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How to Forget Paperback – 12 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552771325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552771320
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 638,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

From www.mariusbrill.com:

I'm a novelist, journalist and film maker mainly interested in Neuroscience, Conjuring, Hustles, Deception, Illusion, Delusion and the nature of Love This is how the TLS summed me up:

"Puns, gags, witty observations, surreal flights, there is a laugh of some sort in every line... A quip for Brill is the Cleopatra for which he will give up the world and consider it well lost."

And that's a fair cop... which is more than you'll find in The Wire.

Began my career in journalism at The Evening Standard in 1985, becoming their first photo-journalist before going on to write for several national newspapers. Then, age 26, I went up to Oxford to read English. I continued working for the Sunday Times and for a while was the Sunday Express science editor. Other moments I might have capitalized on, but failed to, include: at 19 my first play 'Frikzhan', won the 1985 National Youth Theatre/Texaco Most Promising Playwright Award; my radio play 'sLaughter In The Dark' won the 1991 BBC Young Writers Festival and I wrote the subsequent popular comedy series for Radio 4 broadcast in 1995; the script for my short film, 'Diary of a Surreal Killer' starring Paula Hamilton and A.A.Gill was nominated for the 1997 BAFTA Carl Foreman Award. I've written a number of television documentaries - which have included the award winning BBC/A&E series 'Prohibition'. Making Love was my first novel. How to Forget, out in August 2011 is my second.

Product Description

Review

"Fantastic, hilarious... verbal pyrotechnics, supported by a fecund imagination of the first order" (The Times)

"How to Forget is a genuinely funny romp through some of the darker areas of the human mind and some of the more life-threatening areas of mentalism and magic. An engaging and good-hearted read" (A L Kennedy)

"A smorgasbord of romantic romp, pseudo-scholarship, urban melodrama and metafictional mystery" (Time Out)

"Highly entertaining yet intelligent comic novel...Brill's sense of fun is evident on every page" (Times Literary Supplement)

"An absurd, hilarious, spy-cum-action-cum-postmodern thriller, it is incredibly clever without showing off, self-referential without being self-congratulatory, and a damn good read. Fantastic" (The List)

Book Description

Mesmeric storytelling of memory, magic and misdirection

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an extremely clever and funny novel. Peter is a magician and the hero of our story. His life turns on a pivotal moment, when a childrens birthday party went hysterically and horribly wrong (I thought it was the funniest part of the book) and he is reduced to entertaining geriatric patients in a care home. There he befriends Cedric, who was once a famous magician himself, and the neuroscientist Dr Tavasligh, who is currently working on memories and Alzheimer's patients. Cedric is the father of Kate, a con artist, who is on the FBI's most wanted page and being pursued by Agent Brown - an agent with a personal vendetta.

Dr Tavasligh sees Peter as his perfect patient - a man who can replace his past. Peter's story is narrated by Tavasligh, as a way of preserving his old life, and Peter's life is about to get a whole lot more interesting. When Peter meets Kate, he sees the daughter who abandoned her father and she sees a life that she cannot remember. As Kate is forced to flee, again, Peter finds himself also on the run and, quite frankly, having the time of his life. But what of his nemesis, the TV charlatan Titus Black? The boy who ruined Peter's life and is now a famous and successful star? Can Kate help him wreak revenge and can they trust each other enough to pull it off - will Peter win for once?

There follows an amazing chase, with many funny and wonderful characters. Titus Black, the smarmy TV personality and his two sidekicks, a kind of Jewish Ronnie and Reggie Kray double act; Agent Brown, always hot on the trail, and Peter and Kate trying to evade capture and come out on top. The book is extremely clever, with a fast paced plot and wonderful dialogue, plus so many brilliant one liners you will be unable to stop yourself laughing out loud. A real winner for a feel good read and wonderfully written. Excellent book, which I really enjoyed and highly recommend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By marcoscu TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
You've got to stay alert while reading How to Forget; ironically, you also need a good memory, because there's a multitude of twists and turns, sudden changes of direction, shifting identities and aliases as you follow the clever, crude and utterly compelling tale of poor Peter, aka Mr Magicov, entertainer to the elderly, whose life was ruined in a disastrous and hilarious child molestation case, orchestrated by the monstrous Titus, now a celebrity illusionist in the Derren Brown mould.

The story follows Peter's struggles to forget his agonising past and make a new life, a struggle pushed to dizzy new heights (and very much against Peter's will), by self-obsessed con-artist Kate, on the run from her own nemesis, the obsessive and sociopathically vicious FBI Agent Brown. I don't think it gives too much away to say the tale ends with a delicious double twist in which practically everyone gets their just deserts.

The 'academic' inserts seemed a tad intrusive, interrupting, as they did, an otherwise fast-moving, page-turning narrative. I feel they would have worked better if they could have been somehow woven into the story, rather than as ever-more distracting `case-notes'. I did find myself skimming them a little, as the plot became ever more compelling.

How to Forget is a terrific story with brilliantly worked characters and an intelligent, fast-moving plot. One of the best novels I've read this year and very highly recommended indeed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
'How to Forget' is a preposterous but highly enjoyable novel. It is filled with swindles and confidence tricks, magic and sleight-of-hand. There is also some cracking wordplay (or maybe dreadful puns, depending on how you feel about such things).

I found the start of the novel as little confusing. The opening of the book, tells how Marius Brill has ordered the notes of Dr Tavisligh, a controversial neuroscientist. Tavisligh has disappeared and Brill has taken on the job of ordering the notes of her last experiment into some sort of order. The story follows several points of view, and is interspersed with clippings from various (fictional) scientific publications. This led to a rather broken up beginning. It was interesting but it was hard to see how a narrative might evolve. Part Two of the novel (from page 60) blew my misgivings away.

The two main characters are Peter, an accomplished magician, who, after a particularly putrescent child played a trick on him, is on the sex offenders register, and Kate, a con-artist down on her luck. There is a great ensemble cast, in particular Titus, a smarmy Derren Brown type TV hypnotist and Agent Brown, the dogged FBI agent who has been tracking Kate for most of his career.

The reader is treated some great bluffs and double bluffs, double crosses and sleight-of-hands. It's all breathtakingly inventive. I'm not sure the plot would stand up to scrutiny, it's quite a house of cards that Brill has built, and it probably wouldn't be hard to knock it down. But what sort of curmudgeon would want to do that?

There is also a serious side to the novel. Much of it deals with our memories, and how sometimes life would be so much easier if we could simply forget.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Becky P VINE VOICE on 22 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book really draws you in - I don't want to tell you the story, because I don't want to spoil it for you. Don't read anything about the content beforehand - just discover it as you read! As the book begins, various stories intertwine and leave you really wanting to know more. As you read on, the stories start to connect to each other and you start to feel like you are getting to understand more and more what is happening. And then it all speeds up into a fast-paced, action-packed thriller. Towards the end I really couldn't put it down. It's not an original structure for a novel, but the subject matter makes it original and unusual - and I found it really fascinating. The themes of memory, truth and trust run through the whole book. There are some times when you need to 'suspend your disbelief' and just go with it, and there were a few things that didn't quite ring true, but I don't want to nitpick. I thought this was a brilliant book and I really enjoyed it.
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