Historical Fiction with a Literary Twist
Shortlisted for the 2010 Booker Prize, Tom McCarthy’s C recounts the brief and fascinating life of Serge Carrefax, a young British boy who comes of age and enlists in the nascent Royal Air Force. With the advent of World War I, Serge serves as a radio operator for recon flights, often aloft over enemy territory. Eventually, he is shot down, taken prisoner and escapes from a German prisoner camp. Back in London, Serge, now a young man, accepts a position with the shadowy Empire Wireless Company in Cairo, just as a wave of civil unrest overtakes Egypt (the very same upheaval which led to the Egyptian revolution and its subsequent independence from Great Britain). The book concludes deep in a pharaoh’s tomb, where Serge’s comes face to face with his fate. An extremely complex, artfully-written and thoroughly researched book, McCarthy’s C is a good choice for those who like lush language, intertwined narratives, and intelligent dialogue.