A suspenseful, intricately woven novel that follows the interlocking fates of three sets of characters in the Philippines: gangsters in a chase through the streets of Manila; a middle-class mother putting her children to bed in the suburbs and remembering her first love; and a couple of street kids and the wealthy psychiatrist who is studying their dreams. Alex Garland demonstrates the range of his extraordinary talents as a novelist in this Chinese puzzle of a novel about three intersecting sets of characters in the Philippines.
""THE TESSERACT has the traits of a thriller, but it's also a love story, a character study, a portrait of life among Manila's street kids, even an experiment in narration...a feverish, affecting, altogether captivating story....What really makes THE TESSERACT so gripping is the author's dazzling performance as a storyteller--not the bloody climaxes per se but the innovative techniques and deft changes of pace with which they are related. This is one of those rare novels that can be read for thrills but also taken apart and examined the way a jeweler does a fine watch. Garland also lavishes his characters with quirks that ring true, outbursts of human oddity that transform a moment that most authors would rush past into something memorable...all but flawless, a tour de force of brilliant narration and psychological acuity."" --The Washington Post
""Virtuosic"" --The New York Times Book Review
""THE TESSERACT feels.... like a Quentin Tarantino or John Woo movie, seasoned with some Graham Greene. It is as thoroughly assured a performance as T and just as violently entertaining. Taut, nervous and often bloody, THE TESSERACT is a more experimental work than The Beach: elliptical and Rashomon–like in structure, where The Beach was linear, cinematic in its effects, where The Beach was more conventionally literary. . . . Mr. Garland not only does a completely convincing job of sketching in these characters’ lives in a series of quick, deftly drawn strokes, but he also fluently cuts back and forth between their stories, building suspense the way a film editor does, even as he is tying his disparate heroes’ tales together with dozens of overlapping motifs. . . . As he demonstrated in The Beach, Mr. Garland is a natural at orchestrating violent set pieces with deadpan panache, but he also proves in this novel that he can create odd, oddly sympathetic people with unexpected inner lives. . . . the novel’s suspense [has] a human cost and caculation...Garland is...persuasive a storyteller...gifted a writer...He has written a powerful if flawed novel, a novel that...reconfirms his prodigious and diverse talents.” --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Book Review
“[C]omplex and intriguing...subtle fiction [that] has nothing to do with the higher math and a lot to do with good old-fashioned storytelling about big, old-fashioned themes—the mysteries of love and violence and death, the strange workings of fate. . . . THE TESSERACT marks a significant departure from, and growth since, The Beach...Like a tesseract, it is composed of three dimensions that, in the end, inevitably imply a larger and more significant fourth. . . The book is so cunningly constructed that you can’t discuss any of these three narratives in too much detail without giving away the connections. Suffice it to say that each story is delicately observed and ingeniously linked to the others. . . . I’m fairly sure that this book, like its author, is the thing itself.” --Daniel Mendelsohn, New York Observer
“Garland is a gi...