C has been shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize.The acclaimed author of Remainder, which Zadie Smith hailed as 8220;one of the great English novels of the past ten years,8221;gives us his most spectacularly inventive novel yet. Opening in England at the turn of the twentieth century, C is the story of a boy named Serge Carrefax, whose father spends his time experimenting with wireless communication while running a school for deaf children. Serge grows up amid the noise and silence with his brilliant but troubled older sister, Sophie: an intense sibling relationship that stays with him as he heads off into an equally troubled larger world.After a fling with a nurse at a Bohemian spa, Serge serves in World War I as a radio operator for reconnaissance planes. When his plane is shot down, Serge is taken to a German prison camp, from which he escapes. Back in London, he8217;s recruited for a mission to Cairo on behalf of the shadowy Empire Wireless Chain. All of which eventually carries Serge to a fitful8212;and perhaps fateful8212;climax at the bottom of an Egyptian tomb . . . Only a writer like Tom McCarthy could pull off a story with this effortless historical breadth, psychological insight, and postmodern originality.From the Hardcover edition.
There were plenty of other children around when Serge Carrefax ("C") was a youngster: his father, an inventor committed to discovering the sonic possibilities of copper wires and radio waves, ran a school for the deaf (a way to ensure he had plenty of subjects to test his gadgets on). But that didn't help him grow up any better adjusted. Many of the unusual ****** proclivities he develops, however, could be blamed on his sister, who liked to do her own kind of experimenting on her younger brother. These experiences set the groundwork for an adulthood sprinkled with drug use, World War I military service, and explorations from Bavaria to Africa. Roughly hitting the plot points, this description, however, in no way captures the richness, breadth, and creativity of Tom McCarthy's wickedly funny and blisteringly intelligent novel.
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- Vintage Books
- September 6, 2011
- September 6, 2011
- Tom McCarthy