Memory

Memory

4.0 3
by Donald E. Westlake
     
 

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THE CRIME WAS OVER IN A MINUTE – 
THE CONSQUENCES LASTED A LIFETIME

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 even to get home, Paul’s facing steep odds – and a bleak fate if he

Overview

THE CRIME WAS OVER IN A MINUTE – 
THE CONSQUENCES LASTED A LIFETIME

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 even to 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The career of late MWA Grand Master Westlake (1933–2009) spans 50 years with the appearance of this elegant, melancholy novel, written in the 1960s and never before published. Actor Paul Cole is on tour when he sleeps with the wrong married woman, and her husband puts him in the hospital, from which he emerges with short- and long-term memory problems. As he makes his way from the Midwest to his home in New York City, Paul struggles to remember his past and build a future while existing in limbo: unable to keep appointments with doctors or the unemployment office, meeting countless people too caught up in their own agendas or bureaucracies to help him. Lovely language and the overall discourse on the consequences of thoughtlessness make this a significant final work from a master. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Although acclaimed crime novelist Westlake died a year ago, he was so prolific that new work continues to emerge. This title, purportedly written in the 1960s (when a 15-day hospital stay cost less than $500), follows actor Paul Cole after a fight leaves him with a severe case of amnesia. Nearly broke and abandoned by his tour company in a small Midwestern town, he struggles to resume life—a near impossibility since he can remember no details about his former existence. Writing more a psychological study than a mystery, Westlake painstakingly plots Cole's progress as he tries desperately to discover and then return to his former life, drawing on only the few meager clues that the items in his suitcase provide. VERDICT The three-time Edgar winner and Mystery Writers of America Grand Master left a huge body of work as well as a devoted following. Noir fans will be eager to jump on this "found" work even though it's different from much of his later more comedic work. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 12/09.]—Caroline Mann, Univ. of Portland Lib., OR

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780857683458
Publisher:
Titan
Publication date:
05/24/2011
Series:
Hard Case Crime
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
715,396
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Donald E. Westlake is widely regarded as one of the great crime writers of the 20th Century. He won three Edgar Awards and was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America.  Many of his books have been made into movies; Westlake also wrote the screenplay for "The Grifters," for which he received an Academy Award nomination.

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Memory 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While an impressive piece of writing, there is a lack of dramatic tension, and ultimately a lack of resolution, in this book by one of the 20th century's finest crime novelists. In the end, it really is quite a depressing chronicle of a man's descent into madness. Also, there are a number of small mistakes (grammatical, editorial), which I found distracting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Traveling with a troupe actor Paul Cole wakes after being comatose for over fifty hours at Memorial Hospital after receiving a vicious beating from the husband who caught him having intercourse with his wife. City Police Lieutenant Murray informs Paul he can press assault charges while the cuckold spouse can counter with adultery; the cop suggests to the actor and the husband to file nothing. With little money and Murray putting him on the bus to leave town, he heads east to New York City where he lives, but has to stop at Jeffords as he lacks the funds to get the rest of the thousand miles or so home. Worse his memory is failing him since he got his brains battered. He needs to build a future, but his past is foggy. He knows he needs to find work to come up with the $33.42 to get home. Unemployment offers him no employment except to check with Jeffords Leather Works who hire the unskilled. He soon learns how difficult it is for a person with a disability to get help from others. Written in the 1960s, once the reader moves past the sticker shock of costs and Murray's crime scenario, readers will relish this powerful still timely tale of a man struggling with memory issues while trying to get home to regroup. Paul is a great central character as he realizes increasingly the consequences of his indiscretion as well as the futility of dealing with people to busy to assist him especially those paid to do so. This is a great look at society through the eyes of a man condemned for life due to one relatively minor gaffe. Harriet Klausner