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A History of Forgetting

3.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  58 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Malcolm Firth is an aging hairdresser whose partner, Denis, is wasting away from memory loss. Malcolm works at a zany Vancouver hair salon where he trains Alison, a young ingenue from the suburbs, amidst a staff of eccentric urbanoid hair stylists. Their clients include a troop of old people, one of whom is a Holocaust survivor. It is this old woman who provides innocent A ...more
Unknown Binding, 359 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Patrick Crean Editions
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Dec 25, 2014 Petra rated it it was ok
Grief, hatred, the grief that hatred causes.....these are the themes that run through this book.
This book started out well. A loving couple, one sadly with Alheimer's; a young woman just starting her adult life. Vancouver is the setting. So promising.
But slowly the hatred and overwhelming grief takes over. Malcolm stops living. Alison also. The author tries to tie the Holocaust to Gay bashing....not a far stretch, sadly, due to skinheads....yet the connection doesn't fit in this story.....or,
Jun 27, 2007 Ginny rated it it was ok
Although I found it affecting, ultimately I felt that "A History of Forgetting" was predictable and too deliberately melancholy. I've seen so many positive reviews in other places, however, that I think I might have been in a bad mood when I read this one. Take from that what you will!
Jul 16, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian
I wanted to like this more than I did. At the end, I feel a little bit like "what the hell just happened?" and like I got post-modernly slapped around somehow.
Lindsay Goto
It starts out as a breathtaking, beautiful book which is underscored in subtle, but fascinating ways and then begins to drag toward the middle/end of the book. I think that by the end of the novel, some of Adderson's meaning is lost, but it was still a really good read.
Shar Wallis
Oct 12, 2012 Shar Wallis rated it liked it
"A History of Forgetting" is a great title & the reason I picked up this book. It's a melancholy story set partially in Vancouver (bonus!) with good characters. Some of the subjects are Alzheimers, loneliness, hate crime, homosexuality & the Holocaust. It was realistic.
Jun 09, 2012 Rachel rated it did not like it
I loved the references to Vancouver (I used to live there), but I couldn't really get into the story or identify with the characters.
Diana Stevan
Mar 22, 2010 Diana Stevan rated it it was amazing
I was so impressed with this author's ability to tackle a difficult subject in such an innovative way.
Nov 08, 2010 Jasmine marked it as want
no one carries this book. no wait powells carries this book... I live in the wrong state.
Jan 19, 2009 Barb rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-canadian
Another great author from Vancouver!
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Caroline Adderson grew up in Alberta. After traveling around Canada, she moved to B.C. to go to university and has mostly lived there ever since. She started writing seriously after university, eventually going on to write two internationally published novels (A History of Forgetting and Sitting Practice) and two collections of short stories for adults (Bad Imaginings and Pleased To Meet You). Whe ...more
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