The Raw Shark Texts by Steven HallThe Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

The Raw Shark Texts

bySteven Hall

Paperback | April 15, 2008

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First things first, stay calm.
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.
With regret, and also hope,The First Eric Sanderson.

When Eric Sanderson wakes to amnesia and a haunting note from himself, he discovers an eerie world of thought and concept, a world in which ideas have a life of their own. Attacked by a force he cannot see and memories he cannot ignore—including those of a perfect love now lost—Eric discovers he is being relentlessly pursued by a shark that may exist only in his mind but which stalks him through the flows and streams of language and human interaction.Hunting the answers as he is hunted, Eric is led on a journey that will either bring the First Eric Sanderson back to life or destroy bothEric Sandersons forever.

An astounding and daring book by debut novelist Steven Hall, The Raw Shark Texts confronts readers with a fascinating puzzle aswell as an intensely absorbing story.

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 inNew Writing 13. The film rights toThe Raw Shark Textshave been optioned by Film Four in association with Blueprint Pictures and Pa...
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Title:The Raw Shark TextsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1 inPublished:April 15, 2008Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0002006979

ISBN - 13:9780002006972

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Swimming with Sharks. I had an experience like this when I read "House of Leaves". The stories are quite different but the layout is just as ambitious. While Danielewski goes above and beyond with liner and foot notes as well as scratches and interchanging fonts, Hall goes with long gaps of pages with little to no words as well as diagrams and exhibits. The changing style throughout the novel really adds to the experiment and gets the reader more and more involved in what is happening to Eric's world. While Hall is working on a second book, whether he can produce something on par to Raw Shark Texts remains to be seen but I know that I'll be checking it out. So, it was a good read, a repeat read for me at some point.
Date published: 2012-02-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Don't Waste Your Time This book is not my style but it was selected for my Book Club. I usually like Can Lit and this is more Sci Fi. The overall concept of the book is good (the plot) but the author is so verbose. He makes too many analogies and you lose the overall meaning. The subject is complex enough to grasp and he only complicates it with his extremely descriptive style. I would not recommend this book unless the reader really enjoys sci-fi and the abstract. Think Quantum Mechanics.
Date published: 2010-03-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Made me feel sane, then bit me. I don't know how to feel about this one; All i know is this book made me feel more sane, which is quite tough to do. It goes from happy tale of being a normal everyday guy with a house and job, to having a brain injury, and having your life dissolve into a crazy cross-country/universe trip where you are running from literary thought sharks. If I can sum up this book, just pick it up, and go to pages 270-330 or so, and use it like a flip book. You will notice that it is a shark made of text characters, and that shark is swimming at you to eat you/your thoughts. Prepare to feel indifferent about this book, but somehow happy that you read it. I would have given it 5 leaves if it had 20% more plot and 20% less crazy literary rantings. PS: If you like this sort of insane idea of a book, take a look at "House of Leaves" which is in some way similar, but has more plot, and is a little less insane.
Date published: 2010-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Amazing Reading Experience Imagine waking up on the floor with no idea who or where you are, and then discovering a note and a series of letter, written by your former self to your new self, instructing you on what to do. That’s what happens to Eric Sanderson. Every memory or shred of self image Eric had has been consumed by a shark, not a typical shark, rather a shark that swims in rivers of human interaction, communication, and ideas. This conceptual shark, called a Ludovician, still stalks him, and nothing is safe. Every letter, every interaction has the potential to draw the Ludovician to him, so Eric must go in search of answers about his past and about the predator pursuing him. Eric teams up with a young woman who has her own share of unusual problems, and they embark on a very bizarre and fascinating journey. Wow . . . just wow. I have a hard time coherently forming an opinion about The Raw Shark texts because I have nothing in my mental library to compare it to. It’s a highly original novel with a lot going on. The timeline of the book is broken up by letters and fragments of Eric’s pre-amnesia self, which makes it feel a little choppy. Normally I’d think of this as more of a negative characteristic, but it worked so well with the plot and Eric’s confusion. The way the novel was written played into the character’s disjointed, confused state of mind and allowed the reader to intentionally experience a portion of that bewilderment too. Every little fragment of information the author revealed only made the whole concept of what was going on much more impressive and mystifying. The plot was . . . well, unpredictable to say the least. I’m still blown away by they thought, creativity, and intelligence that must have gone into this book. The transitions from solid, real events to conceptual happenings were seamless and absorbing. Eric was a likeable character, and I enjoyed his progression during the novel. He had a lot of room to grow because he basically started out as a blank canvas with no concept of self, and by the end of the novel, it was clear what type of a person he was. Not only did The Raw Shark Texts offer a lot of fantastically original ideas, it also offered action, suspense, a little romance (nothing mushy or off-putting for male readers), some humor, and even a moment of potential sadness. Another interesting feature of the book is that there is a lot of “font play” going on. There are images created from text, diagrams, and even a flipbook of a shark composed of text. It was all very visually stimulating for me. Personally, I thought this book was a joy to read. I can see how The Raw Shark Texts could be unappealing to some readers, but it’s worth reading for the experience alone. I highly recommend The Raw Shark Texts to more experimental readers or those looking for something outside their comfort zone!
Date published: 2010-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It This book was like nothing I have read before. Once you pick it up you are compelled to read on, especially after you have those "aha" moments and the threads all begin to come together that weave this fabulous tale. If you "got" the movie the Matrix you will get this.
Date published: 2009-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Madly in Love With This Book I loved this book...the images, the concept of the whole thing...words...played around in sentences that wove into paragraphs. Ian, the cat...who can resist a book in which a cat named Ian lives?? This was a true literary adventure...flight from the Ludovician shark, a fight for memories. I think i have my own Ludovician hunting me down.
Date published: 2009-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Too Good to put down. Steven Hall is now by far my favorite writer. The basic idea that thoughts, ideas, memories and feelings exist not only in our minds but in the living world around us, that they have take shape and life is simply amazing. I will give to the fact that it is a bit of a slow start for my tastes but that quickly changes and I was sucked into the book like I haven't been before. I caught myself a number of times when reading this "live" text looking over my shoulder expecting to see some conceptual shark's fish gliding about outside my door, waiting to eat the shear amount of thoughts that this book bought out in me. I can no longer look at thought, words or just everyday human interaction the same way again. I say EVERYONE who likes the world outside the box should read this book.
Date published: 2009-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The First (from) Steven Hall I read a relatively similar, yet again highly different, book to this one a couple of months back entitled "The End of Mr Y." Even though both deal with plots revolving around the mind - memory and consciousness - and by and large are thought experiments, "The Raw Shark Texts" is not bogged down by chunks of non-fictional quantum physics and theories to try explain itself, and its refreshing out-of-the-box storyline, so simply well thought out that it doesn't crumble under the weight of its own uniqueness, puts it in a league of its own. Eric Sanderson wakes up one day to find no recollection of his past. His only clue comes in the form of letters from someone who calls himself "The First Eric Sanderson". What else does he do but go discover who he really is, what has become of him, and why a shark (or is it?) is after him. The novel seems almost metaphorical and may point to one path, yet author Steven Hall reels it back in and provides an alternative for you to choose. Filled with letter correspondences, memory fragments, and text drawings, the novel unravels like a puzzle. At the end of it, the mystery still has positive questions to it and makes you think and appreciate the fragments of Sanderson's memory and the figments of Hall's imagination...
Date published: 2008-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Art meets pop culture An outstanding debut novel that blends visual art, pop culture and literature. A totally unique experience.
Date published: 2008-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Favorite This book is everything one would want. Its a thinker, a romance, mystery, thriller, its scientific and philosophical... Its everything. If you like House of Leaves, Paul Auster, or anything by Chuck Palahniuk, than this book is for you. Steven Hall did a TREMENDOUS job on his first novel, soon to be movie, and I'm highly anticipating his next work. Great job. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2008-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Book I Won't Forget Man, this book is absolutely insane. The premise is crazy, but somehow, Hall manages to pass it off as plausible. In a sentence, "The Raw Shark Texts" is about a man who wakes up, and knows absolutely nothing about his life, and sets off on a journey to find out who he is and get himself back. Over his journey, The Second Eric Sanderson finds love, memories, and mysteries of the world that he never knew existed. Written at a comfortable pace for the most part, this novel is generally fairly relaxing to read. At parts, however, the pace picks up so much that I've had to put the book down and take a moment, and say to myself, "Did that really just happen?" I would definitely reccomend this book to anyone who wants a read that will make them really think, and really care about the characters. An awesome beginning, a super story, and a shocking ending.
Date published: 2008-07-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant debut, but... For sheer ballsy creativity The Raw Shark Texts is an incendiary word bomb of conceptual fish, a mad-world hungry-immortal, movie geekdom, Greek tragedy and cats with mundane names. To say there is something lacking in Steven Hall's first novel seems unfair and trite, but I can't shake the feeling that something in Eric Sanderson's relationship with Clio/Scout felt too forced and way too indoctrinated by current gender attitudes. If that was by design I can't imagine what the design was; if it was merely the truth that Hall found in his characters I have to admit that I couldn't see that truth. That could be down to me. Besides, it seems a petty complaint when weighed against the moments of sheer genius in Steven Hall's debut. I know I will be back for multiple reads because there are so many questions I need to examine again and again. I almost started listing them here, but instead I will simply provide words for which I am compelled to seek answers. Dr. Ryan Mitchell. Dr. Randle. Mycroft Ward. Ian. Greg. Ludovician (one of the all time great antagonists in any novel -- ever). Eric Richardson the first, the other, the second. The Raw Shark Texts is a rich mine of thought that I look forward to returning to, and Steven Hall is threatening to enter the rarefied upper region of my personal literary canon. I just hope he doesn't slip in the direction of Chuck Pahlaniuk with his next work. Promising beginnings can so often become failure to live up to potential. Oh well, who cares? I'll always have The Raw Shark Texts to enjoy if the future doesn't work out.
Date published: 2008-06-29