The Raw Shark Texts

The Raw Shark Texts

Book - 2007
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Eric Sanderson is jolted awake one morning to discover that he does not know who he is or where he is. All that he has to cling to is a series of letters and packages--which he is warned not to open--signed "with regret and hope" from the First Eric Sanderson. Attacked in his own home by a force he cannot see and memories he cannot ignore--including those of a perfect love now lost--Eric tears open the parcels and 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 both Eric Sandersons forever.

A daring and unique novel that confronts readers with literary hieroglyphs as well as an intensely original story, The Raw Shark Texts plumbs the depths and dangers of language, the fluidity of memory and the bittersweet ripples of loss.

The Ludovician fish is a predator, a shark. It feeds on human memories and the intrinsic sense of self. Ludovicians are solitary, fiercely territorial and methodical hunters. A Ludovician might select an individual human being as its prey animal, and pursue and feed on that individual over the course of years, until that victim's memory and identity have been completely consumed. Sometimes, the target's body survives this ordeal and may go on to live a second twilight life after the original self and memories have been taken. In time, such a person may establish a -bolt on' identity of their own, but the Ludovician will eventually catch the scent of this and return to complete its kill.

--from the raw shark texts

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2007
Edition: First Canadian edition.
ISBN: 9780002008402
Characteristics: 428 pages ;,22 cm.


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May 08, 2015

I am not certain I could tell you what happens in this book, but I have thought about it many times in the years since I have read it. It's distinctive, engrossing, and memorable.

Nov 17, 2014

The idea of a conceptual shark eating people's memories is clever, but that's about all I liked about this book.

It has plot holes. And cliched characters. And metaphors and allegories that beat you over the head.
Not bad, but ultimately not particularly any good either. It's a clever gimmick though!

Jun 05, 2012

This book is very unique, a little bit crazy, and quite weird. If you aren't an avid reader, it may be a bit hard to follow, but once you get into the rhythm of the book, you get sucked into a world where your mind, literally, can be the death of you.

May 27, 2012

Points for creativity, Ian the cat, and the text shark art. Can't say I understood what happened in the story. It reminds me of the graphic novel "The Unwritten #4" where the main character chases after a conceptual whale.

Nov 21, 2011

What a weird little book. Sometimes I found myself re-reading entire pages in a "what the...?" moment, other times I was smiling right along at the insanity of this poor fool. The concept is interesting but I think the author missed it in some places and tried too hard in others. A good read but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it to someone.

Oct 16, 2010

This book took a very long while to get going .. like half the book long! It was very confusing and I didnt know what was what until 3/4 of the way through. Alas, i finished it and even though it was at times action packed, it was just mainly confusing and jumpy from beginning to end. Wouldnt recommend it for someone who takes their time to read books because you will be lost all the way through.

Jan 02, 2010

Very clever book different from anything I've ever read or seen.. neat little pictures of sharks near the end.. a book about an alternate universe that's separate from ours..

Dec 21, 2008

Intriguing premise, but it meanders in some places, is overwrought or heavy-handed in others, and doesn't really satisfy in the end, methinks. However, there are sufficient flashes of brilliance that I might seek this first-time novelist out again.

How amnesia/loss of memory is handled in literature is a fascinating subject. In addition to similar titles listed here, this review of "The Raw Shark Texts" in the New York Times offers numbers of other intriguing titles and approaches:


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May 27, 2012

The letters from the First Eric Sanderson stopped four days ago. Just like Clio's idea for a tattooed face on her big toe, Eric had ghost-projected the last whispers of himself into the future, bacon-sliced up into 300 envelopes and boxes. And finally the last one had arrived. A man lives so many different lengths of time. And each one has its own end.

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