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A History of Forgetting
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A History of Forgetting

3.02 of 5 stars 3.02  ·  rating details  ·  53 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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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,
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!
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
"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.
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
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.
Another great author from Vancouver!
Karen marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2015
Laura Sheridan
Laura Sheridan marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2014
Cym Belize
Cym Belize marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
Danielle Sprague
Danielle Sprague marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2014
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Jan 23, 2014
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Sandra Grills marked it as to-read
Nov 08, 2013
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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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