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Remainder
by Tom McCarthy


Overview - When the unnamed narrator of Remainder is given eight and a half million pounds in a settlement for an accident that left him in a coma for several months, he is at first uncertain how to spend the money. The conventional options— charity, self-indulgence, etc.—don’t appeal to him.  Read more...

 
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More About Remainder by Tom McCarthy
 
 
 
Overview
When the unnamed narrator of Remainder is given eight and a half million pounds in a settlement for an accident that left him in a coma for several months, he is at first uncertain how to spend the money. The conventional options— charity, self-indulgence, etc.—don’t appeal to him. Because of the brain damage he’s suffered, he has had to relearn even the simplest movements like eating or walking, mastering each of the many separate maneuvers required to perform actions that most people never think about. What he wants most of all is to regain the ease and naturalness that he admires in such movie stars as Robert DeNiro. He becomes obsessed with attaining that kind of naturalness, the feeling of being real, and when he sees a crack in a bathroom wall that reminds him of a house where he felt most real, he decides he must re-create it down to the smallest detail, including each of the inhabitants he remembers: an old woman cooking liver, a man fixing a motorbike in the courtyard, a pianist practicing Rachmaninov in the apartment below him, black cats on the red-tiled roof of the building behind his own. With his nearly unlimited resources and the help of Naz Vyas of a company called Time Control, the narrator buys a building, renovates it to fit his memory, and hires re-enactors to play the roles of the people he remembers. But even this elaborate realization of his fantasy doesn’t satisfy him completely. He wants to re-enact more and more scenes—fixing a tire in a garage, the drug-related murder of a man near his former home, and a bank robbery that has yet to happen. With each re-enactment, however, his obsession only grows stronger until the lines between fantasy and reality become dangerously blurred.

With a relentless nightmare logic, McCarthy follows his narrator’s obsessions to their unexpected but inevitable conclusion. Along the way, readers are subtly invited to think about some of the most perplexing aspects of the human condition—the urge to relive the past, to control the flow of time, to live in a fantasy world in order to feel more real. Remainder and the remarkable story it tells will remain vividly alive in the reader’s imagination long after the last page has been turned.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780307278357
  • ISBN-10: 0307278352
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Publish Date: February 2007
  • Page Count: 308
  • Dimensions: 8.02 x 5.24 x 0.69 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.65 pounds

Series: Vintage Originals

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
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