Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The Memory Artists
I once had a mother in law who expressed disdain or dislike of something by saying, "Well that's different." Sometimes that comment was aimed at me. This novel by Jeffrey Moore is different but in a good way. It is refreshing, intriguing and postmodernist.
Noel Burun's beloved mother, Stella, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He is challenged by having to provide care for her and by feeling the pressure of discovering a cure for the disease. Did I mention that he's a synaesthete? He engages the help of a motley crew consisting of a sex/drug addict, a beautiful woman who is trying to escape her past and a goofy and excitable sort of guy who is trapped in nostalgia for a childhood that may or may not have existed. This gang helps care for Stella while Noel works in his basement lab to develop a magic pill aided by the notes of his father, a depressive who killed himself years ago. Hovering over the story like a storm cloud and/or puppet master is Dr. Vorta who has treated all the characters in his clinic and had an affair with Stella years before.
Against all odds the novel is entertaining and humourous. It held my interest and made me laugh. I'd recommend it to those who like something a little offbeat and very clever.