter.com), author of Remainder (2007), also available from Tantor Audio, captures the spirit of the human journey into the 20th century. His style is reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh and E.M. Forster, with dark undertones. Beautifully read by Audie Award winner Stephen Hoye (Darling Jim); recommended for anyone liking inventive historical fiction. [The Knopf hc was recommended for those "devoted to Thomas Pynchon's brand of maximalism," LJ 8/10.-Ed.]-Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
McCarthy's third novel hopscotches between a marvelously diverse chain of times and places-from the British countryside to Egypt, from the 1920s to the turn of the 21st century. It's an overstuffed historical novel that is also an experimental attempt at favoring form over content, which raises the inevitable question: how does an audiobook reader do justice to a book that is simultaneously a story and a story about the telling of stories? The process is maddeningly tricky, but Stephan Hoye acquits himself well. The natural reserve of Hoye's reading maintains a certain distance from McCarthy's narrative-a distance that takes on increasing weight as the novel snakes in sidelong fashion toward its metafictional climax. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, July 26). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Remarkable not for its austerity but for its unlikely, panoramic ambition . . . "C" is a bird so rare as to seem oxymoronic: an avant-garde epic, the first I can think of since "Ulysses.""--Jonathan Dee, "Harper's Magazine" "Unquestionably brilliant . . . This is a genuinely exciting and spookily beautiful book, a new kind of joy."--"The Times" (London) "A supercharged, fizzingly written Bildungsroman . . . the remix the novel has been crying out for." --"Sunday Times"" ""Beautiful . . . a thrilling tale. This is one of the most brilliant books to have hit the shelves this year, and McCarthy deserves high praise for an electric piece of writing which should be read and enjoyed as much as dissected and discussed."--"Sunday Telegraph" "A dizzying, mesmeric and beautifully written work . . . Tom McCarthy has written a novel for our times: refreshingly different, intellectually acute and strikingly enjoyable . . . it seems highly unlikely that anyone will publish a better novel this year."--"Daily Telegraph" "Each chapter of McCarthy's tour de force is a cryptic, ornate puzzle box, rich with correspondences and emphatically detailed digressions. Ambitious readers will be eager to revisit this endlessly interpretive world, while more casual readers will marvel at the high-flying picaresque perched at the crossroads of science and the stuff dreams are made of."--"Publishers Weekly" (Starred, boxed review) "A literary roller-coaster ride that virtually hums and crackles . . . A marvelously inventive novel, swept along by the sheer energy of its prose."--"Booklist" "C is for carbon and cocaine, Cairo and CQ, and many other things besides. Under the elegant curve of the letter lies a fantastically detailed landscape of tiny pen-strokes that, if seen from high enough above, coalesce into a face, laughing uproariously. Tom McCarthy's latest is terrifically stylish, acrobatic, and insidious."--Lucc