Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Amnesia

Posted on

Amnesia

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
63206
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B-

Four hours before his wedding, a librarian is buttonholed by a stranger who tells him a story of crime and horror that will preclude the ceremony and bend the bridegroom’s mind. It’s a seductive introduction promising gothic intrigue and clever plot twists, but Amnesia is ultimately more contrived than finessed. Halfway through this forcefully intelligent but overwrought first novel, the link between the two men appears, and you realize you’ve been had: Douglas Cooper substitutes psychological trompe l’oeil for narrative development and trundles his story along with melodramatic improbabilities, combusting cars, and collapsing buildings. A skilled and thoughtful writer, Cooper casts his net too wide here, touching on urban planning, psychology, philosophy, and Judaica, and complicating the simple beauty of Amnesia’s premise: that we tell ourselves stories in order to live. B-

Comments