After beholding the destruction of the Well-Built City, physiognomist Cley is now a simple healer seeking peace and atonement in the happy village of survivors. When the town falls into a deadly sleeping sickness, Cley must make a dangerous trip to the ruins of Citynow, beset by mechanical birds and werewolves, to seek out an antidote. The evil Master Below is still alive, but an accidental exposure to the sickness that he created has put him into a coma.
With the help of Belows adopted demon son, found in the wreckage of the laboratory, Cley ventures into the mind and intricate memories of Below to search for a cure. Cley will encounter wonders and dangers undreamed of in the second installment of this classic trilogy.
Listen to the rest of The Well-Built City Trilogy.
©1999 Jeffrey Ford (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"The awe-inspiring historical concept of the memory palace is put to grand use in Jeffrey Ford's fascinating novel Memoranda, the sequel to his World Fantasy Award-winning, New York Times Notable Book, The Physiognomy." (Amazon.com review)
"Startling and beautifully rendered." (Kirkus Reviews)
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After the destruction of the Well-Built City, Cley has been living in a village in the wilderness, acting as herbalist. One day a mechanical bird, obviously built by Master Drachton Below, arrives in the village, explodes, and releases a gas that puts many of the villagers to sleep. Cley is the only person who???s equipped to find the antidote.
The City is a real-life construction of Below???s Memory Palace, based on the Method of Loci. Everything in the city represents something he wants to remember, but the city has been destroyed, so Master Below has started a new Memory Palace in his mind. Unfortunately, Below is now unconscious because he???s been infected with his own gas, so Cley must enter Below???s mind and search there if he wants to find the antidote. When he gets in, he finds that he???s not alone there???s more going on in the Memory Palace than mere storage of memories.
In my review of The Physiognomy, I said it was ???sometimes brilliant and always bizarre??? and the same holds true for Memoranda. It???s got an original and fascinating setting, interesting symbolism, and thought-provoking ideas about memory, time, love, addiction, and evil.
The villain doesn???t quite live up to expectations here, since he???s asleep for most of the novel, but I liked the other characters better this time. Cley, who used to be an arrogant bigot, is now pleasant. The best characters, though, are Below???s adopted demon son who wears spectacles because he thinks it makes him look smart and has eschewed raw meat for salads, and a creature called The Delicate who is similar to Rowling???s Dementors, except that he???s exceedingly polite while he sucks out your soul. This was very funny, especially as narrated by Christian Rummel whose voices had me laughing frequently.
Audible Frontiers??? production is flawless and Rummel???s narration is brilliant and adds quite a bit of humor.
I tried the series and started nthe nsecond book and just could not take it. To odd and after the first book i was still not connected to the main character.
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