The Story of Forgetting

by Stefan Merrill Block | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0571239544 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Qantaqa of Dachau, Bayern Germany on 9/28/2010
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Qantaqa from Dachau, Bayern Germany on Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Fifteen-year-old Seth Waller is devastated when his mother is diagnosed with a rare, early-onset form of Alzheimer's. When he was growing up, his mother always brushed aside questions about her family past, and Seth realises that soon he will lose his chance to find out any more. He decides to uncover the truth about her life, their family history and the condition, and what he discovers is more surprising than he could have imagined. Inspired partly by Stefan Merrill Block's own family history, THE STORY OF FORGETTING is a moving and inspiring novel of love, loss, hope and genetic destiny.

Journal Entry 2 by Qantaqa at Dachau, Bayern Germany on Thursday, September 30, 2010
Bookring participants:

- erinacea
- Urfin

Journal Entry 3 by Qantaqa at Dachau, Bayern Germany on Sunday, October 03, 2010
The book is now on its way to erinacea.

Journal Entry 4 by erinacea at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Saturday, October 09, 2010
Fetched from the post office today. Looks interesting, I already like the cover and the in-book title's fade-out effect. I haven't decided yet whether to take this book along on my holiday - might be too depressing - but if not, I'll read it when I come back. Thanks for sharing, Quantaqa. :)

Journal Entry 5 by erinacea at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Monday, October 25, 2010
I'm in two minds about this book. On the one hand, I feel that the subject matter is important and could sympathise with both Abel and Seth; on the other hand, I had some trouble with the writing style, especially the transitions between scientific recap and personal narration. What irked me most was the way Block mixed scientific facts about genetics and Alzheimer's (which I've learned a bit about during my studies) with other bits that are completely made-up (up to the specific Alzheimer's variant, as finally comes up in the acknowledgements). This is a bit odd because I love it when it's the other way around and a fantasy world becomes "more real" when real or at least plausible events are incorporated in its history, or when an author brings up fake encyclopaedic entries or historic footnotes (guess the authors ;)) to strengthen the power of their make-belief. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if a fantasy world is littered with realistic stuff, this doesn't cause me to actually believe said world is real (though it becomes more fun to pretend), whereas if in a realistic story obviously fake information is presented as fact it makes me doubt the entire story, so I can't take it seriously anymore and get sidetracked by trying to work out what parts, if any, might be true.

The book reminded me strongly of another one, which, albeit on a different subject matter, used a similar underlying structure: alternating in-book story and
(his)story told from two perspectives. From the very beginning, the title The History of Love kept popping into my mind, and at first I thought it was only because of their titles' similarity, but by now I've realized that the books themselves do indeed resemble one another, even though I only remember very little about the book except that I didn't like it and threw a temper tantrum when it was found by another bookcrosser. (Yes, really!)

In my opinion, "The Story of Forgetting" had a much better structure where the three different threads naturally came together and I rather liked the ending. Also, the glimpses into the various sufferers of Alzheimer's lives and prospects were extremely intriguing, especially as I had never really taken early-onset Alzheimer's in consideration when pondering the disease, having only have had experience with late-onset Alzheimer's and run-of-the-mill dementia among my family and acquaintances.

I liked how memories slipping into darkness was mirrored by discovery, both scientific and secrets coming into light. The parallel story arcs worked really well in that respect.

Still, the one thing that sticks with me at the end of the book, is that if I want to know more about the disease, I should go for actual, factual autobiographic books rather than rely on fictional accounts that just might contain some reliable truths.

I'll pass this book on to Urfin at our next Berlin meet-up. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 6 by wingUrfinwing at Tiergarten, Berlin Germany on Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Got the book tonight at the meetup. Thanks.

Journal Entry 7 by Qantaqa at Dachau, Bayern Germany on Friday, February 24, 2012
I was just browsing through my books and realized that I haven't heard from this book in quite a while. Is it doing ok?

Journal Entry 8 by wingUrfinwing at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
So, today, I started to read the book.
After a few pages I was like "Oh no, not again, another story of an unrequited love!"
but the biblical allusions, they made me be curious at least...

(must restrain from reading erinaceas JE - must restr. - must - om)

29.3. Done.
So, I was rewarded with an interesting theory about the hopeful brain ("They are such optimists, in fact, that in the places with the grimmest standards of living people reproduce the most." on page 26) and how the radiation of two supernovae caused our nudity/hairlessness (pages 96ff), very entertaining also the made-up story of how the particular AD variant spread (the Iddylwahl story throughout the book).
I was annoyed with Abel because of his stilted talking (thinking really) and with Seth because he's a teenager and somehow I get less and less interested in storys about them... (since I have reached a new phase in my own life I guess) but in the end of the book I wept nevertheless when their paths finally converged.

...

So, now I have also read erinacea's JE. My objections are somewhat different but I agree with what's said in this previous JE (regarding the mixture of fiction and complete fiction:) I have also read The Story of Love but my JE there is not very long. I do remember that I didn't like the book very much either but that's about it.
And about the biblical allusions... I can't see why the protagonist are called Abel and Seth, as their family(s) seem profoundly atheist, having replaced any (Christian) faith by this Isidora world.

Journal Entry 9 by wingUrfinwing at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (5/15/2012 UTC) at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Will drop it in the mailbox now.

Journal Entry 10 by Qantaqa at Dachau, Bayern Germany on Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Gut wieder zuhause angekommen - und gleich an eine liebe Freundin weitergegeben.

Journal Entry 11 by kiki66 at Gauting, Bayern Germany on Tuesday, July 10, 2018
taken from qantaqa's "Ineedmorespace" Box...

We'll see where the journey is going...

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