The Memory of Water

Narrated by: J. Austin Moran II
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Slade Harris will do anything for a story, including murdering the woman he loves.

Slade doesn't think twice about jumping out of a plane or conducting disastrous love affairs to gather material for his work, but his self-indulgent life is catching up with him. Stumbling through his late 30s hopeless and a little drunk, Slade has a dazzling, dangerous idea which will change his life forever. It's going to be Slade's ultimate story...and all he's hoping for is to survive it.

©2011 Janita Lawrence (P)2017 Janita Lawrence

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The Memory of Water

Any additional comments?

Haunted by his past and with writer's block, novellist Slade Harris begins to plan a theoretical murder in order to get himself working again. But when the events of his outline start to play themselves out for real he's pitched into a plot that he can't control and where fiction and reality begin to blur.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Intriguing, Suspenseful, Surprising, and Explicit

This book is not your average work or listen. My title of intriguing, suspenseful, surprising, and explicit only scratches the surface of the descriptors for this story-line. Like international cuisine, this work has a different flavor to it.

The Memory of Water primes the listener with citations from playwrights’ and novelists’ works. Kafka is referred to, Hemingway and Somerset Maugham are quoted, Wilde is paraphrased there are also parallels of plot, character and setting and there is even the occasional critical analysis of such. An example of this is when Slade Harris (the anti-heroic lead character) referring to himself as the tragic protagonist of his own life uses Gatsby and Daisy to make the point. Slade is a hedonist who is self-absorbed, somewhat shady, decadent, and he carries around a ton of personal baggage beginning with a family tragedy which the author documents sublimely.

The book has sort of a contemporary crime novel feel to it, yet it also has the classical international flair to it with the hints of the local language and references that helps place listener in South Africa (where the author hails from and, to my surprise, is female). As mentioned above, there are also the allusions to cultural classics. The plot is excellent, the characters well developed, the themes and writing are fairly tight. It’s one of those books I find difficult to succinctly review because there is so much involved that strikes me as out of the ordinary genre of works.

Although this is the first time I have listened to a narration by J. Austin Moran, I think that a fine job was done. His inflection exemplified the ebbs and flows of the suspense throughout. In fact, I found myself looking for more of his works on Audible, but found nothing close to this genre to listen to. :)

Finally, It must be said (and is displayed on the cover page) there is a good deal of explicit sex scattered throughout. I am not one to search that out, and can be turned off by it when used just for the sake of it. However, it worked in this book being just dark and exciting enough to fit (and dare I say enhance) the story-line. Just be forewarned if that is something you are not wanting to be experience. Aside from that, I would highly recommend this worl for someone that wants to spice up their reading.

A review copy of this audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review. My hope is that this review helps in your decision to obtain this book.

4 people found this helpful

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Surprise!

Any additional comments?

This book really took me by surprise. Although I was enjoying the book , I just knew I had figured out the twist from the beginning....WRONG! I was originally going to give it 4 stars but by the end it had earned the 5th! Good story, good narration, good book!

I received a free review copy and left this review voluntarily.

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

The story is amazing! J.T. Lawrence’s work is impressive and addictive :) It was so hard for me to stop the audio... all the chase and trying to prove who the killer was exciting. It was really worth my time and attention! I love it!

About the narration, it’s the first time I try an audiobook and it was great. This narrator’s voice has emotion and is so easy to understand!

3 people found this helpful

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Ever thought about writing a book?

Get ready for a psychological thrill ride. Follow this author through an adventure, romance, and emotional healing. Or is it a complete break down? Maybe you get to decide.

3 people found this helpful

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Captivating

If you could sum up The Memory of Water in three words, what would they be?

Powerful, riveting, surprising

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. Every chapter leaves you wanting more

Which character – as performed by J. Austin Moran II – was your favorite?

Slade

Any additional comments?

The Memory of Water has to be one of my favourites written by a local author. JT Lawrence has a special gift with words. She makes the reader feel part of the story and every character in the book appeals to you.

Well done!
I recommend this book to everyone.

3 people found this helpful

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David Lynch

I am not sure how to review this book, as I initially found the main character to be absolutely obnoxious and unlikable, which was what I believe the author was going for. I found him so irritating and the beginning a bit slow I really struggled to get into it and power through. That being said, wow I am glad I did, the ending was unpredictably amazing, as many of Janita's endings are. So I feel the last third of the book made up for the slow first two-thirds. The main character Slade is still a total douche though. It is hard to describe the book without spoilers, but basically Slade is a rich author who had a best seller or two and comes down with writers block. Of course being an arrogant douche he spent his advance on expensive toys he could not possibly pay for and descends down a dark psychological rabbit hole of madness as he tries to plan his next story. His life crumbles around him. I don't know how do describe it other than David Lynch'ish; weird but oddly satisfying. Give it a shot, it is worth it. I received a free review copy of this book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Read

The Memory of Water was a great read by JT Lawrence. Slade Harris is a writer who will do anything for a story, even if that means killing the woman that he loves. He has been stumbling through his life without much of a care. He is on the verge of losing everything until he gets a dangerous idea for a new story. I liked reading this book and can't wait to read more by JT Lawrence.

2 people found this helpful

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Just when you think you know...

This is the eighth book I’ve read/listened to by this author and I’ve loved everything of hers so far! She writes in many genres and pulls it off- that’s a sign of a good writer and imaginative mind, in my opinion. This is a suspenseful, twisted, mystery thriller. Great! When you think you know what’s going on, you turn the page and realize how wrong you are.

Slade Harris is a writer. It seems the tragic death of his sister (when he was a young boy) affected him greatly. As a adult, it takes a wild event, or traumatic incident to keep his creative writing juices flowing. He gets to a point when he’s feeling dried up, and desperate, with a deadline looming. He’s ruined the relationship with the woman he loves. Drunk, out of money and in need of inspiration, he decides to write a book detailing how he would murder his ex-girlfriend. Things get complicated when she is found dead and someone has followed through with what he has written. Slade knows of one person that has seen his his manuscript... now he needs to determine who is setting him up.

This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator (J Austin Moran II) and I would listen to another. He does the “contemplative, confused “ voice well. He is well suited to reading this book.

There are some sex scenes, and I’m not sure if the occasional swearing, but no excessive violence.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful

2 people found this helpful

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LOVED IT!

I loved it! This book was full of suspense with so many unexpected twists and turns. The narration was great and kept me entertained. This author did a great job with the character builds. and plot. I look forward to reading more books by this author. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • TerryHeth
  • 08-03-17

Awesome

Absolutely brilliant story. So many things happen & link together so well! My imagination was running riot with this book. Murder, mayhem, is this real, imagined?!
Sex scenes but not on & on which is great to me.
Narrator was great. Very smooth voice and it flowed.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ostfeld
  • 01-15-19

The best ever !!!

Once again JT Lawrence the author have not only amazed me with an incredible story but also have taught me with her unbelievable stories about South Africa and it’s culture.
There is just not enough ways to appreciate her beautiful writing.
Her abilities of connecting you to every personalities, to feel what they feel, see what they see is attempts by all authors but she have mastered it to the point that you become the persons that are on the page at that moment, a talent that is unmatched by none !
I truly believe that it will take me some time to get over this book, I believe the reason is that it felt more that I lived the story not listened to it and that have never ever have happened to me before.
And about the story itself once again I’m speechless, so good that the lines between real or fiction are blurred completely.
The choice of J. Austin Moran II for narration was absolutely the right one.

So amazing that it’s absolutely impossible not to recommend this book for all !
from the bottom of my heart.




In exchange for an honest review I’ve received this audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alexander James Hawley (Hawley Reviews)
  • 08-15-17

The reality of writers block

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this book to any prospective writer as it describes what it would feel like for a writer who gets writers block, although it did have some bad elements as well.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

In order to avoid spoilers I won't answer this question then.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

A narrator cannot help the way they deliver, it is just them.

Any additional comments?

Good to read an author from another country again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • niamh bonner
  • 08-05-17

what a memory

this is a very intriguing and enjoyable book. I really enjoyed the way the author played with the lead character. I couldnt decide if I liked him or not as a person which is always a good sign for me. The story moved along and horrible things happened but I couldn't wait to see what happened. great book and great narration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S. J. Hall
  • 03-17-20

who would have guessed?

a great story, full of surprises, twists and turmoil. I would like to find more of this writer

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-10-19

difficult to finish but good

i struggled to like the main character enough to empathise with him until half way through the book so i found it a struggle to want to continue hearing about him.

sometimes thought that the narrator was miscast. the american pronounciation of certain british things made me think it would have been better with a british actor. he did great job though.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-03-19

Good book

Well written thriller full of mystery. It has lots of twists and turns and will keep you guessing until the very end.

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  • Logophile
  • 12-31-18

Great story let down by American reader

The book was amazing! It took me a few chapters to get into the first person present tense but it worked so well with the story in that the reader experienced everything with the character.

My only annoyance was that the story is based in South Africa with South African characters and therefore South African lingo. I don't feel that an American narrator should read a South African book because I was left trying to figure out what he was trying to say. He didn't do the book justice.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-25-18

Different subject matter but same style

I was given this audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review

This wasn’t what I was expecting from having read her other works but enjoyable nonetheless. I’m still undecided if I liked the main character or wanted him to suffer; my opinion of him changed with the story. True to form there were twists upon twists - I’ve learned to expect that some are coming but not what they are.

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  • comfort
  • 05-22-18

What an ending

This Audiobook was given to me by the author in exchange for a fair review.

My initial views of this audio, is that it is set in South Africa but the narrator's accent is American(not strong) but definitely not South African, none of the incidental characters had SA accents either. So.. except for a few SA towns and names this book could be set anywhere, there is no sense of place.

Secondly the book has a warning that it is explicit- for me- not so much, but then I do Moderate an Erotica Group.

The story- well- At first it runs along smoothly, Slade Harris is a writer with writer's block. Severe writer's block. He can't even think of a first sentence. He has spent all his advance and is at risk of his publishers asking for it back. He may also loose his home and car.

He does not seem overly concerned and throws a huge party inviting all his friends and their friends etc etc, It is at this party that he has a huge fight with his friend Eve. Eve whom he would like to be more than a friend. There are witnesses.

Also Slade is holding onto a secret from his youth involving his much loved little sister who drowned when they are kids. This tragedy affects Slade's actions throughout the story.

A bit later Eve winds up dead in exactly the way he has explained to his friend in a scenario for his new novel.

The police come to question him because, of course, there were witnesses to their fight at the party. He is now a suspect.

At Eve's funeral he meets a woman who claims to be Eve's sister and is also in town to clear up her belongings and settle the will.

The middle of the story is a convoluted but highly entertaining series of chases, mis-direction and detective work by our hero.

BUT... that ending.. I must admit to listening to it several times as I didn't get it. The author gives us several endings -it is left for us to decide which one to chose .

I will be looking out for more books by this author as her writing is engaging.

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  • Philippa C Farmer
  • 08-30-17

Wrong reader

Ok. I liked the story. The prose is good.
But.. and this is a huge BUT .. the reader is and older American and the lead character is a younger South African man. The worst part is there is S.African slang peppered through the story and he hopelessly mispronounces all of it! You'd think Audible would take care to at least prepare the reader on how to say the foreign words. Woeful. Do your homework, Audible.