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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Hurley, King: The Interview | Main | Sholes, Lynn; Moore, Joe: The Last Secret »

Hunter, Kate: The Dream Sequence

  

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Impetus Press © 2006, 127 pages [amazon]

The protagonist of Kate Hunter's novella The Dream Sequence wakes up without her memory in a reality readers won't find familiar, a world in which seeking medical attention for one's amnesia apparently isn't the done thing. Instead, Hunter's character attempts to piece together her past through her dreams and through consultation with a witch doctor. The diagnosis: she's lost her memory because she's been cursed--a fate which seems to be fairly common in Hunter's world.

Toward the book's end her protagonist dreams of a man Borges might have concocted, whose memory runs in the wrong direction: he "remembers" the future, but once his memories are lived they are lost to him.Hunter's amnesiac tells her story in the first person, describing a reality that is not quite in focus and a series of dreams that are mostly incomprehensible. Other stories are nested within hers, primarily the witch doctor's account of a former patient's reported experiences. The book's prologue removes readers one step further from the events described in the book. Hunter thus explores the nature and limitations of memory while playing with the narrative form, her protagonist forced to navigate a world that doesn't quite make sense. The effect is something like Memento meets Alice in Wonderland.

There are things I liked about the book. Hunter has a talent for description:

"I got up from the bed and walked over to the window and pulled it upwards and all of a sudden it wasn't quiet anymore--the sounds of the night had collected outside the window, pressing against the glass, and opening it made them fall inwards, into the room in a rush; the sirens and the rumble of traffic were taking shape and dispersing while pieces of conversation floated through the air into the room like falling leaves."
And she has interesting things to say about the nature of memory. Toward the book's end her protagonist dreams of a man Borges might have concocted, whose memory runs in the wrong direction: he "remembers" the future, but once his memories are lived they are lost to him.

Hunter's book contains a number of such worthy kernels, but I found the story as a whole too disjointed and hard to follow to be enjoyable. But then I don't like Alice in Wonderland much either. I'm sure Hunter will find more cerebral readers who will appreciate what she's doing in her novel better than I can.

Review summary: Kate Hunter's protagonist wakes up without her memory and attempts to piece together her past through her dreams and through consultation with a witch doctor. The diagnosis: she's lost her memory because she's been cursed. Hunter's amnesiac tells her story in the first person, describing a reality that is not quite in focus and a series of dreams that are mostly incomprehensible. Other stories are nested within hers, primarily the witch doctor's account of a former patient's reported experiences. Hunter thus explores the nature and limitations of memory while playing with the narrative form, her protagonist forced to navigate a world that doesn't quite make sense. The effect is something like Memento meets Alice in Wonderland. Hunter has a talent for description, and she has interesting things to say about the nature of memory. But I found the story too disjointed and hard to follow to be enjoyable.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.