Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spotted: C by Tom McCarthy

Where: Q-train
Who was reading: A middle-aged man clad in a potpurri of browns, olives and grays. 10-1 odds he listens to NPR.
Speaking of which… We should all do our best to help save federal funding for NPR! True, most of their budget comes from listener support, but it’s the principle of the thing…
Anyway, the plot sounds fascinating. We follow Serge, the protagonist, through a childhood experimenting with gadgets and receiving Morse-code handjobs from his sister, to a stint as a soldier photographing military installations behind enemy lines in WWI. Invariably he’s confined to a German POW camp where he digs tunnels, not in pursuit of escape, but masturbatory solace. The post-war period contains further adventures, which I will not reveal here, but to say they involve heroine, architecture and academia.
This one time... I was talking to an editor from Knopf, and I asked “What book are you most excited about these days?” The editor said “C” and told me a little bit about it, at which point I was like “OMG. That sounds soooo neat.” And the editor kind of looked around uncomfortably like maybe there was someone more important he needed to be talking to.
Someone more important (Jennifer Egan) says:Like life, which we overinterpret at our peril, this strange, original book is—to its credit—a code too nuanced and alive to fully crack.” (complete review)

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