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The Memory Artist

The Memory Artist - Katherine Brabon I found this book to be flawed in its construction. I say this with much disappointment because some of the writing is very good. There are a few zingers such as the description of us as the bewildered authors of dreams (pge 28), the parallel between forgotten words and waves (pge 60) and the never ending promise of 'becoming communism' (pge 80), which in this passage shows how this promise operates almost as an opiate of the masses to keep them in compliant anticipation. But there weren't enough of them to overcome what I didn't like about the book.

Not much seemed to happen, either plot wise or emotionally; the terrain of the book appeared to be unvaried. So there wasn't much for my memory of previous passages to hook onto and recall at later points. As a result, I was reading the book trying constantly trying to recall where certain people and places fitted in, which I found a bit troubling for a book about memory and memories.

On reading chapter 33, I finally felt a sense of intrigue as to the book's theme of memory, memories & how this intersected for the character. However, it was a bit too late by then as I felt that up till that point the main character had not moved from his particular melancholic vantage point. If only the author had started with this chapter.

For me, the writing never changed pace or tone and remained stuck at a lethargic pace. I have no problems with characters remaining 'stuck', as this can be the tension within a story that keeps the reader reading. But when the writing seems stuck too, that can make reading feel like a chore rather than a joy.