The Audio Book Club on Remainder
Our critics discuss Tom McCarthy's Remainder.
Posted Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, at 7:09 AM
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This month, Michael Agger, Meghan O'Rourke, and Troy Patterson discuss Tom McCarthy's Remainder. Savvy listeners will wonder why the book club decided to mull over McCarthy's 2005 debut instead of his latest novel, C, which was released earlier this year. The explanation is simple: They thought the debut would be more fun.
In Remainder, an unnamed narrator receives a hefty financial settlement—of 8.5 million pounds—after a vague accident ("something falling from the sky"). With his newfound wealth, he decides to painstakingly replicate half-remembered scenes from his past (which may not really be memories at all, but visions). These enactments, or in some cases re-enactments, somehow allow the narrator to feel that he's living more authentically. It's a complex, philosophical novel, which our book club, on the whole, rather liked.
You can listen to any of our previous club meetings through our iTunes feed or by clicking on the links below. To download the MP3 file, right-click (Windows) or hold down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then use the "save" or "download" command to save the audio file to your hard drive.
Super Sad Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart
The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman
Imperial Bedrooms, byBret Easton Ellis
Reality Hunger, by David Shields
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Big Short, by Michael Lewis
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
White Noise, by Don DeLillo
Lit, by Mary Karr
The Original of Laura, by Vladimir Nabokov
"A Small Good Thing" and "The Bath," by Raymond Carver
The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
A Vindication of Love, by Cristina Nehring
Thy Neighbor's Wife, by Gay Talese
"The Swimmer," by John Cheever, and "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," by Flannery O'Connor
Atmospheric Disturbances, by Rivka Galchen
Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Night of the Gun,by David Carr
American Wife,by Curtis Sittenfeld
Brideshead Revisited,by Evelyn Waugh
Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill
Anna Karenina,by Leo Tolstoy
Beautiful Children,by Charles Bock
All the King's Men,by Robert Penn Warren
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Tree of Smoke,by Denis Johnson
The Audacity of Hope,by Barack Obama
The Road,by Cormac McCarthy
The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
Independence Day,by Richard Ford
The Emperor's Children,by Claire Messud
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
Beloved,by Toni Morrison
Everyman,by Philip Roth
Saturday,by Ian McEwan
The Year of Magical Thinking,by Joan Didion
Questions? Comments? Write to us at email@example.com. (E-mailers may be quoted by name unless they request otherwise.)
Meghan O'Rourke is Slate's culture critic and an advisory editor. She was previously an editor at The New Yorker. The Long Goodbye, a memoir about her mother's death, is now out in paperback.
Troy Patterson is Slate's television critic.