Friday, 31 October 2014

The Book of Memory Gaps by Cecilia Ruiz Review


This is the format of the book: 60-ish pages, about half are blank (to signify memory gaps – geddit? ART!) and there are about 15 vignettes of “characters” who have memory problems. One page has a small picture of the “character” with their name underneath, the next page has two, three, sometimes four sentences describing their memory problem, then the third page is a full page illustration. These three pages repeat for each of the “characters” and then the book ends with a quote from Jorge Luis Borges – ART!

None of the vignettes are particularly interesting. To give you an idea of their banality, here’s one: 

“Valentin does not remember how certain objects look, thus he often mistakes one thing for another. Lately, he has been carrying around all kinds of bouquets. It appears the little boy is in love.”

That’s the text portion. The picture shows a little boy holding some cutlery and smiling. Repeat 15 times or so. 

I suppose the vignettes might be representative of how people are affected by memory issues though I don’t know anyone with memory loss/dementia so I couldn’t say. Except it’s presented in such a light, unimpressive way as to barely scratch the surface of the subject and completely fails to provide any insight whatsoever. 

I’m not sure who this book is aimed at – its format is child-like but the subject is clearly grown-up. Nor do I think any child, or adult for that matter, is likely to be engaged with the bland, brief material (the whole book takes five minutes max to read). The blurb describes it as “hauntingly funny” but all I got from it was that everyone in the book has a miserable life because of memory loss. I suppose somebody would find that funny but again I’m not sure who. 

The Book of Memory Gaps is pretentious rubbish. One might even say it was… forgettable? Yukyukyuk!

The Book of Memory Gaps

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