Memory

  • by Donald E. Westlake
  • Narrated by Stephen R. Thorne
  • 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Hospitalized after a liaison with another man's wife ends in violence, Paul Cole has just one goal: to rebuild his shattered life. But with his memory damaged, the police hounding him, and no way to even get home, Paul's facing steep odds - and a bleak fate if he fails.
This final, never-before-published novel by three-time Edgar Award winner Donald E. Westlake is a noir masterpiece, a dark and painful portrait of a man's struggle against merciless forces that threaten to strip him of his very identity.

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What the Critics Say

"[T]his is no typical Westlake novel; in fact, in many ways it’s one of his most interesting books, simply because it’s so very different. For his fans, absolutely a must-read." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The accident of existence

Memory is a departure from the usual story-based novel, not only for Westlake, but for most writers. The central character, Paul Cole, has the kind of internalized perceptions found in the protagonists of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment or Camus' The Stranger. Their world is defined by a logic which conflicts with the expectations of others. Cole is driven, not by circumstances, but by their refusal to fit together in a way that will allow him to re-establish his forgotten way of life.
This is a very interesting and ambitious mode of story-telling, because Westlake lets the reader see ahead of his hapless protagonist and sense the outcome of Paul Cole's groping attempts at regaining his memory. The theme of the book stands as a kind of metaphor for the accidental nature of life. Events appear to be cyclical, but they are spiral, the circles never quite overlap.
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- Alicia Czechowski

Review of Memory

Ouch. Couldn't finish it. I love Donald Westlake in all his guises, from the tough to the goofy. This is Donald Westlake as Camus. It's horrifying from beginning to end. Really creepy with no let up and little nuance. (Went to the end to check this out.) I'm not saying it's bad, just that it's far, far, from the mature Donald Westlake. To read a book that is this much of a downer, the sentences have to glow. Nothing glows here. Stephen Thorne does a great job as reader, but his load is too heavy. Regret buying it.
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- Regina

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-01-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.