C by Tom McCarthy - review by Jonathan Derbyshire

Jonathan Derbyshire

Flight Narrative



Jonathan Cape 310pp £16.99

Interviewed in 2007 shortly before the publication of his second novel, Men In Space, Tom McCarthy declared that he was not ‘really interested in the kind of realism which is all about the feelings and emotions of a person. My characters or personages are negotiating and being shunted around a set of grids that are bigger than them and their feelings.’ 

In Men in Space, the grid around which McCarthy moves his ‘personages’ (a more appropriate term, surely, than ‘characters’, given his professed lack of interest in interiority) is historical: the novel, with its cast of artists and students, secret policemen and minor Bulgarian crooks trafficking in fake Byzantine

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