Michael Endelman
February 09, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

Remainder

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Tom McCarthy
publisher
Vintage
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

EW PICK

The nameless narrator of Remainder, Tom McCarthy’s eerie debut, is a Londoner severely injured in an accident. Months later, he receives an £8.5 million settlement on the condition that he never speak about the payout or the incident again — not a problem, since he doesn’t remember it. Our hero then begins to wholly re-create and reenact portions of his old life with a salaried cast of extras, set designers, and stuntmen. In taut and chilly prose, McCarthy describes how this mission becomes a disturbing obsession; the horrifying conclusion is visible 30 pages off, but it’s no less shocking when it arrives.

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