Remainder has been one of the most challenging books I have read lately. It is not difficult to understand why Tom McCarthy could not publish this book in England first. Remainder’s story is as interesting as its publishing story. The author cannot get the book published by any publishing house, but eventually, a small publishing house in Paris decides to publish it. The book, which cannot even be found in bookstores in Paris, is sold only in museums and galleries. But one day, a person reads this book, likes it and writes a good introduction about it. After that, the fate of both the book and the author changes completely.
Remainder tells the story of the narrator’s life, whose life changed completely with an accident that we do not know how it happened. Our narrator has lost his memory, and on top of that, his brain had to be reoriented. He doesn’t even remember how to walk. However, he gets a considerable amount of compensation from those who caused this accident. Although he does not know what to do with this money, our narrator starts to work with all his might to make the memories that come to his mind come true.
While rebuilding his life, we watch him stumbling, trying to get used to his sentences, speed and slowness. While reading the book, you can think about dozens of “things” that you have not thought of before. Maybe you hate it. I can say that I went back and forth between the two. It is a strange novel; You can tell from the very first page that it is really unlike anything you’ve read. If you are looking for such a book, don’t look any further. Enjoy!
Traumatized by an accident which involves “something falling from the sky” and leaves him eight and a half million pounds richer but hopelessly estranged from the world around him, Remainder’s hero spends his time and money obsessively reconstructing and re-enacting vaguely remembered scenes and situations from his past: a large building with piano music in the distance, the familiar smells and sounds of liver frying and spluttering, lethargic cats lounging on roofs until they tumble off them…But when this fails to quench his thirst for authenticity, he starts reconstructing more and more violent events, as his repetition addiction spirals out of control.
Tom McCarthy (born 1969) is an English writer and artist. He has written four novels, his debut novel Remainder published in 2005 by Metronome and his most recent published novel, Satin Island in 2015.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: