C. by Tom McCarthy

 C. by Tom McCarthy 

 pub. 2010/ 380 pgs / rating 8

I made a lot of notes for the first half of this book and then I got bored.  The book picked up again later but for about 75 pages in the middle it was nothing but war and tunnels and drugs. Okay fine.  But I was never able to get back “into” the book.

There’s a lot of Pynchon in this book,  from “as above, so below,”  little ditties,  “everything is connected” and Kenosha.   Lots more.

What I loved was the beautifully crafted and wonderfully dense prose. The first part reminded me of The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt. Then the setting changed to a mountain health resort – The Magic Mountain or The Road To Wellville, I’m sure.   But then came Gravity’s Rainbow with the

The name is from Carbon,  I suppose,  but there are lots of “C” words in the book – Carrafax (the protagonist) for one.

Carrafax is in tune with something most of us are not.  How he got that way is a question,  could have been his birth,  his sister, his near death experiences.  He sees and hears things most of us don’t.  There’s a rhythm to the universe, a sound.

The setting varies as he travels from his home in Kent, England, to a health resort in Bavaria, to the WWI war front in northern France and finally, to Egypt.

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