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The Book of M

A Novel
Length: 17 hrs and 6 mins
4 out of 5 stars (275 ratings)
Regular price: $42.20
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Publisher's Summary

Set in a dangerous near-future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears - an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife, Max, have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day, Max’s shadow disappears, too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

©2018 Peng Shepherd (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Flat characters and nonsense

The characters in this book are incredibly two dimensional and the story is never well explained. It is a poorly told fantasy fable without a point, lesson, or morale.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • AJ
  • 01-25-19

ehhhh

I struggled at some parts and almost googled to see how it ended. The story is a little incredulous, but the book is well written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Oh dear!

Could not finish...endless, boring, unpleasant. Walking, killing. Our world in the USA today? Where we are headed?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Extraordinary and not to be missed

Post apocalypse meets speculative fantasy. Unexpected, delightful, violent at times,anxiety inducing, hopeful., imaginative, and gut wrenching. Just read it! You will not be sorry.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but a bit wacky

If you’re looking for something like Station Eleven this book isn’t a bad option. It’s not as good but I also couldn’t put it down. Cool ideas but ultimately it was a bit... much. Amazing narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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5 zillion stars to this epic story!

This book deserves ALL the stars!! ALL!! It’s brilliant, beautifully written, and one of the most hopeful post-apocalyptic books I’ve ever read. The Book of M is by far my favorite read so far of 2018. Whenever I think of my favorite all time epic books in this genre (The Stand, The Passage, and Swan Song) The Book of M will now and forever more be in my list.

I’m not sure how to even tell anyone what this book is about. It’s a story about how most people lose their shadow and with it, little by little, all of their memories, until they don’t even remember that they need to eat. Also with the loss of their shadow comes the ability to do magical things, like putting wings onto the head of a deer. But for each magical act, more memories are lost until there is nothing left of the original person.

We follow the journey of Max who after two years has finally lost her shadow and run away, Ory her husband who travels the countryside looking for her, Naz who was an Olympic archer in the time before, and the Amnesiac who lost all of his memories due to an accident before The Forgetting.

I seriously had major chills all up and down my spine as I read the last few pages of The Book of M. My heart!! I am sure I won’t be able to get this book out of my head for a long while and have already caught myself looking for my shadow several times!

Peng Shepherd is a new author that I will be watching out for. If her first novel is this amazing, I can’t imagine how incredible her next ones will be!!

I did a reread by Audible and it was even better this time around!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The book of mediocrity

The story started out with promise, post-apocalyptic hope bubbled in my heart. Then came the middle where character development crumbled and a main player Max, became a simpering, overplayed weak female caricature. Why couldn't she be stronger? Who knows because page after page was dedicated to her relentingless pining for her husband. The vocal performance of Max nearly brought me to abandon the book, read the character, don't act the character, Zeller made Max almost unbearable with her overplayed obsequience. The last act was an improvement although I was fearful of a harlequin ending, still a bit of overdone melancholy. Performance was riddled grammatical errors and mispronunciations, the former perhaps from the book, the latter from poor production. Lots of promise but it fell flat in many areas.

Oh, and it's pronounced Lake Pon-chA-train, yes there is an ar in there but it's silent and certainly not pronounced Pon-chEr-train.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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So well done.

The premise sounds so silly; people lose their shadows and the world falls apart. But this book is so well written and narrated that any notion of disbelief or silliness is almost immediately quashed.

The way the narration is done is perfect. Each character has a different voice and rhythm to their chapters.

I almost passed this one up based on the description and I'm so glad I didnt.

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Words are not enough!!

This book is quite possibly the greatest thing as far as entertainment that I have ever experienced in my life. It should be preserved in a time capsule as one of humanities greatest achievements. I had never even heard of Peng Shepard before, but you can bet I will read everything she has ever written or will write, and I will make sure that my children and their children read it all as well. What a wonderful, fantastic, amazing story!! Kudos to the narrators too. Great job!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Interesting and Thought Provoking

The premise of the book was really intriguing with people who were losing their shadows. The further into the book it goes, the more interesting the story becomes. It teeters on the line of magic that at first made me wonder if I had missed a chapter then realizing the subtle unexplained reasons of magic made it something wondrous. Shepherd takes the reader along on a journey of what it means to believe and how memories are precious. I see the movie potential in this novel already.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Smythe
  • 02-07-19

The Book of 4 stars

Great concept and original take on the post-apocalypse idea. It's a very human tale, about what makes us who we are and love and loss. I thought the writing was great and some interesting narrative techniques really helped to keep things trucking along. The narrators were very good and the use of male and female for the respective POV's was the right choice.
I was engaged throughout, with only a few moments of wandering thoughts on my drives to and from work - that's a good sign of a compelling read!
I have some minor issues with the overall story and the level of disbelief-suspension required, plus it didn't quite hit the heights of my favourite audiobooks in terms of excitement, engagement or narration. Though it was still very good - hence the 4 star review.

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  • JoErb
  • 07-07-18

Enthralling and intriguing

Loved the idea of this book, a truly original concept. Beautifully written and engaging characters, heart wrenching at times. I feel like going back to the beginning and starting again immediately now I've finished, as I don't want the book to be over! I will certainly be looking forward to this authors next book when it happens! Great narration too.