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Remainder

by Tom McCarthy

Following an accident, our nameless hero tries to rebuild his life. Using his £8m compensation payment, he uses vague pre-accident memories to recreate those events. However, these attempts to 're-enact' his past by using actors and buying buildings and airports are ever more bizarre culminating in disaster. Somewhere in this novel is an attempt to understand the effects of extreme trauma on the human mind. Good use of language with some invented words. An interesting and unusual read.

Extract

It's not that I'm being shy. It's just that - well, for one, I don't even remember the event. It's a blank: a white slate, a black hole. I have vague images, half-impressions: of being, or having been - or, more precisely, being about to be - hit: blue light; railings; lights of other colours; being held above some kind of tray or bed. But who's to say that these are genuine memories? Who's to say my traumatised mind didn't just make them up, or pull them out from somewhere else, some other slot, and stick them there to plug the gap - the crater - that the accident had blown? Minds are versatile and wily things. Real chancers.
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