My friend showed me an article in the newspaper about this author and the "Switched" self-publishing she did (and the making of lots of money). We'd aMy friend showed me an article in the newspaper about this author and the "Switched" self-publishing she did (and the making of lots of money). We'd all like to make lots of money (I perhaps over-generalise) and as I have vague aspirations myself to become a published author, I thought I ought to read this to see what it was that she did to achieve that.
My conclusions? Well, it seems that writing for teens is simply a matter of following a formula - gorgeous girl, one or two gorgeous guys, lots of beautiful people and beautiful surroundings, somebody or several somebodies who are thoroughly nasty, a bit of magic or psychic stuff, a bit of action involving some kind of danger to the heroine, some breathy romance (like Ye Olde World Mills&Boons, before they got pornographic (except it's not PC to say 'pornographic' so I should change that to "before they began inserting explicit sex scenes")), and that's it really.
This book was made out to be different to the rest of the current batch of teen-fantasy because it's about trolls, and trolls hadn't been done before. Well, maybe trolls haven't been done before, but they still haven't. The only distinctive thing about these is that some of them have an almost imperceptible green tinge to their skin (like Mr Spock I suppose), and their hair is wiry and frizzy (though they use lots of product to make it glossy and beautiful). The Changeling thing is as old as the hills, the psychic powers have all been done. These trolls are faerie.
Sadly, I didn't find anything in this book that made me want to read another. It all seemed to superficial. Sad....more
I could really relate to the protagonist of this book. No, I've never had amnesia (though funnily enough, my husband has just spent 4 days in hospitalI could really relate to the protagonist of this book. No, I've never had amnesia (though funnily enough, my husband has just spent 4 days in hospital with what might have been Transient Global Amnesia but also might have been something else because it didn't quite fit the bill (and of course, this isn't the brand of amnesia that's in the book)), but I know what it's like to see myself in the mirror and feel quite foreign. This ageing body simply isn't how I feel myself to be (unless I've just been lugging my laptop-filled shopping trundler up a long hill, or have spent an hour or two trying to clear the wildnerness in my back yard), and so whenever I catch a glimpse of myself it's always with a flash of "How did this happen?"
Of course, that doesn't really compare with waking up every morning and realising all too soon that almost all of one's life has gone missing. Not only does ... have the nasty shock of finding herself in a middle-aged body, but she has to accept a house and husband that she has no memories of furnishing or marrying (in that same order, obviously). On top of that, though she has surety of how she likes her coffee anhd what sort of music she prefers, she only has the briefest glimpses of memories from her past. They aren't there for her to recollect at will, but rather are triggered by various things. And those triggers aren't something that happen regularly.
We, the readers, meet Christine when she is partway through a process of attempting to collect triggered memories and to make sense of some inconsistencies. She has been meeting with a psychiatrist who approached her after her husband turned down his request to work with her, and has kept this to herself. As she has begun journalling her daily events and memories, and reading them afresh each morning, she discovers things that ordinarily she would have forgotten after her next night's sleep. You know what it's like – you have a vague feeling of discontent about something, or a niggling idea that something is a little off-key or out of alignment (to cover the emotions and mental responses with the kinaesthetic, aural and visual in one sentence), but you put it aside, and it isn't until several days later that something else triggers the same something and you start to think maybe you should listen to your instinct. Well, Christine doesn't get to do that because she has the same wake-up every day, in which there is no memory of yesterday.
I remember seeing the movie 50 First Dates, and though I adamantly reject the idea that I like romances I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I like Drew Barrymore and What's-His -Name and the story was rather sweet. Totally unrealistic of course. I suppose it would be more believable if she had fallen in love with him at first sight – then she could do that every day for the rest of her life, and that might make the discoveries of an ongoing life together a little easier to deal with – but she didn't. And just watching a video of your life together, no matter how much in love you might appear, won't make you fall in love instantly. Nobody falls in love with someone by watching them in a move. Well, teenagers think they do, but they might find if they were suddenly living with their heart-throb that it's not quite the same.
Anyway, this book doesn't compare with that movie. Somebody reading the first couple of sentences or the briefest of blurbs about it, might mistakenly think of the abovementioned movie, but it doesn't compare. This book is not a romance. It's described as a thriller – well, I suppose. I guess it fits the genre, but I don't want to categorise it. Besides, when I think "thriller" I think of scenes that make my eyes pop open and have me holding my breath.
When I Go to Sleep most certainly is suspenseful. It has a wonderful undercurrent of suspense, intermingled with some doubts about Christine's ability to adequately assess what's going on – is she paranoid?, is she sane? (Yeah, yeah – good marks of a thriller). It also has some great psychological insights and comment on friendship and love.
I've read a few amnesia novels recently (I think I've read four – two were rubbish (don't you hate it when the premise is good but the book badly written) and one was good but a little complicated. This one comes well out in front - it's skillfully written, interesting and gripping, has totally believable characters, and has an excellent ending. A great read!...more
Leonore Terr works in the field of 'memory' as both a practitioner and researcher. She writes these case studies of people who were not her own clientLeonore Terr works in the field of 'memory' as both a practitioner and researcher. She writes these case studies of people who were not her own clients, but in whom she became very interested. Sometimes they made contact with her, other times she made contact with them. Terr also recounts examples from many other cases to illustrate how memories work.
This is a most readable book. Even when giving detail that's important for the reader to understand (as in the different types of memory), Terr tells it within a story and thus the narrative stimulates the facts into being interesting and memorable. I can see myself using this book substantially for my own understanding in order to give my long-time-in-the-writing novel depth....more
I thought I'd see how this followed on from the first, as the first had just touched on amnesia (and that's my research subject). I disliked it so mucI thought I'd see how this followed on from the first, as the first had just touched on amnesia (and that's my research subject). I disliked it so much that I didn't bother finishing....more
I read this book about 8 years ago - no, that's not true . . . I partially read this book about 8 years ago. When the title turned up in my researchinI read this book about 8 years ago - no, that's not true . . . I partially read this book about 8 years ago. When the title turned up in my researching amnesia, I had a look through my list of books read (which is a fairly consistent record since 2003 - previous lists are lost in the compost or recycled paper or deep in the dim dark recesses of lost and forgotten early computers and their now-extinct software) and found this short note:
Skimmed through this and read only the conversations between the doctors and the man with amnesia; and then read the letters and the finale. The "ravings" were boring.
I did the same thing this time, with the small addition of looking to see what it might say to me about amnesia. And it does describe a person in a state of amnesia - from my research so far I would surmise that Watkins has global amnesia, also called fugue, in which he has no recollection of who he is or of any of the people he knows, and is in a state of confusion.
I skimmed over the elaborate 'adventures' that Watkins describes as Watkins himself held no interest for me. Not only is he an unlikeable character, but there's nothing else in his character that I found compelling. Normally I like the weird, but despite his adventures being weird they were told in such a pedantic style that I couldn't engage with them. Perhaps this was intended to be in keeping with Watkins' character, or perhaps it is Lessing's personal writing style (I haven't read anything else by her).
I have to say that the layout in this paperback was no help either. I find paragraphs that run for 2 or 3 pages extremely difficult to read. I know that we write in shorter paragraphs now than we did 40 years ago, but even so. If this was in a smaller type-face in a larger hardcover copy the paragraphing wouldn't be so bad, but in this I felt like I was being bombarded. And I didn't like that.
One thing I did like was the suggestion of sadness about the possibility of losing his rich and eventful alternate reality and going back to the humdrum. There's quite a conundrum there - how okay is it to let a person exist in a complete fantasy, and how much influence should the desires of a person's friends and family have on a person's decisions? Part of me says that the person should be left alone - as long as s/he will perpetrate no harm to anyone or anything as a result of the fantasy, then why not live in it? As long as s/he can still hold down a job (assuming there's available employment, but that's a whole other issue) then how does it matter if the world is viewed in a completely different manner?
On the other hand, if this fantasy world excludes people who used to be an integral part of the person's life, and if those people genuinely care about the person are negatively affected by the "loss" of their loved one to the fantasy-reality, then isn't it the right thing to bring that person back? This ties in nicely with a little book on ethics that I'm reading right now (Would You Eat Your Cat?) and the chapter on suicide. Of course, there are never any clear answers, which is something this novel points out.
So, this book has an interesting premise, but it's not a book I'll be recommending....more
Am entering this in 2012 and read it in 2006, so don't remember. This is the tiny note I made of it in my Database: Cassie has married Alex Rivers, HolAm entering this in 2012 and read it in 2006, so don't remember. This is the tiny note I made of it in my Database: Cassie has married Alex Rivers, Hollywood heart-throb - but the story begins with her amnesia, 3 years into the marriage. It's a classic tale of wife-beating, but linked in is a story of Will - half white, half Sioux....more
I've always liked a reason to read something that I wouldn't normally, and my "amnesia" research is giving me that opportunity. I used to satisfy theI've always liked a reason to read something that I wouldn't normally, and my "amnesia" research is giving me that opportunity. I used to satisfy the urge by having Library Challenges with my daughter, where, for example, we'd go through the alphabet by authors and weren't allowed to skip a letter out even if there was nothing that looked appealing. And so on with some much more inventive challenges. Now she has 3 small children and no time for that kind of game, which is a little sad.
I've just had a brainwave - the grandchildren aren't literate yet, but we can still start playing library games. Yes!
Anyway, that's all completely irrelevant. I got this book from the library from the title alone and enjoyed it. It has nothing to offer for my research because the Amnesia Clinic was an imaginary construct between 2 15-year-old lads, and everything that was posited about amnesia was within that same imaginary world.
What this book is about is 2 lads in Quito, Ecuador who attend the International School together and have been close friends for the last 2 years. Anti is an English boy whose father is a journalist and whose mother researches and writes about indigenous/colonialist relations (or something like that - I didn't pay that too much attention). Anti has asthma (this is relevant), and he has always enjoyed playing imaginative games with his father (I like how they sit together, hear a sound, and then make up wonderful possibilities about that sound).
Fabián is an orphan who lives with his wealthy uncle. His father was a Mestizo (part Indian, part European (in this case, Spanish)) and his mother of 'pure' Spanish descent. Fabián is charming, good-looking, possibly the most popular boy at school, and a spinner-of-yarns-extraordinaire. But he is also troubled by memories of his parents and their death . . . or is his mother still alive?...more
This has similarities to The Stepford Wives(or at least, I think so, but I haven't read/seen that so I'm only going on vague memory of what has been sThis has similarities to The Stepford Wives(or at least, I think so, but I haven't read/seen that so I'm only going on vague memory of what has been said about it). It also took me several times to scenes in The Truman Show. I thought I'd check out to see what came out first, but I can't be bothered when it comes down to it.
I quite enjoyed this book, and it has a lot of descriptions of how the protagonist understands his "amnesia", so it's useful for my research....more
I know it's not the 'right' thing now to call a comic a comic, but I believe in calling a spade a spade.
Ugh, what a dreadful way to start a review!
EveI know it's not the 'right' thing now to call a comic a comic, but I believe in calling a spade a spade.
Ugh, what a dreadful way to start a review!
Even when I was a kid I wasn't a fan of comics. I remember that a friend and her brother (and this is when I was at primary school, i.e. aged 5 through to 10) had Superman and Batman comics, and I think my girlfriend had some girl-themed ones, and I would read them when I went round to her house to play but I didn't care if I read them or not. If you know what I mean.
Now we have graphic novels and manga (I link these to Wikipedia articles for the unitiated (like me)). These, of course, are hugely popular and I am fully in support of anything that gives people the incentive to read and interpret pictures and use have their imaginations stimulated. But they don't do anything for me.
So, why did I read this comic?
I had an idea a few months ago. I began to follow that idea. Then I decided to write down some of the story that developed. Now I'm really writing it. It's no secret that there is a theme of amnesia.
It makes sense therefore for me to see what has been written both in fiction and in fact, and this title here is part of my research. I looked up the Catalogue in my local library, which used to in a network of 7 or so separate library buildings here in Waitakere (was the Waitakere Public Libraries), but the one good thing that happened when the National Government foisted this Auckland SuperCity on us all (long story) was that suddenly we are now linked to 55 libraries (now Auckland Libraries. So anyway, my Search uncovered this comic. I had no misconceptions about it, thought it good however to use as part of my research, didn't expect to enjoy the genre, but was nevertheless a little curious.
As a serial (which Wikipedia tells me is how these book-published versions start out), I can see how this story would have the reader wanting to read the next installment. It has plenty of intrigue - nice little cliffhangers at the end of each chapter - and twists in the plot. It has murder and can't-say-because-it's-a spoiler - plenty to keep the reader enthralled.
What I don't like is that all the key characters have the same face. The illustrations, aside from that, are superb. There's great expression on the faces and everything in each 'screen' (there's probably a correct technical term for that) tells part of the story. I read something ages ago about the necessity for no superfluity, no wastage, in comics, and I can attest that the artist does an excellent job here. But, they all look the same, and I don't get that. They all have the same pointy chin and V-shaped faces. The girls have perkier noses - aside from that it's the haircuts that tell the difference between anybody. Having said that, they do tend to have specifically characteristic eyes, though the surly Souji does occasionally have a different expression.
I guess there's a face-shape that is seen to be particularly attractive in Japan, and thus the predominance. Ah well, small quibble.
I will be getting Volume 2, not because I'm particularly bothered about what happens, but because the topic of "amnesia" is only broached right at the very end of this Volume 1. It has hinted at lacunar amnesia, which is a fairly common plot device where a person has no memory of a particular event (or a particular person). I want to see where the authors go with that, so am now going online to reserve a copy of Amnesia Labyrinth Vol. 2....more
Ha! A great read, and only found because of my own research into amnesia. This book is fascinating - lots of weird things happening, lots of mind-stufHa! A great read, and only found because of my own research into amnesia. This book is fascinating - lots of weird things happening, lots of mind-stuff going on (by that I mean puzzling and wondering if you're losing your mind). A really good story that keeps the reader's mind engaged. And well-written.
It reminded me a little of Sophie's World, though it's so long ago I read it that I can't remember anything about its literary qualities. In fact, the connection may be very tenuous, so I mention it simply in passing....more
No, I don't like romance novels. I mightn't even like my Mary Stewart and Daphne du Maurier novels when I get around to reading them before emptying oNo, I don't like romance novels. I mightn't even like my Mary Stewart and Daphne du Maurier novels when I get around to reading them before emptying out my Home Libary a little bit more, though they do good adventure.
I read this novel for my research (see most recent Review of Amnesia Labyrinth Vol. 1), and for that it has been useful. However the amnesia is done has to be credible. One can bend it a little - for example, Laura the heroine should really, medically speaking that is, get over her amnesia in a couple of days at the most (look up this article about Post-Traumatic Amnesia), and she should be a lot more confused than she is - I mean, seriously confused, not just occasionally. But all in all, it works....more