Gilbert Cruz
March 08, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Memory Artists

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Jeffrey Moore
publisher
St. Martin's Griffin
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

Noel Burun is a hypermnesiac synesthete. In other words, he sees words as vibrant colors and has perfect memory, which allows him near-genius levels of artistic and scientific retention, but often causes him to lose his concentration. When his widowed mother begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease, Noel and a group of friends try to come up with a cure. Chock-full of narrators, fonts, sketches, and footnotes, Jeffrey Moore’s The Memory Artists has the look of a postmodern novel but none of that genre’s emotional distance. In between all the gimmicks and science talk is a wonderfully complex and unpredictably moving novel that juggles five deeply written and unique characters who are hard to forget.

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