This is Krauss's first novel published, and while I love her writing, the story reaches a point when I just lose interest...
The story is about Samson Greene, a professor who is found wandering through the desert randomly one day and he cannot remember his name, or anything due to a brain tumor. The tumor had always been there but had gone unnoticed and had finally reached a point where the pressure had taken away his memories. When the doctors remove the tumor, Greene begins to remember pieces of his childhood, but he can only remember the first 12 years of his life, and the rest are blank. This means he has forgotten: his wife, his mother's death, his professional career...however, he's taken back to that life. The life he does not know. And that is so interesting. It got me thinking about love. He is sitting there with his wife, who is still madly in love with him, but he has no memory of her and his memory of her does not come back. What does that say about the people we fall in love with? Could we fall madly in love with someone and have a brain tumor erase that love the next day?
So then the story moves forward. He leaves his wife and decides to meet with this scientist who is attempting to successfully transfer memories from one person to another: true empathy. Greene is a prime candidate. It's all secret and governmental and finally, a memory from an ex-soldier is transferred to Greene of this bomb testing gone wrong and Greene can't take it. The memory takes over and kind of drives him crazy and he gets so mad at the scientist for wanting to transfer memories because it has become so awful for Greene. So then he wanders around recklessly, and this is when it gets weird. He tries to steal his tumor back from the hospital. And he goes back home and visits an uncle....the story just seems to keep going with no end or purpose in sight.
Although it began to drag me along near the end, it's an interesting book. Definitely a unique story and one that makes you think. And hey, we can't be too harsh on an author's first novel. One day I'll write a first novel and probably everyone will hate it. But, i didn't hate this novel. I just lost interest after a while. I do suggest that it's worth taking a look at, though.
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