Nevertheless. Finished reading Men in Space while on break last night.
Seven hours later. (Don’t try this at home!) Yeah – Tom McCarthy. Am I as impressed as I was with Remainder? Hmmm. Well, let’s be clear: McCarthy states himself, in an afterward, that this book
started as a series of disjointed, semi-autobiographical sketches written in what seems like another era, and grew into one long, disjointed document from which a plot of sorts emerged from time to time to sniff the air before going to ground again.
That’s about right. Remainder was a sword – all of one piece, focused, about something; this one’s more like a centrifuge, with a number of things tossed in – art forgery, the mafia, the end of Russia and the beginning of the European Union, expat life, a police officer in mental collapse, among other elements – and left to mix themselves up before McCarthy turns the speed up to eleven and it all gets spun out in different directions by the end. (And a couple of those items get smushed up sort of unpleasantly by the G-force. Meaning, I was less than satisfied with the smush, but should expect no less from a centrifuge.) Don’t go into it expecting anything like Remainder (though he continues to have a very precise eye for details – like the narrator of Remainder, everything is exactly described and set out) and you’ll likely find this book very satisfying, as it’s very well written – one particular sequence, a questioning in police custody, is described so perfectly, it’s just right.
It’s really a fantastic book; I’m just in a mindset lately of preferring swords to centrifuges.