Meet U. - a corporate anthropologist secreted in the basement of a large consultancy. U. spends his time toiling away at a great, epoch-defining public project that no one, least of all its own creators, understands. Besieged by data, confronted at every turn by the fact of his own redundancy, U. grows obsessed with the images - oil spills, Rollerbladers heading nowhere over streets that revolutionaries once tore up, zombies on parade - that the world and all its veil-like screens bombard him with on a daily basis. Is there a plot at work behind the veil? Is it buffering a portal to the technological divine? Who killed the parachutist in the news? And what's this got to do with South Pacific cargo cults? U.'s disconnected notes from underground in fact amount to an impassioned, integrated vision - of disintegration. Satin Island is a book that captures our out-of-joint times like no other.
©2015 Tom McCarthy (P)2015 Recorded Books
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
I'm going to bounce back and forth between three and four stars on this one. When McCarthy is writing about things and dancing through data, symbols, fabrics, etc his prose reminds me of William Gibson and his Blue Ant trilogy. He has a way of organizing chaos or at least describing the chaos in a way that allows the reader to float and sometimes surf his text. When McCarthy is writing about place and people he reminds me a bit of J.G. Ballard (especially books like Crash and Super-Cannes). He creates an ambiant zone of transgressive urgency that is as smooth as Brian Eno pissing into Duchamp's little fountain.
But dear Lord, just skip the sections when he writes dialogue. They hurt. They feel like I was dropped from some lush avant-garden to some backwoods, underwatered, status of woe. Cotton-mouthed, McCarthy writes conversations that would be better dressed in most YA fan fiction. OK. Perhaps, I've gone too far, but seriously, the dialogue needed a bit of work. Other than that, it was a good book and didn't scare me away from reading more of Tom McCarthy
I loved this novel until very end. Not to say the end wasn't in keeping with the style and theme of the novel but I needed something a bit more and I can't even say for sure what that might be. In many respects it is very much a modern novel like Crying of Lot 49 etc. in which many details are presented to protagonist and reader and you make connections that may or may not be there or lead where you think. I don't know exactly what it is about ending that bothers me and it may be that I got too caught up in what I had decyphered as the purpose/meaning of the novel and I tripped myself up. I may try it again and I have Langton's Remainder to do on a friend's recommendation and he really loved both of them, and I may also after another go. As I said I totally loved it right to very end.
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