Remainder - April Book Club pick
So, Goutis, I'll bite and start the April Book Club thread.
Spoilers may be found throughout.
My thoughts will appear in a sort of review/opinion fashion:
I was one who got the free copy of Remainder by Tom McCarthy from this site. I was a little wary about getting a free copy of a book, thinking that there must be some flaw or must not be that great if they were giving copies away for free. When the book arrived in the mail, I had just finished reading another book so I decided to jump right in on Remainder.
I was completely enthralled with the story. It took me just over two days to read the whole thing, which is pretty much record time for me. I thought that the story was very mesmerizing and captivating. I admit that the first few paragraphs made me a bit apprehensive. With statements like: "It's blank: a white slate, a black hole." I began thinking about something I heard about amnesiac writing. The thought goes: when a writer starts a story with the context that the main character is found in alone white room, or not remembering the past, is a symbol of the author's struggle with finding a cohesive story. A sort of 'what happens next will be a surprise to the author just as much to the reader'.
My thinking was quickly righted. McCarthy paints a stunning picture for us readers with his overly obsessive character (Who I don't think was ever named. Am I wrong on that? We can, however, assume that he is male with the story about how he met Catherine).
I was in love with how meticulous our main character is with his 'recreations' throughout the novel. One question I had was: The character references that the frying pan in the floor below him smells of cordite more than once. He also said that the champagne from the celebration night with Catherine and Greg smelled of cordite. Towards the end of the story, Naz asks him when it was the he came into contact with cordite and the reply given was: "Cordite?...I don't think I've ever been near cordite." which makes me wonder how he would know what cordite smells like. Perhaps it's something similar to when one says something like "it tastes like bleach" even though they've never ingested the substance.
I also liked the twist at the end, which leaves our hero in a sort of perpetual bliss. We don't see him arrested for his final 'recreation' in the bank robbery. Instead, McCarthy leaves him weightless and turning in the air with Naz. I loved Naz's character as well. I liked the way he was described as a thinker, with the "whirring back behind his eyes".
I think that the detail of the recreations throughout the book mirror McCarthy's character in the repetitiveness with making his subjects do things over and over with perfection, despite the level of insanity the parts were.
Overall, I loved it. I recommend it to everyone I can. I had my girlfriend read it as well. Her opinion was slightly different in mine. Where I think that McCarthy's ending is wonderful, she thought that there should have been more to the end of the story.
I sought anything else by McCarthy immediately after reading Remainder. The only other book I could find was: Tintin and the Secret of Literature. A sort of essay/memoir on the Tintin comic character and how he was played throughout his history. That's next on my list to read. I also found that the rights to the movie adaptation for Remainder have already been doled out and I am eagerly awaiting the moment I can watch that. Throughout reading the book, I kept thinking that it would make an excellent indie film.
That's my take.