Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Piscine & Ovine Distractions

It took a while but once The Raw Shark Texts got it's teeth into me the last 250 pages went down in one big gulp. Written by Steven Hall this is a clever, tricksy novel about a man who wakes with a disassociatve memory disorder and finds himself guided by letters, posted by his previous self that give him glimmers of his tragic past and more importantly help defend himself against the conceptual shark that's hunting him. Though the amnesiac-adrift trope has become a little tired over the past decade Hall's linguistic shenanigans add enough juice to keep things interesting and even the slightly gimmicky games with the typeface and font help plunge the reader into the double reality/delusion of the protagonist.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
is one of Philip K Dick's finer novels which was subsequently adapted into Blade Runner. Rick Deckard hunts runaway androids who return to a devasted, mostly empty Earth and receives the oppurtunity to pursue 6 examples of the latest, most realistic models. The book packs in much more invention & plot than the somewhat truncated film with social control, mood altering tech, TV gurus of course the eponymous artificial pets that all help build a truly Dickish miasma of paranoia, metaphysics and melancholia.

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