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Memoranda Paperback – October 1, 1999

3.6 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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Editorial Reviews Review

The awe-inspiring historical concept of the memory palace is put to grand use in Jeffrey Ford's fascinating novel Memoranda, the sequel to his World Fantasy Award-winning New York Times Notable Book, The Physiognomy.

Cley was once the greatest practitioner of the Physiognomy, a dangerous pseudoscience invented by the twisted tyrant Drachton Below. Since the fall of Below's Well-Built City, Cley has dedicated himself to healing. But when his new people fall into a deadly sleep from which he cannot wake them, he ventures to the ruins of the Well-Built City for the cure. He discovers Below is still alive--but the antidote is lost and Below is asleep, victim to the disease he created. Cley must strike a pact with Below's demon to enter Below's mind in search of the antidote's formula. But even if he survives the demon, Cley may not survive the very real dangers of Below's vast, intricate, and treacherous memory palace--or the disintegration of the dying madman's mind. --Cynthia Ward

From Publishers Weekly

Last year, Ford's The Physiognomy won the World Fantasy Award for best novel. Here's a worthy sequel. In the first book, Physiognomist Cley helped bring about the destruction of the Well-Built City, a technological marvel where foreheads, cheekbones, chins were measured in order to determine the moral character of the populace, and where mismanaged science controlled every aspect of life. Now Cley has moved to the primitive village of Wenau, where he works as a healer. His idyllic existence is ruined when the evil Master Below, the ruler of the destroyed Well-Built City, sends a sleeping sickness that quickly spreads throughout Wenau. In order to save his friends, Cley returns to the ruined City to find BelowAand an antidote. Once there, however, he learns that Below himself has been stricken by his own poison. Below's misbegotten demon son Misrix offers to help Cley enter the sleeping Below's mind to seek out the cure. "To decipher the symbols, you need only read the Physiognomy of Father's memory," Misrix explains. Yet traveling through the subconscious of a madman may well be more dangerous than the sleeping sickness itself, for there Cley must interpret a surreal landscape of events, objects and characters, even as they distort his own thoughts. Reading Ford's vivid descriptions of Below's bizarre subconscious is like stepping into a Dal! painting. Ford's symbolic view of memory and desire is as intriguing as it is hauntingAthough the book ends with more questions than it began. Admirers of The Physiognomy will prize this book, while trusting that the next (and conclusion to the trilogy), The Beyond, will clarify Ford's views on the nature of mind and reality.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Eos; First Edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0380802627
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0380802623
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.51 x 0.55 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.6 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

About the author

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Jeffrey Ford is the author of the novels, Vanitas, The Physiognomy, Memoranda, The Beyond, The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, The Girl in the Glass, The Cosmology of the Wider World, and The Shadow Year, The Twilight Pariah, Ahab's Return, Or The Last Voyage, and Out of Body. His story collections are The Fantasy Writer's Assistant, The Empire of Ice Cream, The Drowned Life, Crackpot Palace, A Natural History of Hell, and The Best of Jeffrey Ford from PS, Big Dark Hole, 2021, from Small Beer Press. Ford has published well over 100 short stories, which have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies, from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction to The Oxford Book of American Short Stories. He is the recipient of the World Fantasy Award, Nebula, Shirley Jackson Award, Edgar Allan Poe Award, Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire (France), Hayakawa Award (Japan). His fiction has been translated into about 20 languages. In addition to writing, he’s been a professor of literature and writing for 30 years and has been a guest lecturer at Clarion Writing Workshop, The Stone Coast MFA Program, The Richard Hugo House in Seattle, and the Antioch University Writing Workshop. He lives in Ohio and currently teaches part time at Ohio Wesleyan University.

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Customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5
15 global ratings

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