The daily getTRIO.com newsletter brings this:
Steven Hall, author of The Raw Shark Texts, takes the hoariest of premises — amnesia — and through a combination of jump-off-the-page writing and a post-modern bag of tricks, delivers a smart, absorbing, mind-bending novel.
The author is consciously invoking everything from Jaws and The Matrix to the books of Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart, for one), among the many hat-tips and clues. He does so in the service of a chap (the setting is England) named Eric Sanderson, who wakes up on the floor one day, completely unable to remember who he is or anything of his past. He finds an envelope that has been left for him by “the first Eric Sanderson,” who provides specific instructions on what to do:
“If you are reading this, I’m not around anymore. Take the phone and speed dial 1. Tell the woman who answers that you are Eric Sanderson. The woman is Dr. Randle. She’ll understand what has happened…”
Got you, didn’t he?
The Raw Shark Texts (the title is a pun — say it quickly and think of ink blots) is the author’s debut novel and there are some first-novel problems — more ambition than control, repartee between Sanderson and his girlfriend that falls flat. And if you like your mysteries neatly bundled, you may be left cold. But we think this is an enormously promising debut, not to mention a great read.
I saw this in a bookstore and got it from the NYPL. Go see it for yourself. Tell me Sony’s BBEB format wouldn’t be conquered by it! I dare ya! It has illustrations and typographic effects that I don’t think any existing markup language can handle (which, of course, begs the question: well, how was the book itself done?). It even has a flipbook animation in it! (Even though it’s in my reading queue, that’s no guarantee I’ll get to it.)
UPDATE: Hmmm… maybe not after all. I had to edit this to put in a link I missed — the author’s website! When I went there, what did I see? The flipbook animation that’s in the book itself! And typographic effects. Still, would BBEB format be able to handle that?!
SECOND UPDATE: Well shut my mouth! It got into my teeny tiny widdle brain to actually go see if the book was available for the Sony Reader. And guess what? It is! If you have it on your Sony Reader, drop me an email to let me know if it’s faithful to the printed original!