In this taut and fascinating novel, the New York Times best-selling and National Book Award-winning author of The Sacrifice, The Accursed, and Lovely, Dark, Deep examines the mysteries of memory, personality, and identity and pierces the enigmatic force that drives human lives - love.
In 1965, neuroscientist Margot Sharpe meets the attractive, charismatic Elihu Hoopes - the "man without a shadow" - whose devastated memory, unable to store new experiences or to retrieve the old, will make him the most famous and most studied amnesiac in history. Over the course of the next 30 years, Margot herself becomes famous for her experiments with E. H. - and inadvertently falls in love with him, despite the ethical ambiguity of their affair and though he remains forever elusive and mysterious to her, haunted by mysteries of the past.
The Man Without a Shadow tracks the intimate, illicit relationship between Margot and Eli as scientist and subject embark upon an exploration of the labyrinthine mysteries of the human brain. Where does "memory" reside? Where is "love"? Is it possible to love an individual who cannot love you, who cannot "remember" you from one meeting to the next?
Made vivid by her exceptional eye for detail and her keen insight into the human psyche, The Man Without A Shadow is a unique story of forbidden love, a kind of secret, evolving marriage, depicted in Joyce Carol Oates' tight, impassioned prose. It is an uncanny, ambitious, and structurally complex novel that penetrates the mind and illuminates the heart.
©2016 The Ontario Review, Inc. (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
As a fan of Oates I am sorely disappointed and miserable having read this book. It is boring, repetitive and a ridiculous story wth shallow characters. But Oates has been writing strange books lately.
pathetic characters, no redemptive value, hated story, recommended for people who like wallowing in dysfunction
Loved it. Listened to it over three days.
My favorite part of the story was the learning of the selfish aspect of love, even at its most compassionate.
The narrator has a great voice, sometimes conjuring up memories of Tippi Hedren; She read the story with proper emotion and it felt like she had a complete grasp on what the story was about (whether she did or not is not the point, the talent is in sounding like she did.)
I love the writing of Joyce Carol Oates. And that is one reason why I got this book. I was also fascinated by this subject matter. Eli Hoops he has severe amnesia where he cannot remember anything or anyone longer than 70 seconds. However he can remember everything that happened before the accident that gave him amnesia. This book is an interesting investigation of the realm between fantasy and reality which lies someplace between memory and expectation. If you love Joyce Carol Oates I highly recommend this book.
This type of story in third person was hard to follow and it was difficult to connect with any of the characters (ended up not caring for any of the main characters). Maybe reading it on paper would have provided a better experience but this is definitely not a story meant for audiobook.
I enjoyed the information on how the brain works.
The main character's treatment of her mother who was ill.
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