Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall - a one word review

My one word review of Steven Hall's The Raw Shark Texts is as follows:


I mean that in the nicest possible way. This book is sillier than any of Dan Brown's, and that's saying something. But it's not silly in the Monty Python sense of the word. It works as a thriller. I'm tempted to call it a complete reinvention of the genre.

It begins, disappointingly, with the central character waking up having lost a large chunk of his memory - a trick that's been pulled many times - but Steven Hall gets away with it because the book is very well-written. Aside from the memory loss bit, the novel is refreshingly cliché free, with many interesting (and very silly) ideas.

It's not perfect, but it's definitely worth reading. Where it fails, it fails in interesting ways.

Also, if there were award for "best chapter headings" (and there probably is), this book would be a clear winner.

Here's Steven Hall's page on the Canongate website.


  1. Happy New Year. Good review. Good interview pre Christmas, too.