A quick post this week showcasing a newly signed first edition of Tom McCarthy's Satin Island. McCarthy is one of my favorite writers to watch; he approaches each book with remarkable aplomb and takes on wildly challenging stories. Remainder featured falling space debris and a man trying to recreate with a cast of actors a recurring dream. C, a four-part novel that as a whole is about communication, radio waves, and World War I, is exceptionally good, ambitious, and original, and absolutely should have beat The Finkler Question for the 2010 Booker Prize.
Satin Island, just published last week in the US, is about a cultural anthropologist working for a massive corporation and is almost Kafkaesque in its surreality. I'm only about forty pages in (about a quarter of the way through) but the book is riveting in all its strangeness. Each paragraph is headed like a boring business contract (5.1, 5.2, etc) but features some of the tightest, meditative prose about today's culture of technology and how that world may be informed by bygone cultural philosophers like Claude Levi-Strauss. McCarthy is a brilliant writer and I'm looking forward to digging in more. A review will likely be online at contemporarylit.about.com later this month.
This book was signed for me at a reading/discussion that took place last week at the inimitable 192 Books in Chelsea. And, how about that amazing cover by Peter Mendelsund?
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
Currently listening to:
Joy Division, "Preston, 28 February 1980 (live)