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By: Tom McCarthy
Traumatized by an accident which involves something falling from the sky and leaves him eight and a half million pounds richer but hopelessly estranged from the world around him, Remainder's hero spends his time and money obsessively reconstructing and re-enacting vaguely remembered scenes and situations from his past: a large building with piano music in the distance, the familiar smells and sounds of liver frying and spluttering, lethargic cats lounging on roofs until they tumble off them...But when this fails to quench his thirst for authenticity, he starts reconstructing more and more violent events, as his repetition addiction spirals out of control.Reviews A refreshingly idiosyncratic, enjoyably intelligent read. The Guardian Remainder is an intelligent and absurd satire on consumer culture. The Times McCarthy's prose is precise and unpretentious. His anti-hero is a sympathetic Everyman, and it is difficult to resist the dominion of his obsession... its minatory brilliance calls for classic status. The Independent ...strangely gripping... Remainder should be read (and, of course, reread) for its intelli- gence and humour. TLS The storyline mesmerizes in its imaginative brilliance... the novel explores complex philosophical ideas about being in a simple and direct way.. The Sunday Telegraph Enthralling, dotted with dark humour and undoubted originality... it really sticks around in the mind, nagging at one afterwards, and the most complimentary thing that can be said about this novel of repeating scenes is that it really does deserve to be read a second time. The Irish Times This isn't how we expect a novel to be, but it's why it's a very good novel indeed. It trains you out of a certain way of thinking. London Review of Books