A Raw Response to Raw Shark

In the beginning of The Raw Shark Texts, I was very distracted from the overall concept of the novel by my distaste for the author’s writing style. While my opinion of the latter has not changed after hundreds of pages, I have at long last managed to find some appreciation for what Steven Hall was trying to do. There should be a purpose to all forms of writing, perhaps the expression of a social concern or the posing of an existential issue, and there is one to be found in Raw Shark. With the ‘new age’ of the internet, virtual worlds, hand held technology, and unlimited information – how much of the everyday reality that we as humans are a part of actually revolves around real, concrete life? And in this era where our identities are constructed and constantly observed on platforms other than our physical being, how much should we reveal? How much of our existence should we channel into a screen or a database? If we do that, how much of our lives are our own? And how do we live without it once we’ve begun? Is the real world actually all that different from the conceptual world now? These may not be the exact questions that Hall intended to provoke, but that’s the kind of examination I came away with, and I think it’s somewhat worthwhile.

Oh, one thing that I did enjoy in Raw Shark was Hall’s use of postcards, newspapers, and letters in constructing Eric’s “actual” and previous reality. The emphasis on those hard-copy, paper-based forms of communication is even more emphasized as we read about them in a paper back book in which a shark eats a laptop and everything gets destroyed…or something a little more complicated than that. Anyway, it was one thing I felt to be well done. Off to watch Casablanca.

-Laura Molesky

~ by lbm31 on January 27, 2013.

4 Responses to “A Raw Response to Raw Shark”

  1. This post is insightful in that it distinguishes between the reality and the conceptual world.

  2. Always enjoy a thought-provoking post full of questions that make us question everything we’ve read, especially the question regarding how different the real world actually is from the conceptual world, and how scary it is that they can be confused to a degree.

  3. Also distinguishes the conceptual world from reality which is most important in this Novel.

  4. I enjoyed pondering the questions you took away from the book.

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