The author of 'one of the great English novels of the past ten years' moves to the next level, with a novel of thrilling action, imagination and ambition, perfect for fans of Bolano and Pynchon.
C follows the short, intense life of Serge Carrefax, a man who - as his name suggests - surges into the electric modernity of the early twentieth century, transfixed by the technologies that will obliterate him. Born to the sound of one of the very earliest experimental wireless stations, Serge finds himself steeped in a weird world of transmissions, whose very air seems filled with cryptic and poetic signals of all kinds. When personal loss strikes him in his adolescence, this world takes on a darker and more morbid aspect. What follows is a stunning tour de force in which the eerily idyllic settings of pre-war Europe give way to the exhilarating flight-paths of the frontline aeroplane radio operator, then the prison camps of Germany, the drug-fuelled London of the roaring twenties and, finally, the ancient tombs of Egypt. Reminiscent of Bolano, Beckett and Pynchon, this is a remarkable novel - a compelling, sophisticated and sublimely imaginative book uncovering the hidden codes and dark rhythms that sustain life.
"Its questioning hypnotic textures pay dividends" - Alan Chadwick, Metro
"Skilfully realised, ambitious" - Christopher Taylor, Guardian
"C is formidably well assembled, and it is admirable for an unashamed literary ambition" - Peter Carty, Independent on Sunday
"Tom McCarthy's latest novel is an intelligent, ambitious book which richly deserves its place on this year's Man Booker longlist.' ... 'This is a beautiful, accessible novel with a thrilling tale. This is one of the most brilliant books to have hit the shelves this year and McCarthy deserves high praise for an electric piece of writing which should be enjoyed as well as discussed." - Beth Jones, Sunday Telegraph
"Chilling and brilliant" - Scarlett Thomas, Financial Times
"The strength of the novel is in the richness of McCarthy's intelligent, detailed research, while Serge is the cipher that he's used to convey it" - Eithne Farry, Daily Mail
"McCarthy has fashioned a poised, polished and occasionally perplexing novel that frames the dawn of the communications onslaught now engulfing us...Builds into a breathless tour de force...combining the impetus, mystery and gale-force pandemonium of the age- not to mention McCarthy's delirious prose - into a swirling finale that is at once confounding and eminently satisfying" - Adam Lee Davies, Time Out
"McCarthy is a richly gifted novelist" - Boyd Tonkin, Independent
"C...is not the impenetrable thesis (some) readers might have feared..." - Stephanie Cross, The Lady
"Whatever happens to this novel or to this writer, a chain of events has been set in motion. Nothing and no one is going to stop it going on and on." - Jenny Turner, TLS
Tom McCarthy was born in 1969 and grew up in London. His creation, in 1999, of the International Necronautical Society (INS), a 'semi-fictitious organisation' that combines literature, art and philosophy, has led to publications, installations and exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world, from Tate Britain and the ICA in London, to Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and The Drawing Center in New York. Tom regularly writes on literature and art for publications including The New York Times, The London Review of Books and Artforum.