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The author of 'one of the great English novels of the past ten years' moves to the next level, with a novel of thrilling action, imagination and ambition, perfect for fans of Bolano and Pynchon.

C follows the short, intense life of Serge Carrefax, a man who - as his name suggests - surges into the electric modernity of the early twentieth century, transfixed by the technologies that will obliterate him. Born to the sound of one of the very earliest experimental wireless stations, Serge finds himself steeped in a weird world of transmissions, whose very air seems filled with cryptic and poetic signals of all kinds. When personal loss strikes him in his adolescence, this world takes on a darker and more morbid aspect. What follows is a stunning tour de force in which the eerily idyllic settings of pre-war Europe give way to the exhilarating flight-paths of the frontline aeroplane radio operator, then the prison camps of Germany, the drug-fuelled London of the roaring twenties and, finally, the ancient tombs of Egypt. Reminiscent of Bolano, Beckett and Pynchon, this is a remarkable novel - a compelling, sophisticated and sublimely imaginative book uncovering the hidden codes and dark rhythms that sustain life.

Reviews

Its questioning hypnotic textures pay dividends

Alan Chadwick, Metro

Skilfully realised, ambitious

Christopher Taylor, Guardian

C is formidably well assembled, and it is admirable for an unashamed literary ambition

Peter Carty, Independent on Sunday

Tom McCarthy's latest novel is an intelligent, ambitious book which richly deserves its place on this year's Man Booker longlist.' ... 'This is a beautiful, accessible novel with a thrilling tale. This is one of the most brilliant books to have hit the shelves this year and McCarthy deserves high praise for an electric piece of writing which should be enjoyed as well as discussed.

Beth Jones, Sunday Telegraph

Chilling and brilliant

Scarlett Thomas, Financial Times

A narrative of energy, invention and intelligence begins to take shape: one that is at once dazzling and profoundly resonant...Tom McCarthy has written a novel for our times: refreshingly different, intellectually acute and strikingly enjoyable. Whether the Man Booker judges concur remains to be seen, but is seems highly unlikely that anyone will publish a better novel this year

Stuart Evers, Daily Telegraph

The strength of the novel is in the richness of McCarthy's intelligent, detailed research, while Serge is the cipher that he's used to convey it

Eithne Farry, Daily Mail

McCarthy has fashioned a poised, polished and occasionally perplexing novel that frames the dawn of the communications onslaught now engulfing us...Builds into a breathless tour de force...combining the impetus, mystery and gale-force pandemonium of the age- not to mention McCarthy's delirious prose - into a swirling finale that is at once confounding and eminently satisfying

Adam Lee Davies, Time Out

McCarthy is a richly gifted novelist

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

...C is a very good book indeed... McCarthy is one of the most intelligent and talented novelists of our generation.

Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

C...is not the impenetrable thesis (some) readers might have feared...

Stephanie Cross, The Lady

Whatever happens to this novel or to this writer, a chain of events has been set in motion. Nothing and no one is going to stop it going on and on.

Jenny Turner, TLS

Tom McCarthy's C... a novel blazing with energy and, for all its postmodern ambitions, a rich, old-fashioned yarn

Rosie Blau, on being a Booker judge, Financial Times

I surmise that it was because Tom McCarthy's C also hovers on an uneasy breaking-point, between fiction and philosophy, that I wanted it to win the Booker Man prize.

Andro Linklater, Spectator, Christmas round up

McCarthy's high-voltage writing runs through the reader like a charge.

Frances Wilson, Daily Telegraph, Christmas round up

New readers could grasp just how boldly he has tried to balance sumptuous period-fiction prose with a mischievous desire to sabotage his chosen form.

Boyd Tonkin, Independent, Christmas round up

An exciting, revealing and touching story

Lesley McDowell, Sunday Herald, Christmas round up

The novel's interest (or lack thereof) lies mainly in its stubborn refusal of anything resembling a narrative payoff...I loved it, right down to the prose, which, unspooling in a vaguely menacing present-continuous, sounds like screenplay instructions to a set designer

Anthony Cummins, The Times

A dazzlingly agile novel about the interconnectedness of things

Metro

Entertaining as well as ambitious

The Herald

McCarthy's descriptions of nature and of the everyday details of the era are vivid, surprising and true. And while the writing is often beautiful and ornate, the story has a bracing, Beckett-like severity

Irish Times

C inserts itself, slyly yet confidently, into the history of modernism. This is a genuinely exciting and spookily beautiful book, a new kind of joy

Neel Mukherjee, The Times

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099547020

    October 1, 2011

    Vintage

    320 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781409040965

    December 1, 2010

    Vintage Digital

    320 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Tom McCarthy

Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish
Satin Island

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