C

C

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
5
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An epochal saga from the acclaimed author of Remainder , C takes place in the early years of the twentieth century and ranges from western England to Europe to North Africa.

Serge Carrefax spends his childhood at Versoie House, where his father teaches deaf children to speak when he's not experimenting with wireless telegraphy. Sophie, Serge's sister and only connection to the world at large, takes outrageous liberties with Serge's young body -- which may explain the unusual sexual predilections that haunt him for the rest of his life. After recuperating from a mysterious illness at a Bohemian spa, Serge serves in World War I as a radio operator. C culminates in a bizarre scene in an Egyptian catacomb where all Serge's paths and relationships at last converge.

Tom McCarthy's mesmerizing, often hilarious accomplishment effortlessly blends the generational breadth of Ian McEwan with the postmodern wit of Thomas Pynchon and marks a writer rapidly becoming one of the most significant and original voices of his generation.
Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, 2010
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780307398864
0307398862
Branch Call Number: FIC McCar 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 310 p

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k
kepicturewoman
Aug 04, 2012

I could say this is stranger than ficton - but then! I was compelled to go back to read more, not out of suspense but more fascination to figure out what it was all about. I certainly felt I came away with information I hadn't considered about a young man who served in World War I.

brianreynolds Dec 19, 2011

Author's that choose to create an unlikable main character must do so in order to make some sort of point about life, or else the disrespect shown the reader seems twice insulting. There isn't a lot to recommend C's Serge Carrafax, the son of a turn of the 19th Century teacher of the deaf and experimenter with wireless, and yet the novel belongs to Serge and little else. Tom McCarthy tempts us with extremely detailed historical and scientific data in several eras and a number of fields and far flung locations, but fails, for me, to connect any of the dots that might redeem the effort needed to keep up with his prose. For this is more prose than story. Nice prose. Smart prose. Sometimes mind-numbing prose. But instead of a narrative (which after all seems to be the purpose of prose) TM serves us Serge in a few quite separate images of his life, each of which is made difficult to digest by a dog's breakfast of factual background information, none of which lead us to some scenic Kodak moment or even an epiphany about the pointlessness of Kodak moments.

2
2rich2thin
Mar 11, 2011

This was uneven. The writing was really good, and the individual segments were good stories but--perhaps I missed something--I was left wondering what the point of the overall story was.

h
hawks08
Nov 18, 2010

well written book, but found the technology descriptions difficult to concentrate on. also thought the lack of emotion by characters made it hard to connect to the book.

debwalker Nov 18, 2010

C is for the precocious and strange hero, Serge Carrafax, the son of an eccentric inventor, and for many other incidental bit players (cocaine, the myth
of Ceres) in this hall-of-mirrors picaresque.

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