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The Raw Shark Texts

Steven Hall

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Canongate Books Ltd

Published : 2007

Copyright : Steven Hall 2007

ISBN-10 : PB 1-84767-024-5
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-84767-024-3

Publisher's Write-Up

Eric Sanderson wakes up in a place he doesn't recognise, unable to remember who he is. Attacked by a force he cannot see and confronted with memories he cannot ignore, Eric discovers he is being hunted by a psychic predator, a shark. This creature may exist only in his mind, but it soon starts making some very real appearances in his world. Loaded with letters from his past self, each signed 'With regret and also hope, The First Eric Sanderson', Eric embarks on a quest to recover his life.

A love story; an adventure; a psychological drama - this wild, touching, modern tale is cut through with an understated humour and warmth. The depths of love, language, memory and the inevitability of loss have never been plumbed with such deep-hearted imagination.

"It isn't all coming back to me. I don't know any of this at all. I felt that pricking horror, the one that comes when you realise the extent of something bad - if you're dangerously lost or you've made some terrible mistake - the reality of the situation creeping in through the back of your head like some pantomime Dracula. I did not know who I was. I did not know where I was. That simple. That frightening."

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Jessica (270108) Rating (9/10)

Review by Jessica
Rating 9/10
Eric Sanderson awakes from unconsciousness in a bedroom he doesn’t recognize. The bedside table doesn’t look familiar, nor does the double bed which Eric finds himself kneeling against. Mad with panic and wonder Eric considers going straight to find the nearest doctor or anyone for that matter, who can explain to him what exactly has happened.

Through a letter which he received signed “With regret and also hope, The First Eric Sanderson” Eric meets up with a Dr Randle who promises him that his memory will gradually return - this is what she calls purely a psychological condition - memory suppression but not one that causes actual damage. Also, she tells Eric about his girlfriend Clio who was killed. Eric simply feels nothing as Dr Randle tells him of this tragedy. Dr Randle also wants Eric not to open any more of these letters that were written by himself to himself before he suffered his memory loss. He says he will not read these letters again but eventually Eric simply cannot resist… and what is with the locked door and the strange noises Eric often hears coming from behind? There is a key to unlock this door but what will there be waiting for him?

Suddenly Eric is thrust into a somewhat surreal adventure as he decides the only way of making any sense of it is to find the mystery man named Dr Trey Fidorus. He also brings with him a cynical ginger tomcat named Ian who keeps him company until he later meets the cool yet mystifying Scout.
Steven has also done amazing codes in sections of the book and unusual depictions with words to build up the shark plus a really good flip which you don’t expect to come across in a book but it definitely adds to the enjoyment of reading.

This novel is very much a mixture of The Matrix, Jaws and The Da Vinci Code. Some chapters are just very puzzling, weird and unpredictable. Also, the creature (or force) called the Ludovician, a frightening monster that plagues Eric, works well as a shark playing on people’s fears. The ending was a bit weak and not one that I understood. I hoped it would tie up the loose ends and answer some of the questions I had. However, it just didn’t do that. Apart from this I can say this entertaining, well-written book is a must-have. Hall is a very clever writer with a clear talent in what he does.

A splendid and puzzling love story that now has film rights optioned by Film Four. Read this then wait for the film to come out. You won’t be disappointed.
Jessica (27th January 2008)

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