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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

In his debut novel, The Raw Shark Texts, British writer, Steven Hall, takes the coming of age theme to a whole new level. The protagonist is not the usual awkward teen facing the impediments of high school, but a young guy named Eric Sanderson who knows no more about himself than that. The novel opens to a protagonist who knows nothing about himself but his name, Eric Sanderson.
As he navigates the murky depths of his past, he soon learns that the onset of his amnesia is loosely related to his many failed attempts to move past the tragic loss of his fiance. He also discovers that a supernatural fish called a Ludovician is lurking in the depths of his subconscious waiting to steal his identity again. Through a mix of mind games, puzzles and old-fashioned stealth Eric begins his journey to find himself while eluding the Ludovician.
The novel is quite different from the sort of thing I usually read but I found Hall's unique voice a refreshing change of pace and the ease of his prose gave way to his imaginative tale and charismatic protagonist. All in all I thought Raw Shark Texts was a great read... it's a page turner that will definitely keep you at the edge of your beach chair but out of the water. Here are three related book reviews. From the BBC, NPR, and The Guardian. - Caroline Morrison