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Tom McCarthy

C Is for Controversy

Tom McCarthy The title of Tom McCarthy’s new novel, C, stands for seemingly countless things: the surname of protagonist Serge Carrefax; the caul that he is born with in 1898; the copper wire that transmits the wireless signals he sends; the cocaine he ingests in the Royal Air Force in the First World War; the crypt near Cairo where he finds himself towards the end of the novel in 1922; as well as communication, circuits, carbon, curves …

Despite its linear story, the novel is a dense network of ideas and images; readers become detectives, raking the text for clues about its meaning. These connections can seem so pervasive that they carry over into real life. On a cloudy morning in London’s Clerkenwell, near where McCarthy lives, we meet and choose a café more or less at random. Only then do we notice its logo: embedded in a shield, a stylized "C."

— Story continues at CBC.ca

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