May 03, 08
The book starts off very promising. A man loses 24 years of his memory due to a brain tumor. As the book says, we’re nothing but a collection of habits and accumulation of memories. If we lose those memories and habits, we lose our self and start over with a blank slate. That should make a good concept for a very interesting novel. Instead, the story meanders through a series of irrelevant events and characters and doesn’t offer much in the end.
From the few places where Krauss discusses things like memory and vision and brain, I could tell that she’d read Oliver Sacks and his case studies of neurological patients as part of her research for writing this novel. Disappointingly, and even with the free reign of imagination that she had as a fiction writer, she couldn't make the story to be as fascinating as Sacks’s real case studies.