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C by Tom McCarthy
The C of this novel's title stands for many things, including Serge Carrefax, and tells the story of his short life. Born in 1898, his father taught deaf children, refusing to let them use sign language, while his deaf mother ran a silk factory. His sister's death had Serge spending time in a sanatorium. He joined the air corps during World War I where he served on active duty while under the influence of cocaine. After the war, he helped set up radio transmitters in Egypt. Tom McCarthy's novel has received mostly positive reviews with The Telegraph saying, "Over the past few weeks, there has been a distracting crackle and buzz of critical hype surrounding C: McCarthy has been hailed as the future of fiction; spoken of in the context of post-humanism, post-structuralism, Kafka, Beckett and Pynchon. As this chatter reaches a pretentious pitch it is important to remember that, whatever C's place in literary history, 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 read and enjoyed as much as dissected and discussed."