This may sound a bit over enthusiastic – but I’m going to say it anyway. Marius Brill needs to add an extra ‘iant’ to the end of his surname. Once you’ve read How To Forget you’ll understand why.
Brill’s second novel is a ‘fictual book’, meaning it mixes up fiction with facts. The fictional side of the story revolves around the grand illusionist, Magicov the Magnificent, AKA Peter, who earns a living performing tricks in a nursing home. Peter is jealous of the geriatrics he entertains, particularly the old people who have lost their memories. This is because there are painful events in his life that he wishes to forget.
During the novel, Peter is approached by brain scientist, Dr Chris Tavasligh, who offers to help Peter forget for good. The facts, which are woven throughout the book, are all about the processes involved in human memory. And they’re there to make us think twice about what we believe we know.
If you’re worried that the book sounds a bit too heavy, don’t be. The novel is written so that you can sail through the pages. Chapters are split into bite-size portions and the prose is broken up by pages of fictional magazine articles, handwritten letters and emails.
Brill’s writing is top-dollar, too. Here is a writer who has taken up arms against clichés, and the result is page after page of refreshingly unique prose.
Overall, this book is an ideal holiday read. Once you pick it up you won’t want to put it down, which makes it the perfect partner to a day on a sunlounger.
If you like this, try this… The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Flip-flop rating for this book:
5 / 5
- Name: Sarah Holt
- Favourite Book: We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
- Guilty Pleasure: The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
- Favourite Holiday: Rio Carnival, Brazil