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Maxwell's Demon Kindle Edition
Praise for Maxwell's Demon:
Named a Most Anticipated Book by the Guardian
"A wonderfully imaginative, splendidly baroque novel that is a combination of the baffling, teasing, and tantalizing. Part fantasy, part mystery, it is altogether delightful and filled with surprises--in a word, exceptional. No, make that two words; the second is fantastic. A rare, sui generis treat." --Booklist (starred review)
"[A] phantasmagoric novel with shades of Stephen King's The Dark Half . . . There's really nothing like this book--long contemplations of philosophy, personality, religion, and history are all woven into something of a mystery in which no one is truly reliable. With influences that recall Fight Club and Motherless Brooklyn, Hall manages to put a whole world on the page that shifts and changes as weirdly and wildly as the ones in the novel's fictional books. The modern novel's version of a Möbius strip, written with verve and a vast appreciation for the power of language." --Kirkus Reviews
"Ingeniously plotted and compulsively well-paced, a blend of detective story and science fiction with an epistemology course thrown in." --Sunday Times
"A postmodern mystery . . . Ingenious fun . . . Showily postmodern, full of odd typographical elements, altered realities and intertextual jokes . . . Maxwell's Demon is consistently fun and often impressive." --Guardian, "Book of the Day"
"An entropic and sprawling mystery . . . Mind-twisting . . . Introspective and philosophical, the novel explores the dangers that occur when fatalistic urges take over." --New Statesman
"Written in the first person and paced like a thriller, there's an intimacy and immediacy that quickly grips, and even the long digressions on theory--a trademark of the form--are enjoyable to read." --Spectator
"It's Raymond Chandler meets Dan Brown meets Albert Einstein. Meets Christopher Nolan. Meets Jorge Luis Borges. It's a mind-expanding page-turning adventure-mystery that crackles with intelligence and intrigue; a book about books (sort of) that's been beautifully rendered in book form." --Foyles
"A postmodern literary thriller about a difficult second novel . . . Anyone who has a taste for postmodern hijinks--fans of Thomas Pynchon or Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves--will be drawn to the menace and profusion, the game-like brilliance and black hilarity of Maxwell's Demon." --Australian
"A Pynchonesque, footnote- and theory-heavy mystery novel that's as postmodern as they come, and--or but, depending on the reader--it's superb . . . The novel's abiding theme is the joy of reading--always a risky ground for authors to tread. After all, your own book has to be completely lovable--which, thankfully, Maxwell's Demon is." --Telegraph
"Moves at an exhilarating lick, as befits its pop culture propensities, but with highbrow sensibilities, its concerns including the Kabbalah, whether the world is made of words, the origins of the alphabet, the mythopoetic nature of the hero's journey and what angels look like . . . The genius of the book is that despite it seeming like an elegant orrery, all these wheels within wheels are a carapace, a psychic armor against a grief (and it's not the grief you were expecting). Beneath this truly beautiful astrolabe is a beating human heart." --Scotsman
"With Maxwell's Demon, Steven Hall has created a kaleidoscopic, disconcerting God game in which reality itself is thrown into deep shape-shifting shade. In an era of 'alternative truths'--when what we believe to be authentic is often just another spurious story; when chaos and order, fiction and entropy are quicksand underfoot--this novel couldn't be more timely. Like David Mitchell, Mark Z. Danielewski, and the Christopher Nolan of Inception, Hall has created his own unique world in which readers take a journey as mercurial and unexpected as life itself. Maxwell's Demon is a radiant and unique achievement." --Bradford Morrow, author of The Forger's Daughter
"Labyrinthine, mind-twisting and deliciously diabolical, yet also unexpectedly warm-hearted. Maxwell's Demon is fantastic." --Christopher Brookmyre, author of The Last Hack
"Dazzlingly clever, wickedly playful, devastatingly poignant." --M.R. Carey, author of The Girl with All the Gifts
"A cracking detective story that seems to be investigating its own existence." --Jeff Noon
"Anyone who enjoyed The Raw Shark Texts will be delighted." --Toby Litt
Praise for The Raw Shark Texts:"In Hall's buoyant fantasy, which reads as if it were concocted by a team of media-savvy undergraduates flinging together chunks of Alice in Wonderland and The Hunting of the Snark, Jaws, The Matrix, Memento, Harry Potter, Haruki Murakami, Paul Auster, and Stephen King, as well as Carl Jung, triumphant . . . Rendered with the precise attentiveness to psychological states of mind worthy of a hyperventilating James Joyce . . . The Raw Shark Texts is that most good-hearted of dark fantasies: one in which cranky old cats at sea in tiny dinghies will make it safely to shore, whatever the fate of their masters." --Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books "Wonderfully ambitious, even exuberantly so. At times, it seems as if Hall must have written it while hopping up and down with excitement, like a 6-year-old recounting his first trip to the circus. Paced like a thriller, the book thinks like a French theorist and reads like a deluge. The end result is a fun, quirky, very British love story . . . Herman Melville meets Michael Crichton, or Thomas Pynchon meets Douglas Adams. No matter, the book is full of big, wild ideas brought to gloriously convoluted fruition . . . An engrossing, delirious and perfectly wacky book." --San Francisco Chronicle "Jaws by way of Jung." --New York Times Book Review "The star of Steven Hall's rousingly inventive The Raw Shark Texts is its villain--always a good sign in a thriller . . . [Hall's] real achievement is to create a bizarre and sinister world where language and ideas exist like a stream of nutrients, spawning predators and parasites . . . It's all a lot of fun, yet there is also a surprising emotional resonance . . . Best of all, there is the shark itself, wily and relentless, with its chilling eye and gaping maw, hungry for memory." --Washington Post "The Raw Shark Texts is so much more than a clever, playful book, though it is both those things. Steven Hall has worked hard to build on the work of his intellectual ancestors . . . Paul Auster, Philip K. Dick, Haruki Murakami, Steve Erickson, Ursula K. Le Guin--to say nothing of Beckett and Borges and Kafka . . . His writing, description as well as dialogue, is sharp and clear, which is extremely important when you are writing on the edge of the form." --Los Angeles Times "Hyperactively playful . . . An astute reader will find dozens of playful allusions in The Raw Shark Texts to the work of Paul Auster and Haruki Murakami, borrowed textual devices from Jonathan Safran Foer and Mark Z. Danielewski, intellectual gags based on the work of Italo Calvino and a giant shark that comes right out of the work of Peter Benchley." --Newsday "The Raw Shark Texts manages to reach the loftiest goal of speculative fiction: making its outlandish situations illuminate real human emotion . . . A metaphysical book such as this easily could have become dense and inaccessible, but Hall's unrelenting focus on visual storytelling keeps it lucid . . . Fully succeeds in exploring the tenuous hold we have on our sense of self." --USA Today "What is summer without some sharks? The Raw Shark Texts is an elliptical tale of lost memory and concomitant mystery . . . Amazingly complex, The Raw Shark Texts is part Mary Shelley, part Sigmund Freud, part thriller, part Hegelian dialectic and totally engaging." --Baltimore Sun "The Raw Shark Texts is the latest in unforgettable fiction . . . Sanderson's cat-and-mouse search for the shark unveils a hidden world--solid, real, and vividly imagined by Hall . . . Hall pulls it all off with such élan and good humor (and the most charmingly irreverent disregard for coherent plotting since the early work of Jonathan Lethem) that ultimately you're charmed to have climbed into his conceptual shark cage." --Playboy (3 stars) "It's rare to finish a book and know--know beyond s shadow of a doubt--that you'll think about that one for a while . . . Steven Hall is the author of 2007 . . . The Raw Shark Texts is the most original and fascinating, if bewildering, book you are likely to read this year." --Tampa Tribune "Imagine Jaws as a literary mash-up eating its way through the contemporary information explosion. Now, imagine this creature has developed a taste for you and only you. Hall pushes the boundaries of fiction and design in this unique first novel." --Seattle Post-Intelligencer "Told with poetic accuracy . . . This book is going to be a huge success; the movie is already optioned and the computer game can't be far behind. Wait for these versions, however, and you deprive yourself of its sheer verbal pleasure . . . Hall . . . write[s] so vividly that you can imagine ideas themselves coming alive . . . Finishing the story makes you wonder if the whole thing, the book and your reading of it, was a dream (and fiercely hoping it wasn't)." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "The Raw Shark Texts is a compelling, thought-provoking, page-turning read. Like Stephen King and other writers who detour through the supernatural, Mr. Hall spins a pliant, devilishly tactile prose style." --Dallas Morning News
"If your local bookstore has a Hip-Lit section, Steven Hall's first novel is top-shelf . . . Place it among Hip-Lit favorites by David Mitchell and Haruki Murakami . . . A fluid, fast-paced thriller . . . The narrative is brisk, with rough edges that have the action passages erupting in sweat and strained muscles. 'Raw' in the book means different species of texts that give the story its sense of immediacy." --Oregonian "His work is wild, his work is wicked, and his work is unlike any other work you have ever read . . . Dubbed slipstream by the pulp literati, Hall's oeuvre encompasses all the sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and realism that the tag suggests, and then twists the lot of 'em into a whole new further . . . There really are no precedents for what Hall has pulled off . . . Hall catches where catch too often can't, and in the doing he's digging a deep that's as blue as it is menacing." --Miami Sun Post "If Paul Auster and Haruki Murakami collaborated on Moby-Dick crossed with The Wizard of Oz, they might produce something like Hall's deliriously ambitious debut . . . Riveting . . . A narrative feat of hallucinatory imagination." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "What can you say about a first novel that's been sold to 32 countries, was pushed by authors as diverse as Mark Z. Danielewski and Chuck Palahniuk, and received front-page coverage in the New York Times business section? Hall is such a hit that the publisher won't even reveal what he's up to next." --Library Journal "A psychological thriller with shades of Memento and The Matrix and the fiction of Mark Danielewski; page-turning, playful and chilling by turns." --Guardian "The book justifies the hype . . . An innovative, postmodern, metafictional novel . . . The most original reading experience of the year . . . A literary novel that's more out there than most science fiction . . . Genuinely isn't like anything you have ever read before, and could be as big an inspiration to the next generation of writers as Auster and Murakami have been to Hall." --Independent "An avant-garde thriller in which these devil-fish of the unconscious somehow escape the symbolic realm, or rather, we join them on their side of the border . . . The Raw Shark Texts unfolds not in sleek cyberspace, but inside the post-Freudian human self, with its layers, its pungent humours, its debris left over from construction, and its monsters of the deep . . . Jaws meets Alice in Wonderland." --Times Literary Supplement --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
steven-hall.org --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B084RSH4GQ
- Publisher : Text Publishing (16 February 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 8746 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 352 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 282,357 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
Just as Andrew Black, the all-knowing author in the novel, has prescient insight to Tom’s world, I felt that Steven has similar awareness of mine, relentlessly tapping into ideas that pull and tug at me.
Despite what a pompous and arrogant review in The Guardian thinks, I enjoyed the dalliances with ranks of angels, Gnosticism, biblical apocrypha, Captain Scarlett, and so on. Stoner-fresher fodder or not, they’re fun.
I loved the forays into physics, philosophy and theology – they sent my imagination spinning off into all sorts of happy rabbit holes. And I liked the gentle nod to The Magus, where an arch trickster entangles the hero in a universe of psychological chicanery.
Again, just like the character can’t resist the lure of a puzzle, knowing it will unsettle him, I felt the same as a reader. The urge to solve the mystery was irresistible as it gallops along, teasing, weaving and, ultimately, satisfying.
I believe it takes great craft to pull off a novel that’s intelligent yet playful, insightful yet oblique, and surreal yet, oddly, grounded.
Obviously Raw Shark is a reference point but as someone who loved that but found House of Dead Leaves far too interested in its own sphincter I was a little wary after some breathless reviews doing the ‘if you loved the pretentious twaddle of HoDL, you’ll love...’ thing. But that’s my rant for when I’ had 5 pints so I’ll shut up.
It isn’t perfect but then it isn’t Cupid’s Engine despite all the intertextuality so it really isn’t meant to be. Can it be intertextual if the book itself doesn’t exist? Anyway.
The other reviews are right about the strengths and shortcomings. Even the ones that disagree with each other.
This is a completely satisfying read that had me, 48 hours after a stroke, stopping every so often to explain to my wife why I’d enjoyed the most recent chunk.
Little jokes, pleasing twists, ever so close to pseudy ponderings that either I was invested enough in Quinn to not get irritated by or are constructed with enough knowingness without being Ooooh Look I Is Making A Clevah Joke And Being Clevah We Will Laugh At The Book Reading With Our Olives by Hall to be interesting.
And it all ends up in a pile of stuff that, by the end, makes sense in terms of the rules (wrong word, but I’ve had a stroke so shhh) of the text.
On top of the reviews that call it a puzzle box and a hall of mirrors, I’ll throw in my own comparison. It is an eye floater. You twig something, focus on it, and it goes speeding off again in a tangential direction you always knew it would but still tried. It isn’t a text that follows an internal logic as much as its own internal inevitable imperfections.
Some Barley will probably try and film it.
The central mystery is interesting and so are the diversions. However Hall writes himself into a corner this time and a solution to his mystery is totally preposterous.
Unfortunately he goes for a Real world solution rather than the metaphysical one he’s been writing about for 90% of the novel.
This felt a little bit like the TV shows Lost and Game of Thrones where the writers are unable to stick the landing.
Even though the majority of the book is interesting and very well written the ending undoes all of the goodwill.
To be clear I’ve read the book once and I’ve listened to in again on audible to make sure I didn’t miss anything and whilst some interesting ideas are explored this is ultimately a let down.
Recently I read another book called Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff Which contains some similar ideas and a much better ending.