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Extended Audio Sample C Audiobook, by Tom McCarthy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,637 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tom McCarthy Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9781400188123
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Serge Carrefax spends his childhood at Versoie House, where his father teaches deaf children to speak when he's not experimenting with wireless telegraphy. Sophie, Serge's sister and only connection to the world at large, takes outrageous liberties with Serge's young body-which may explain the unusual sexual predilections that haunt him for the rest of his life. After recuperating from a mysterious illness at a Bohemian spa, Serge serves in World War I as a radio operator. C culminates in a bizarre scene in an Egyptian catacomb where all Serge's paths and relationships at last converge. Tom McCarthy's mesmerizing, often hilarious accomplishment effortlessly blends the generational breadth of Ian McEwan with the postmodern wit of Thomas Pynchon and marks a writer rapidly becoming one of the most significant and original voices of his generation. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Each chapter of McCarthy’s tour de force is a cryptic, ornate puzzle box, rich with correspondences and emphatically detailed digressions. Ambitious readers will be eager to revisit this endlessly interpretive world, while more casual readers will marvel at the high-flying picaresque perched at the crossroads of science and the stuff dreams are made of.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • Recommended for those who...are devoted to Thomas Pynchon's brand of maximalism. Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Timothy | 2/15/2014

    " A few lovely passages aren't enough to justify the rest of the story the effectively goes no where. The theme of the book is obvious and repetitious, and the main character, Serge, goes along with out a point. Wasted potential. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David Meakin | 2/14/2014

    " Started promisingly enough, but soon got very dull. No real storyline, characterless and empty. All very high brow no doubt, lots of scientific research and in-jokes, but just seemed quite pretentious. Quite enjoyed the 1920's London section, but other than that not for me. Filing under 'C' for crap. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayla Bassham | 2/14/2014

    " I don't think I quite did this book justice due to exorbitant amounts of work- and life-related stress this week. So, a leeetle difficulty concentrating. My overall impression was that it was really well-written, with some very well-done set pieces, but overall it didn't really hang together. I thoroughly enjoyed the first section of the book (before all that stress hit later in the week) so I might have felt differently had I been able to concentrate a little better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron | 1/15/2014

    " Not really the "experimental" novel the cover blurbs promised -- I mean, there were comparisons to Joyce and Borges; um, no -- but still a fascinating and compulsively readable novel, with encyclopedic detail of the various scenarios the main character finds himself immersed in during the course of his life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne Wehrly | 1/14/2014

    " I couldn't put this book down, but at the same time I don't know if other people would feel the same way. Very heavy on description, technology, vocabulary. The descriptions of flight over WWI battlefields were amazing. Somehow it never bothered me that the character was one step removed from everything, whether by nature or nurture (drug use). For me, this book proves that sometimes extraordinary writing skill actually can overcome oddities of plot and character. (But I also happen to like descriptions of bizarro English families in the first decades of the 20th century, and don't mind numerous descriptions and metaphors involving telegraphy, weaving and chemistry.) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kay Lavery | 1/12/2014

    " I very rarely give up on a book, always believing if a book is worth writing then it has to be worth reading. But I struggled with this, can't say if there was too much going on or not enough, or I just prefer simpler plots! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 1/3/2014

    " I can't think of another novel I seemed to like so much feeling like such a chore to get through. Pynchon, to whose V C has been compared for a number of good reasons, is sometimes accused of peopling his vast narrative canvases with notions, not characters, but his Slothrops and Profanes seem almost Joyceanly sculpted figures when compared with the depth-less Serge of C. This is intentional, as the text repeatedly (pointedly, and eventually a bit tiresomely) meta-emphasizes, and here, as in earlier work, McCarthy appears to be serious about seeking a new "path for the novel," to borrow Zadie Smith's formulation in her Remainder review, but while I admire his boldness, I'm not sure that a novel without people in it can succeed. Maybe I'm softening in my old age. C, like Remainder, is brilliant, but I'm not sure that it's art. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 12/29/2013

    " I give up...this book was such a slog. And after Remainder was so brilliant! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 12/2/2013

    " Well-written, but very aimless. It's such an interesting point in history, and the plot is littered with intriguing locations and details, but the protagonist is sadly void of real depth. The ending makes one feel cheated and disappointed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara H | 11/27/2013

    " Very smart, at moments beautifully and brilliantly written, but sometimes missing a bit in empathy. I wanted to know more about the character's interiority, not just have him as a vast, mobile canvas for the birth of 20th century technology. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Helena | 11/3/2013

    " this story is totally schitzo and lost me at the flying/war, but i loved the first half, even the constipation! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gozde V | 10/31/2013

    " Totally waste of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike Randall | 10/19/2013

    " I give the writing a 5 and the story a 1. McCarthy is so imaginative and original, but the story was a little too out there for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beckydham | 6/4/2013

    " Gorgeous writing, intriguing and...what? Felt kind of flat throughout. Although maybe that's some clever joke based on Serge's perspective problems. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marcel Mos | 2/9/2013

    " Took me well over half of the book to get into. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 9/12/2012

    " B. let me get back to you on this one. weird. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daryl | 8/30/2012

    " This was sort of like Pynchon (and specifically Gravity's Rainbow, with hints of V) lite. For the small investment the book required, it was by and large pretty worth it, neither as difficult and ambitious nor as baffling and frustrating as Pynchon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roberta (Bobbie) | 8/4/2012

    " I really enjoyed the first third of this book and then I got completely LOST as to its direction and purpose. Kris, we need to talk about this one and then maybe I can raise my rating. I just really don't understand it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tracey Wilde | 3/23/2012

    " Eh ? Sorry I just didn't get it. Wasn't very keen on the main character and didn't really care what happened to him. As for the rest of it. It went straight over my head. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 10/21/2011

    " This book appeals to both the history nerd and the science nerd in me. I can usually guess where a plotline is going, but not this one. Suspenseful and cryptic in the best of ways. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dennis | 4/25/2011

    " A very tedious read. I'm usually not a "skimmer" but it took all of my self control not to skim this novel. A few interesting and a few humorous sections, but on the whole, I was greatly relieved to be done with this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris | 4/2/2011

    " I can't say I enjoyed this, I found it so hard to focus on the text - but maybe that's more a review of me than the book. I feel like I was missing something. Or the book was. Or both.
    Hmm. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 3/18/2011

    " One of the best books that I have read in the last year. Delicious language. A strange and obscure plot but I like the "message" or vision the author had. Reviewers (see NYTimes) were at odds about the meaning of this book. "

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About the Author
Author Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy is a writer and conceptual artist. He is known in the art world for the reports, manifestos, and media interventions he has made as general secretary of the International Necronautical Society (INS), a semi-fictitious avant-garde network. He is the author of Remainder, Men in Space, and Tintin and the Secret of Literature. McCarthy lives in London.

About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End.