William Fitzgibbon

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  • The Memory Thief

  • By: Emily Colin
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne, Nelson Hobbs, Carly Robins
  • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

Before Madeleine Kimble's mountaineer husband, Aidan, climbs Mount McKinley's south face, he makes her a solemn vow: "I will come back to you". But late one night, Maddie gets the devastating news that Aidan has died in an avalanche, leaving her to care for their son - a small boy with a very big secret. The call comes from J. C., Aidan's best friend and fellow climber, whose grief is seasoned with survivor's guilt...and something more.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • The Only Likable Character is the Dog.

  • By William Fitzgibbon on 05-23-18

The Only Likable Character is the Dog.

1 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-23-18

I only got a third of the way through this book for several reasons, but that first third displayed flaws that you should be aware of going in. None of the characters are good or relatable people. I don't mean they're flawed and complex, I mean they're shallow and generally immoral or poorly defined.

That would be fine if the book was aiming to explore the complexities and moral ambiguities of moving on from a tragic loss, but that is really not the main theme. The female protagonist is ill-defined, with her only standout traits being strongly negative. The male protagonists are worse than that. This is clearly not how the reader is intended to perceive them, and that is why it's a problem. That's all I can say without stepping into spoilers.

**Spoiler alert, below**

So, to step into SPOILERS a bit: the female protagonist sleeps with her dead husband's best friend on the day of his funeral. It had not even been a month yet. The sex is loud and a room over from her young son. That's messed up. What's worse than it being messed up is that the romance between them is really hard to buy into. The poor performance from the male actor at least is partially to blame for that, but the dialogue is also atrocious. People just don't speak or act like the characters in this book. The prose itself, outside the dialogue, is fine, but nothing stellar. The steamy romance that is supposed to be there just isn't.

The son, Gabriel, does not act like any four year old I have ever met or heard of outside of fiction. He is what a woman who has never dealt with children might think a child acts like.

The husband, the one who died, comes across as a selfish douche both before and after dying.

The best friend, who banged the widow of his "best friend," is virtually without redeeming characteristics. He acts nice to get into the pants of a grieving widow a couple weeks after her husband died. That's not romantic. That's machiavellian manipulation of a situation, and if it was played that way it might make for an interesting, dark story, but that is not how the reader is supposed to interpret the events.

The performance from the woman is fine, but the male performances were grating and would have ruined the story even had it been worth listening to in the first place. Which it was not. I cannot recommend listening to this book; it's a waste of time, even at the low price of free.

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