Cameraman Richard Grey's memory has blanked out the few weeks before he was injured in a car bomb explosion. When he is visited by a girl who seems to have been his lover, his attempts to recall the forgotten period produce an odyssey through France and conflicting accounts of what happened. When Susan Kewley speaks to him of that time, he finds himself glimpsing a terrible twilight world - the world of "the glamour".
©2012 Christopher Priest (P)2012 Audible Ltd
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"Do we all experience this enchantment?"
Richard Grey is recovering in hospital from a terrorist attack. In addition to physical injury he suffers from memory loss and so is naturally suspicious when he receives a visit from a woman claiming to be his ex-lover. Sue is an enigma. Initially a fairly unprepossessing woman, Richard becomes intrigued by her visits and begins to remember a passionate but jealous relationship, spoiled by the the existence of Sue's lover Niall, a man who maintains a strong and peculiar hold over her. This is a story that looks at past events through the eyes of two different characters. What we learn is that their memories of their past life differ completely and that Sue claims a secret so bizarre that it goes completely beyond rationality. However it also makes a strange sort of sense when we consider how we all perceive or indeed fail to perceive the people around us.
This is a science fiction story that mixes the ordinary with the extraordinary so successfully that you can believe you are reading about two real people and that their experiences are something we could all share. Although set in slightly more recent times, the atmosphere reminds me a little of The Prisoner, where everything just doesn't seem right and especially with the omnipresence of the very malevolent but charismatic Niall.
This is not an easy listen but is instead something to be savoured and thought about in detail. If you give this a chance you will be rewarded in abundance.
"Thought provoking and gripping"
This is a compelling story as the reader tries to work out what is happening in the world of the central character after he suffers brain damage as the consequence of a terrorist bomb and loses his memory. The world seems familiar yet unreal. He is contacted by a previous girlfriend and learns about a hidden world.
While the story is gripping, the psychological themes explored are profound: what constitutes memory, consciousness and individuality and how these can be manipulated.
The narration is good.
In all, a haunting novel and thoroughly recommended.
Enjoyed this book immensely. Will be listening to more from this Superb author.
Read very well too!
"A little slender, a little tedious..."
I was looking forward to this book, having loved The Prestige...
There just didn't seem to be much to the story, I kept expecting a huge twist, or a big reveal, but it really seems to be just this one small idea, stretched out over a whole novel...
Apart from an obvious error in Chapter 17, where the mistake has been left in, and not edited out, Barnaby Edwards gives a consistent performance throughout. My personal preference would have been to have less overtly creepy and portentous male character voices, but otherwise a good performance.
I have two chapters left, so I'm going to stick with it, but to be honest this has been a rather boring book... :(
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