This first novel from Steven Hall left me gasping for air, thrashing around in its words, willing myself to fight against the Ludovician shark that eats memories of its victims. Beautifully crafted in text and bookcover/”illustration”.
Eric Sanderson wakes up and realizes he knows nothing about where he is; he knows pop culture details but nothing in relation to himself. Following instructions written on an envelope, he ventures out to psychiatrist Dr. Randle’s house, where she tells him he has memory loss associated with a dissociative condition. Eric receives letters in the mail from his past self “Eric Sanderson #1” telling him how to set up a feedback loop that keeps him safe from the shark that ate his memories.
Months after living his safe existence, Eric ventures forth to find answers, searching for Dr. Trey Fidorous. Ian, the cat, joins him. Along the way he translates more of the LightBulb Fragment, the story of his vacation in Greece with girlfriend Clio, who drowned that trip, causing his trauma and subsequent memory loss. The smiley face on underside of toe from Clio matches new girl Scout’s tattoo. Mr. Nobody and his precious laptop. Scout leading him on an epic underground journey to find Fidorous. The last battle in the shark boat, strains of Jaws in the air “Ladies of Spain” and all.