Raw Shark Texts (Hall)

Discussion Questions
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Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for The Raw Shark Texts:

1. In an interview Hall claims that Eric's story and the shark's story are "actually very much the same thing." What do you think he means?

2. Hall has also said...

The brains of the book are a little further under the surface, there's a lot which isn't spelled out.... If readers want to see the book as just a fast adventure thriller, then that's fine.... But if they want more than that, then the whole book is riddled with clues, tricks and traps, references and readings—so if you know things about Zen (for example), then the avenues you could spot could be different from those you might spot if you have a grasp of Many Worlds Theory....

Were there "avenues" in the book that you found you could explore? Did you find references that made reading Raw Shark a richer experience for you?

3. What is your understanding of the Un-Space Exploration Committee? What is un-space, how and where does it exist or operate?

4. Is Second Eric and same individual as First Eric? The question has a lot to do with identity, memory, and concsciousness. Without memory of our past lives, how do we determine who we are?

5. Eric is our narrator, telling us what he believes is happening to him. Is he reliable? Is he sane or mentally unstable (as one might gather from the second part of the light bulb fragment)? In other words is the conceptual world real—or is Eric delusional?

6. Do you get the play on words with Mycroft Ward—who wants to take over the world? How is he different than the Ludovician?

7. Discuss the different fragments and how they function in the novel. How do they help further the story?

8. Talk about the killing off of the Ludovician, the conceptual sea and boat, and throwing a laptop hooked up to the Mycroft Ward database into the mouth of the shark. Is there some sort of metaphorical significance (other than being diabolically funny)? What do you make of it?

9. Talk about the book's ending? Why does Eric make the choice he does? Is he dead...or still alive? Are Clio and Scout the same person?

10. Raw Shark has been compared to The Matrix and to Memento, even to Alice in Wonderland. If you know those films and book do you see any parallels? Are there parallels to other works you can think of?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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