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The Amnesia Clinic (Book Review by IMCPL Patron)

October 18, 2010 by Reader's Connection

The Amnesia ClinicThe Amnesia Clinic by James Scudamore

All the reviews on your website are enthusiastic, so, hey, don´t listen to me; but I don´t think this novel works.

Anti (Anthony), our narrator, is an British teenager living in Quito, the capitol city of Ecuador. His best friend is Fabián, an Ecuadorian whose parents were killed in a car crash a few years previously: Fabián wants to believe that his mother is still alive and is wandering around, suffering from amnesia.

The two friends embark on an absurd journey in search of an amnesia clinic that (as they well know) doesn’t exist.

Fabián’s exotic life with his uncle Suarez makes for a great read, and I enjoyed the Ecuadorian journey that the boys take, and the characters they meet along the way.

But at the center of this novel is a bunch of “story-telling” that is supposed to be intriguing and entertaining; and I was just bored. The stories themselves work well enough–the variations on how Fabián’s parents died, for example–but the way Scudamore’s characters can’t keep track of their own inventions is just annoying.

Much as I enjoyed the boys’ journey, I never believed in their motives for taking it, so the novel left me unsatisified.

–Skip

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