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ranters and ravers

‘Raw Shark Texts’: Does It Bite?

Courtesy of Canongate U.S.

Amnesia. Notes written from a different, past version of one's self. A purely conceptual shark that feeds on memories. Such is the stuff of Steven Hall's debut novel, The Raw Shark Texts. Most critics enthusiastically recommend the book, citing such postmodernist luminaries as Paul Auster and Haruki Murakami as Hall's predecessors. But will Shark Texts readers get sucked in by the thrilling, if out-there, plot? Or will they feel like they're being attacked by a purely conceptual shark of a book? —Marc Tracy

RAVE: "At times, it seems as if Hall must have written it while hopping up and down with excitement, like a 6-year-old recounting his first trip to the circus. Paced like a thriller, the book thinks like a French theorist and reads like a deluge." — Tobin O'Donnell, San Francisco Chronicle

RANT: "How all this will read in 20 years, or even two, is hard to say, although one suspects that what seemed so vertiginously modern will ultimately seem like so much cyber-age psychedelia — as depthless and woozy as paisley-patterned shirts." — Tom Shone, New York Times Book Review