localfreak's Reviews > Memoirs Of A Master Forger

Memoirs Of A Master Forger by William Heaney
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Oct 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ghosts-paranormal, litfiction
Read in February, 2009

William Heaney is a divorcee with three kids, after his wife ran off with a quasi-celebrity chef, he works for the government and also has a side project in which he counterfeits antiquated books.
He also spends most of his time with the kind of society that most people of his class wouldn’t spare a glance to, helping out Antonia who runs ‘GoPoint’ a homeless refuge in the middle of London, constantly under threat of closure.
He can also see demons.
If you’re looking, however, for a straightforward fantasy book, this isn’t your kind of read at all. At first the idea about demons made me uneasy about whether it would be a book I liked but it really was a brilliant read. Heaney-the-author is highly skilled in his tight prose and descriptions of characters and their interaction. The novel is written skipping between past and present and in later chapters the ramblings of an old man who chains himself to the railings at Buckingham Palace and blows himself up. Despite this chopping-and-changing the book flows beautifully together, the metaphors and allegories echo in the background but never bludgeon the reader over the head or are too obvious.
Heaney is a fundamentally good person, and to some people that might be a turn off, but in truth it is somewhat beautiful. Dogged by his own demons, he doesn’t stop them from doing good (even if the money he uses for good causes is funded by fraud) and caring about people. Heaney is a master of not-judging a person by their appearance or status, as evidenced when he opens his house to his daughter and her boyfriend Mo, whom their mother dislikes and when he takes his son out of private school because he doesn’t like the snobbish attitude the boy is cultivating. He never gives the implication, however, that he thinks himself as a good person, nor as doing good things to be something out of the ordinary but in his actions champions a sense of social consciousness and genuine empathy that is both an inspiration and endearing to the reader.
Blending of the occult with reality in its own way this book is one that you won’t be able to put down until you’ve finished it. It is the kind of book one finishes and goes away feeling deeply satisfied. A marvellous story from a debut author.

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