The Raw Shark Texts (export)

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The Raw Shark Texts

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847670236
  • Publisher: Canongate Books
  • Publication date: 6/9/2007
  • Product dimensions: 4.45 (w) x 7.01 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 76 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The Raw Shark Texts

    If you were to take the love child from a Alex Garland, David Mitchell and Mark Z. Danielewski threesome, say¿¿The Beach¿, ¿Number 9 Dream¿ and ¿House of Leaves¿ respectively, then the product of it would probably be ¿The Raw Shark Texts¿. There is no doubt that for his debut novel Hall has borrowed heavily, in my opinion mostly from Danielewski, and he has taken the elements that he appreciated from other authors and given it his own creative, ambitious twist, to make of this thriller something that is conceptually amazing, albeit abstract and difficult to approach.<BR/><BR/>If you are a fan of the clear cut story with simple to follow plots and entirely grounded themes, then I will let you know now not to come anywhere close to this book. If you however have enjoyed the work of any of the authors mentioned above or even the work of Italo Calvino (particularly ¿If On A Winter¿s Night A Tarveler¿¿) then this book is going to take you for a wild ride.<BR/><BR/>Eric Sanderson wakes up one day not knowing where he is, who he is and why he is there, having only letters sent to him by a past self with a series of instructions to try to help him determine who he is. You see, Eric suffers from a condition that began shortly after a boating accident that claimed the love of his life, which wipes out chunks of his memory, time and time again, each time erasing more and more of his former life. This is Eric Sanderson number 11. And just when it may seem that you have a handle on that, the weirdness comes, shaking things all over and making somewhat of a mess. There is the Ludovician, which threatens Eric with never making it to his 12th `rebirth¿ from amnesia, there is his run into unspace guided by pixie-ish Scout and then there is the entire last third of the book which asks you to exercise your pretend bone, one which most of us forget to use after the age of ten.<BR/><BR/>If that makes absolutely no sense, do not worry, it all does as you read the book and it does in a fashion that is fast paced and engaging. Raw Shark reads like a thriller, but requires a lot of imagination from the reader, to tell a vivid story of a man in the run not from killers, not from concrete evil, but rather conceptual evil which is the product of a mad man¿s quest for eternal life. Needless to say, while some of the readers (such as me) will eat this up with a spoon, this will also upset and frustrate the majority. Hall has tackled an inventive story and as mentioned above, ambitous, but he is still not exactly polished. Here and there his characters will falter and a few strings are left untied. For that reason, while I enjoy the work that was written here and would definitely read it again, I do not consider it as good as ¿Could Atlas¿ or ¿House of Leaves¿ which take the time to close all the small gaps and answer the important questions pertinent to the plot.<BR/><BR/>Is this an abandoned island book? For me, yes, but I will say that most people will not agree with me here. In the end, if you are up for an experimental, imagination defying read, this one is for you. If you like your books off the Oprah list, then look further down my list of reviewed books, this one is not going to be one of them. And for the record, yes, there are some books (two, actually, to be precise) I have reviewed that as it turns out, did make it to the Oprah Book Club list¿yikes.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2008


    I find it strange that there are no comments or reviews about this LOVE story. haha. What I mean to say is that this book is one of the greatest and most tragic love stories I've ever read. Maybe it's lacking on the romance as far as most love stories go. However, it still is a testament to the bond that is shared and the devastation caused when you lose that bond(in this case because of death). I absolutely loved this book. Not your typical thriller, not your typical love story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    A Cerebral Novel of Great Depth

    One of my Top Ten. Hall has an interesting style of writing that distinguishes him from the crowd. A thought provoking page turner. I have read this multiple times and find something new within each time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012


    This book had me at the back cover. It was a thrill ride from begining to end. It was definitely odd, but amazing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2012

    Read it.

    This is not a book for the atypical mindset. Approach it differently. Be as a much of a blank slate as the main character starts out as, a man with amnesia and no sense of who he is and ready to embrace everything he doesn't know, and you'll find yourself embracing the fantastical and loving it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2011

    For those who love Palahniuk and Danielewski. But let's give credit where credit is due.

    I write this review now from the screen of my Nook -- that's right I have forgone getting up from my bedly comforts and forsaken all keyboards to write a review. Chances are if you're colored intrigued by the headline alone then you should read this book. However, if you've never read either ofthose authors let me provide this: read this book. Seemingly innocuous at first, you soon will be unable to escape this lovely literary oddity as you crush through the pages seeking answers. One of the few works of fiction I have thoroughly enjoyed in a long time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2009

    you should know what you're getting into

    honestly - i got this book on a b&n recommended stand. i decided to get it based on reviews from the front cover and the vague description. little did i know the ridiculousness i was about to read. parts were sweet, i did enjoy recollections by eric about his love... unfortunately the rest of it was totally unexpected and unwanted. its like picking up a book expecting a love story and getting an erotic novel. the whole thing is a metaphor - i guess - and complete off-the-wall "science fiction"-ish? maybe i was dumb and not to say the writing wasn't good, but i had know idea the book wouldn't include an actual shark. EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW: THIS BOOK INCLUDES A "MIND/MEMORY-EATING" SHARK. IT INVOLVES CAGES, LITTERALLY MADE OF STORY BOOKS, OTHER PEOPLES MAIL, AND VOICE RECORDINGS OF PEOPLE YOU DON'T KNOW. THIS IS NOT A NORMAL, "COULD HAPPEN" STORY. anyways, for some, whatever read it. i just wouldn't have had i known.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not so much

    Interesting concept but a little too over the top for my tastes. My 16-year old claims it as her favorite book of all time.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    What a waste. I finished it only because I thought there would have to be some value in it.

    The writing style was not what I enjoy. The plot was weak and at times disorganized, and not because of the plot, as they might have thought.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011


    best book I ever read; period

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    Profound read!!!

    This is the kind of book you will either love or hate; I loved this one! This was a profound book for me personally and has stuck with me. Sure, some things that happen may seem over the top but if you want a good read to escape reality, baby, this one is for you! Think The Matrix meets Alice in Wonderland meets Lost! And yes, there is a Shark! ;)

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    Probably my favorite novel ever.

    This novel is nearly flawless. It is incredibly original, thought-provoking, existential, and surprisingly exciting and a real page-turner. It won't be for everyone, but it is accessible for those who aren't afraid to have their reality turned upside down. It is almost cliche to say now, as so many others have, but it is as thrilling as Jaws, as mind-bending as the film the Matrix, and as exciting as a Bourne film/novel. One thing I will say, is don't look forward to see how many pages there are in the book, or you may ruin the ending like I did, as the last pages have pictures, not text. Just know -- there are 435 pages of non-stop thrills!

    If you even like Neal Stephenson just a little, you will love this book. Absolutely brilliant!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2010

    You won't put it down until you've turned both covers!!!

    "The Raw Shark Texts" is an amazing feat in fiction writing. I have never read anything quite like it. I saw the book and the cover art looked interesting so I bought it and started to read it. The story, characters, plot, and originality of the book are amazing! I found myself wishing I was in the book; however, you feel like you already are in the book after reading the first few pages.

    If you want to spice up your reading life, then this is a must buy! You will not be able to put the book down, and you will be turning the pages as fast as you can!

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  • Posted April 6, 2010

    The sharks are here!!

    The Raw Shark Texts really gives new light on how much imagination really is bottled up in the world still. The book starts off with a bang. I mean considering that the first few pages are dramatic and packed with unsure action, the reader cant do anything other than keep reading so they can find out exactly WHY the protagonist is in this situation.

    Waking up in a room with no recollection of who you are or why you are there is hard enough, but doing that while gaining, ever so slowly, the knowledge that OTHERS know who you are, is even harder. The main character of this story is an ultimately broken man. He has to search for who he is and why he has come to forget everything he is and ever was. In the midst of this, he has a predator that he could have never imagined.

    The pages just seem to fly by in the honestly amazing page turner. Recommended for people who enjoyed the speed and complexity of both The Davinci Code and Angels and Demons.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    True Literature

    I read quite a lot as a stay at home mother and my job allows me hours a week for it as well. This is the first book in a long time in which I have seen such beautiful writing and vivid imagery. Steven Hall finds words that you wouldn't think of using to conjure up accurate imagery in your mind. The first page has this sentence in description of him waking up on the floor and gasping for air: "Static behind my eyes bacteria-swarmed dangerously towards another blackout and, snow-blind and shaking, I pushed my wet mouth down tight into the palms of my hands, trying to pull controlled, steady breaths through my fingers-". An amazing find, I feel lucky to have taken a chance on this new author.

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

    This book has one of the most unique plots I have ever read, it's very intriguing and interesting, you can't help but feel like you're in the middle of the story yourself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 13, 2009

    The Raw Shark Texts ... excuse me while I first close the loop.

    This was an amazing read that sucks you into a warped world where memories and information come to life. You really start to believe in Eric Sanderson's experiences and start to look at reality in a whole different way. The conceptual creatures come to life and at points truly invoke a sense of panic like any good horror or suspense novel should. You forget that you are dealing with fiction and begin to wonder what conceptual creatures you may be attracting as well. This is a great, intelligent read that leaves you wondering where reality ended and the fantasy world began. The lines are so artfully blurred, you lose the sense of reality and are swept of in a world that you are forced to believe along with the protagonist. Great stuff, looking forward to more Steven Hall.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    In a Class of its Own

    I would like to start by saying that I have not yet finished The Raw Shark Texts. I have enjoyed every chapter, every single word of this book so much that I have been deliberately prolonging my reading just to avoid that fateful day when there will be no more of it left to read. It is a rare treat when every single chapter in a book leaves the reader feeling both entirely satisfied with their experience and yet ravenous for more. There is no other book, that I have read, to compare this book to. It simply isn't like anything else out there. The reviews in the cover will say it's like Pynchon or Borges and the Matrix (yeah...not so much), but that's like saying red is like blue just because they are both colors. If you are in the mood for a deep and engrossing novel, and you are the adventurous type, I highly recommend The Raw Shark Texts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    i liked it

    i honestly enjoyed every word of this book and have now re-read it mutliple time so that i can better understand exactly what the author was trying to portray. if you pick up this book expecting it to be something else, as i also did, i would hope you are intelectual enough to realize the metephorical sense behind every word the author carefully picked to illustrate his innermorst thoughts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009


    The Raw Shark Texts was a thrilling adventure for me to read. I could picture every detail Hall had written within the pages. The life in the characters had stayed alive and moving. It was so suspenseful that I couldn't even put the book down! I had to bring it along with me absolutely everywhere I went. Eric Sanderson[main character] had an amazing personality. Though there were some chapters in which I did not understand what in the world he was thinking about doing, he was still a wonderful character. The connection between Eric's two lovers were so close. [Not trying to spoil]. The Raw Shark Texts is a great read if you like a thriller and heart pumping action book.

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