I was willing, but unable to"suspend disbelief." The novel read quickly, I did want to finish, and there were some aspects that I found quite interesting, but it just didn't have the quirky charm of A Great and Terrible Beauty, nor were the characters or the narrative as well developed as in Dissolution.
Aspects that did appeal:
- references to Stargate, the secret government program (dismantled in the 90's) that involved research into telepathy, clairvoyance, psychic abilities. I've always been interested in this program.
- The Art of Memory and memory palaces. I do agree with Minnaloushe that with all of our modern technology, we no longer need to use our long term memory as much as in the past and that, as a result of books and technological aids, our long term memories have become less capable. I mean, when pre-literate societies could memorize entire histories to pass on orally, you have to admit that our abilities today are pretty meager. Scops that could memorize Beowulf and other epic works may have been the most talented "memorizers" of their time period, but without written works, everyone had to be better at memory tasks.
Fiction. Gothic/mystery. Dutton. 2007. 395 pages.