The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
A Novel

78%

20 Critic Reviews

The plot of Steven Hall’s debut novel The Raw Shark Texts unlocks like a Chinese puzzle box, each intriguing twist in the story leading to even greater enigmas and a wider sphere of conspiracy and risks.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

Eric Sanderson wakes up one day with no idea who or where he is. A note instructs him to call a Dr. Randle, who informs him that he is undergoing yet another episode of memory loss and that for the last two years—since the tragic death of his great love, Clio, while vacationing in Greece—he’s been suffering from an acute disassociative disorder. But there may be more to the story, or it may be a different story altogether. As Eric Sanderson begins to examine letters and papers left behind by “the first Eric Sanderson” and the staggering tale they seem to contain, he and the reader embark on a quest to recover the truth and to escape the predatory forces that threaten to devour him. Moving with the pace and momentum of a superb thriller, exploring ideas about language and information as well as identity, The Raw Shark Texts is ultimately a novel about the magnitude of love and the devastating effect of losing that love.
 

About Steven Hall

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Steven Hall was born in 1975 in Derbyshire, England. He has produced a number of plays, music videos, concrete prose/conceptual art pieces and short stories, including " Stories for a Phone Book," featured in New Writing 13. The film rights to The Raw Shark Texts have been optioned by Film Four in association with Blueprint Pictures and Path? in the UK. Steven Hall lives in Hull, England.
 
Published April 10, 2007 by Canongate U.S.. 448 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Raw Shark Texts
All: 20 | Positive: 14 | Negative: 6

Kirkus

Above average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Feb 01 2008

Quite a narrative feat of hallucinatory imagination, though occasionally only borderline coherent.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Tom Shone on Apr 22 2008

One suspects that what seemed so vertiginously modern will ultimately seem like so much cyber-age psychedelia — as depthless and woozy as paisley-patterned shirts.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Patrick Ness on Mar 09 2008

The problem is that this is at least the third novel I've read in the past year about a man trying to recreate reality after losing his memory. 

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Ted Gioia on Apr 07 2008

The plot of Steven Hall’s debut novel The Raw Shark Texts unlocks like a Chinese puzzle box, each intriguing twist in the story leading to even greater enigmas and a wider sphere of conspiracy and risks.

Read Full Review of The Raw Shark Texts: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Entertainment Weekly on Mar 30 2008

When he hits his stride, particularly during a climactic man-versus-shark chase on the high seas, Texts is exhilarating.

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The Washington Post

Good
Reviewed by Tyler Knox on Jun 17 2008

Hall has created a nightmare creature, engorged on humanity's unquenchable urge to express itself.

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SF Site

Good
Reviewed by Seamus Sweeney on Jan 01 2010

Every so often a piece of prose exerts a physical power to keep one reading. The Raw Shark Texts has this in spades.

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London Review of Books

Good
Reviewed by Tom McCarthy on Nov 10 2008

It has a knowing replay of the final sequences of the film version of Jaws; it even has a shark attack that looks ‘like a slow-motion car crash’.

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The Australian

Below average
Reviewed by Mark Mordue on Mar 31 2008

As books go, it may be one of the big fish to catch this year but I'm throwing it back.

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Boomtron

Excellent
Reviewed by Boomtron on Jan 01 2008

It’s an exiting and well thought out idea and Hall really gives it a good work out so that it never becomes gimmicky.

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SF CrowsNest

Excellent
Reviewed by Pauline Morgan on Nov 01 2009

This is a highly readable, intelligent book in the creating of which, the author had a lot of fun. 

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Alibi

Good
Reviewed by John Freeman on Jun 06 2008

Hall has made the most of this compelling, if elaborate, metaphor.

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Teen Ink

Below average
Reviewed by AnubhutiKumar, on Mar 16 2014

They travel through unspace and reach Fidorous. He has figured out a way to destroy Mycroft Ward and the Ludovician...Will they survive? Or will there be a twelfth recurrence. Read the exciting and thrilling “The Raw Shark Texts” and find out!

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Helium

Excellent
Reviewed by Trent Sketch on Nov 23 2008

Steven Hall opens up a disturbing new world in which dreams and waking, reality and fiction combine to comment on the influx of media controlling modern society.

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Yahoo! Voices

Excellent
Reviewed by R. Ronson on Nov 22 2008

I highly recommend reading Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall.

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Reviews of Books

Good
Reviewed by W.R. Greer on Dec 07 2008

At first, it runs the risk of being too weird and it's head-scratchingly obtuse at times, but Steven Hall never loses contact with the human emotions that bring the novel back to earth.

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Metro Times

Above average
Reviewed by John Barry on Dec 19 2008

The Raw Shark Texts is imperfect but fascinating, and so is its creator. 

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BBC

Good
Reviewed by Chris Power on Mar 08 2008

Its conceptual audaciousness is very nearly ridiculous, but enables instead a thought-provoking meditation on the power of ideas and the mysteries of identity, all threaded through a white-knuckle shark hunt. 

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EBSCO Host Connection

Good
Reviewed by Katherine N. Hayles on Mar 01 2011

The novel functions as a parable for the contemporary human condition, looking toward a posthuman future but incarnated within an ancient biological heritage.

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Paste Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Veronique de Turenne on Dec 01 2008

Is it a thriller? A love story? A philosophical quest? Yes, yes and yes. Plus, it’s a big-fish story.

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Reader Rating for The Raw Shark Texts
71%

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