The Raw Shark Texts

I really don’t know where to start with this review as this is a rather surreal book with many different layers to it.

Eric Sanderson wakes up face down on the carpet in what is apparently his own house – however he doesn’t remember this.  In fact, he remembers nothing.  Following the instructions on notes left for him, he manages to find Doctor Randle, and she tells him that he has a rare form of amnesia that he has suffered with for a number of years and that his mind seems to have once again erased all ofhis memories…this could have been due to the trauma of losing his girlfriend Clio in an accident whilst on holiday on a Greek island a few years previously.

Eric remembers none of this, or of his family or his previous life.  There is nothing in his house to give him an insight into his previous existence apart from his cat with the collar that declares “Hello, my name is Ian”.  There is also nothing to explain what is behind the locked door upstairs which he is rather wary of opening.

Soon he starts receiving letters from himself that he has signed “The First Eric Sanderson”.  He manages to ignore them and the parcels that arrive with them for quite some time, but then one day he is forced into reading their contents after he is attacked by a conceptual shark – a Ludovician.

Yes. A conceptual shark. A shark that lives off of your thoughts, ideas and memories.

Whilst I was reading the book, I had these strange sense that not enough was explained and yet sometimes there was too much detail.  And I think that kind of sums the book for me – I never actually worked out whether I was getting it or not – whether perhaps there was a whole load of stuff that was going over my head – and then suddenly it would come right back down to basics.

In fact, almost the last quarter of the book is literally the end of Jaws.  Really. I have no idea how he managed to get away with that.

There’s romance, codes, text pictures, conceptual fish, a cathedral made of telephone directories, cybernetics and a cat called Ian.  What more could you ask for?

I have no idea where I was going, and I’m not altogether sure where I ended up – however I really enjoyed the journey – it was intriguing and compelling.  If anyone else has read it, I’d love to knwo what your thoughts were!

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