Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 50 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types



Straight to the Multiplex

Tom McCarthy: Steven Hall’s ‘The Raw Shark Texts’, 1 November 2007

The Raw Shark Texts 
by Steven Hall.
Canongate, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2007, 978 1 84195 902 3
Show More
Show More
... but technology itself. It’s no coincidence that the first objects that fall from the incised stomachs of captured sharks in Peter Benchley’s Jaws are car parts: as Benchley points out at the novel’s outset, like some grotesque über-car the great white must perpetually keep moving. My sister then held up as evidence The Founding and Manifesto of ...

Writing Machines

Tom McCarthy: On Realism and the Real, 18 December 2014

... In the introduction​ to the 1995 reissue of his 1973 masterpiece Crash, J.G. Ballard discusses ‘the balance between fiction and reality’. ‘We live,’ he writes, in a world ruled by fictions of every kind – mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the pre-empting of any original response to experience by the television screen ...

Is there hope for U?

Christopher Tayler: Tom McCarthy, 20 May 2015

Satin Island 
by Tom McCarthy.
Cape, 192 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 0 224 09019 3
Show More
Show More
... existing literary world, in which editors were all too likely to pounce – as an editor does in Tom McCarthy’s novel Men in Space when a character slips talk of ‘the Western epistème’ into an art review – on instances of ‘pretentious bollocks’. After discovering Pierre Bourdieu, I even began to wonder if a taste for difficult, academically ...

Seeing Things Flat

Jenny Turner: Tom McCarthy’s ‘C’, 9 September 2010

by Tom McCarthy.
Cape, 310 pp., £16.99, August 2010, 978 0 224 09020 9
Show More
Show More
... is not a thing; it is a process. A rhythm. Toxins are secreted around body, organs become accustomed and, perverted by custom, addicted.’ The deep link between spiritual state and bowel habit was well known to the ancients – viz the Aristotelian catharsis – but too often since then has been bypassed, though ...

Stabbing the Olive

Tom McCarthy: Toussaint, 11 February 2010

Running Away 
by Jean-Philippe Toussaint, translated by Matthew Smith.
Dalkey, 156 pp., $12.95, November 2009, 978 1 56478 567 1
Show More
La Vérité sur Marie 
by Jean-Philippe Toussaint.
Minuit, 204 pp., €14.50, September 2009, 978 2 7073 2088 9
Show More
Show More
... amble through the modern urban landscape, amusing themselves by triggering and retriggering an automatic doorbell, flirting with a pretty secretary, or failing to observe the etiquette of a posh tennis club or dinner with the girlfriend’s parents, or to master the workings of cars or the rules of the Highway Code. The affect, here, stems from the naive ...

‘Ulysses’ and Its Wake

Tom McCarthy, 18 June 2014

... then solid: then world: then cold: then dead shell drifting around, frozen rock’ – and of ‘entomological organic existences concealed in cavities of the earth, beneath removable stones, in hives and mounds, of microbes, germs, bacteria, bacilli, spermatozoa’. But this materialism should not be confused with empiricism. On the contrary, it’s what ...

The Smell of Frying Liver Drifting up from Downstairs

Daniel Soar: Not a Disaster Novel, 9 March 2006

by Tom McCarthy.
Metronome, 274 pp., £6, October 2005, 2 916262 00 8
Show More
Show More
... with cellars and garrets and stairways and salons and endless particular clutter. The narrator of Tom McCarthy’s Remainder has been given £8,500,000 to keep quiet about an accident that has befallen him. Something – ‘Technology. Parts, bits. That’s it really: all I can divulge. Not much, I know’ – fell from the sky, broke most of his bones ...

Hmmmm, Stylish

Brian Dillon: Claire-Louise Bennett, 19 October 2016

by Claire-Louise Bennett.
Fitzcarraldo, 177 pp., £10.99, October 2015, 978 1 910695 09 8
Show More
Show More
... I have so many glasses after all. And it is so nice in here, after all.’ She has acquired an ottoman, on which some of her guests might deposit themselves in the course of the evening, and there is one in particular she hopes will plonk himself there. It’s where she would want to sit if she’d been invited to a party in this cottage. But how to ...

Why am I so fucked up?

Christian Lorentzen: 37 Shades of Zadie, 8 November 2012

by Zadie Smith.
Hamish Hamilton, 295 pp., £18.99, August 2012, 978 0 241 14414 5
Show More
Show More
... gentler James Wood? In ‘Two Paths for the Novel’, she looked at books by Joseph O’Neill and Tom McCarthy. Realism, it seemed, was on the run, and it turned out that novels in English could still be vehicles for avant-garde ideas. Why not try to be James Joyce? A bit wobbly and lopsided by design, NW is a hotchpotch in five parts. The first two ...

Her Body or the Sea

Ian Patterson: Ann Quin, 21 June 2018

The Unmapped Country: Stories and Fragments 
by Ann Quin.
And Other Stories, 192 pp., £10, January 2018, 978 1 911508 14 4
Show More
Show More
... of realism which still dominate the English novel. Heralded by commendatory quotes from Tom McCarthy and Lee Rourke on the cover of this new gathering of previously uncollected or unpublished writings, Ann Quin now seems to be emerging as their best ancestor. She has all the biographical qualifications for the job of precursor, as well as being ...

Man-Eating Philosophers

Will Self: David Cronenberg, 17 June 2015

by David Cronenberg.
Fourth Estate, 288 pp., £18.99, October 2014, 978 0 00 729915 7
Show More
Show More
... part: asserting the medium he has opted for is inadequate to the task at hand, and that only automated systems are capable of fully capturing the way people now interact via the web. We hear almost nothing about the impact of the Arosteguys’ cannibalistic carry-on in the wider world, while the only evidence on the page of Naomi’s ‘tendriling’ is ...

Mailer’s Muddy Friend

Stephen Ambrose, 1 September 1988

Citizen Cohn 
by Nicholas von Hoffman.
Harrap, 483 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 0 245 54605 7
Show More
Show More
... news reporter who had been appalled by the young Roy Cohn who wreaked such havoc as Senator Joe McCarthy’s aide, has fallen into Cohn’s web, become entranced by him, and tries to get away with presenting him as a lovable rogue. Von Hoffman makes no attempt at sustained analysis: he is content to present one interview after another, from Cohn’s friends ...

Haddock blows his top

Christopher Tayler: Hergé’s Redemption, 7 June 2012

Hergé: The Man who Created Tintin 
by Pierre Assouline, translated by Charles Ruas.
Oxford, 276 pp., £9.99, October 2011, 978 0 19 983727 4
Show More
Hergé, Son of Tintin 
by Benoît Peeters, translated by Tina Kover.
Johns Hopkins, 394 pp., £15.50, November 2011, 978 1 4214 0454 7
Show More
Show More
... doesn’t have much of a personality beyond his narrative function as a goodie. And readers – as Tom McCarthy points out in Tintin and the Secret of Literature – have felt possessive towards the supporting cast from early on.* Captain Haddock, Tintin’s insult-hurling best friend, showed up in 1944 in a vengeful newspaper strip done ‘in the manner ...

A Turn of Events

Frank Kermode, 14 November 1996

Reality and Dreams 
by Muriel Spark.
Constable, 160 pp., £14.95, September 1996, 0 09 469670 5
Show More
Show More
... these characters are well-heeled, one of the book’s main themes is redundancy. Many people in Tom’s circle have become redundant, either because they have lost their jobs or because they simply are, as persons, superfluous; and now he himself is a redundant movie director. Film, however spurious, is life: acting, however talented, is a form of ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: Football and Currie, 17 October 2002

... 1991 may not have fundamentally altered the character of the sport – a quarter of a century ago, Tom Stoppard was making a character in his play Professional Foul complain about the ‘yob ethics’ of the game – but they have made it worse. The players are richer, greedier and nastier, and almost mystically free from any sense of wider perspectives and ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences