C by Tom McCarthy

C by Tom McCarthy

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010

The acclaimed author of Remainder, which Zadie Smith hailed as “one of the great English novels of the past ten years,”gives us his most spectacularly inventive novel yet.

Opening in England at the turn of the twentieth century, C is the story of a boy named Serge Carrefax, whose father spends his time experimenting with wireless communication while running a school for deaf children. Serge grows up amid the noise and silence with his brilliant but troubled older sister, Sophie: an intense sibling relationship that stays with him as he heads off into an equally troubled larger world.

After a fling with a nurse at a Bohemian spa, Serge serves in World War I as a radio operator for reconnaissance planes. When his plane is shot down, Serge is taken to a German prison camp, from which he escapes. Back in London, he’s recruited for a mission to Cairo on behalf of the shadowy Empire Wireless Chain. All of which eventually carries Serge to a fitful—and perhaps fateful—climax at the bottom of an Egyptian tomb . . .

Only a writer like Tom McCarthy could pull off a story with this effortless historical breadth, psychological insight, and postmodern originality.

Praise for C

"[A tour de force . . . An intellectually provocative novel that unfurls like a brooding, phosphorescent dream."
—Jennifer Egan, New York Times Book Review (cover)

C is a bird so rare as to seem oxymoronic: an avant-garde epic, the first I can think of since Ulysses."—Jonathan Dee, Harper’s Magazine

"McCarthy is a talented and intelligent novelist . . . The near-Joycean scale and density of all this is truly impressive, as is McCarthy's ability to fold it into a cleanly constructed narrative, [which has] moments of humour and weird beauty."—The Guardian [UK]

“Tom McCarthy’s latest is terrifically stylish, acrobatic, and insidious.”
—Luc Sante

Tom McCarthy

About Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy was born in 1969 and lives in London. He is known in the art world for the reports, manifestos and media interventions he has made as general secretary of the International Necronautical Society (INS), a semi-fictitious avant-garde network. His first novel was Remainder and, in 2006, he published Tintin and the Secret of Literature.
Photo © Erinn Hartman

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