Men In Space

Tom McCarthy

Set in a Central Europe rapidly fragmenting after the fall of Communism, Men in Space follows a cast of dissolute Bohemians, political refugees, a football referee, a disorientated police agent and a stranded astronaut as they chase a stolen icon painting from Sofia to Prague and onwards.

The icon’s melancholy orbit is reflected in the various characters’ ellipses and near misses as they career vertiginously through all kinds of space: physical, political, emotional and metaphysical. What emerges is a vision of humanity adrift in history, and a world in a state of disintegration.

Following the huge critical success of Remainder, McCarthy’s bestselling first novel, Men in Space confirms him as one of the most original and promising voices in contemporary fiction.

First published by Alma Books (UK) in 2007.


‘McCarthy has perversely managed to make fiction that feels exuberantly fresh and alive.’
The Independent

‘McCarthy writes with devastating charm and lucidity – there’s scarcely a loose sentence in the book.’
The Guardian

‘McCarthy is fast revealing himself as a master craftsman who is steering the contemporary novel towards exciting territories. In unravelling the defining minutiae of an event in history, he manages to reveal to us the widening disintegration of our own present.”
The Observer

‘A confident and intelligent meditation on failed flights of transcendence.’
Times Literary Supplement

‘In Tom McCarthy, English fiction has a new laureate of disappointment.’
Time Out

‘Men in Space is a compelling and imaginative philosophical novel; McCarthy describes a world in which we are only occasionally party to brief, frightening intimations of greater forces at work, like the mysterious half-tuned transmissions at the ends of a radio dial.’
Frieze Magazine

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