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The Memory Police

A Novel
Narrated by: Traci Kato-Kiriyama
Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A haunting Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance, from the acclaimed author of The Housekeeper and the Professor.

On an unnamed island off an unnamed coast, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses - until things become much more serious. Most of the island's inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few imbued with the power to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten.

When a young woman who is struggling to maintain her career as a novelist discovers that her editor is in danger from the Memory Police, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards. As fear and loss close in around them, they cling to her writing as the last way of preserving the past.

A surreal, provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss, The Memory Police is a stunning new work from one of the most exciting contemporary authors writing in any language.

©2019 Yoko Ogawa and Stephen Snyder (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"An elegantly spare dystopian fable.... Reading The Memory Police is like sinking into a snowdrift: lulling yet suspenseful, it tingles with dread and incipient numbness.... Ogawa’s ruminant style captures the alienation of being alive as the world’s ecosystems, ice sheets, languages, animal species and possible futures vanish more quickly than any one mind can apprehend." (The New York Times Book Review)

"The Memory Police is a masterpiece: a deep pool that can be experienced as fable or allegory, warning and illumination. It is a novel that makes us see differently, opening up its ideas in inconspicuous ways, knowing that all moments of understanding and grace are fleeting. It is political and human, it makes no promises. It is a rare work of patient and courageous vision.... [It] reaches English-language readers as if sent from the future." (The Guardian)

"A masterful work of speculative fiction.... An unforgettable literary thriller full of atmospheric horror." (Chicago Tribune)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting concept but lost me after awhile

I struggled with this story. Had some interesting points but overall definitely not my favorite.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Forgettable novel

Strange, meaningless premise that devolves into nothingness. Stopped listening after five chapters. Not everyone can be a Kawabata.

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

Strange, atmospheric and deeply troubling

What if dementia was inflicted upon us through an autocratic order manipulating society using neurosciences. What if all we knew and valued in our world was gradually stolen from our memories so it no longer existed for us. WhT would we be?

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

INTERESTING

I did like this book. I thought it was an interesting concept, and I listened wondering how it would all play out. Sadly, the ending was very unsatisfying. The narrator was very good; she had a sweet, calm, soothing voice. I just thought the story itself could have ended in a way that made more sense. It got a little ridiculous and actually sad toward the end, and then the ending itself left me wanting answers. But the book overall was good.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • Champaign, IL, United States
  • 09-06-19

Listener beware!

There may be some deep meaning hidden in this book but I never found it, so think carefully before starting it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful