Rorschach tests

Sometimes I have flashback memories of certain small well-defined thing-experiences, this is one of them.

It’s about a book, this book, and the timeframe here is … about 12 years ago (!), a year after the book came came out.

I remember the moment I found this in the library (at the times, the Forest Hills branch of the Queens library system), and felt like I should pick it up.

And then I remember the moment when I felt, “damn, this is the book I would have wished to write one day!”

It’s hard to describe, so I’ve linked to ways to get context at the end (some excerpts from reviews here below) — but reading it was one of the most surreal yet pleasant experiences I’ve had … and I’ve had a few of those.

…readers will have observed that Hall is not going for the Dirty Realist of the Year award. His shout-outs instead go to Paul Auster, Haruki Marukami, the “Matrix” movies, “Memento” and, peering back into the distant mists of time, “Jaws.”

The text itself tells a story. Inkblots, puzzles, pictures made from vowels and consonants strewn just so. The climax comes to life in an unnerving 50-page flipbook of a shark racing right at you. The typography is so complex, in fact, the print run was sent to a company in Italy, the only place with a press nimble enough to do the job. “The Raw Shark Texts” is a kind of Rorschach test. Is it a thriller, a love story? A philosophical quest? Yes.

Now … I went back to Amazon to check, and it turns out this is the only book he ever wrote, which …