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A TRACE OF MEMORY [Kindle Edition]

Keith Laumer
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Great Pulp Space Adventure Classic from Hugo and Nebula and Hugo Nominee Author! From the Ruins of Stonehenge to the Starships of Vallon he sought the secret of a trace of memory. When the man named Legion signed on as a soldier of fortune he did not expect to end up as the master of a private island nor to cower in ancient druid pits nor fight for his life in the great hall of Okk-Hamiloth, on a planet galaxies away. Keith Laumer, the master storyteller of interstellar adventure sweeps you through time and space in a novel of retribution.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 349 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: PageTurner (22 May 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001CQC9S2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #293,769 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "That was foolish of you Legion." 27 Mar 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Legion is an ex-intelligence officer, down on his luck, suddenly hired by a mysterious millionaire to help him recover his lost memories ...
For Legion, this is just the beginning of a spectacular crash-bang adventure that ultimately leads to another world.
Keith Laumer has a habit of turning out really enjoyable adventure books, and this is a prime example. Whilst he's not the greatest writer, nor even the most skilled plotter, Laumer can spin a yarn that grabs the reader and doesn't let loose.
(Although Laumer enthusiasts may enjoy his increasingly surreal "Retief" books, or his "Bolo" stories, newcomers to the author should read this book, or "The Monitors", or "Dinosaur Beach").
If you want a fast-paced adventure with a modicum of storyline and a load of humour, Laumer and "A Trace of Memory" could be a good choice for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars well worth a read 17 Nov 2011
By Rob
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
a science fiction adventure, not too heavy on the science and a good page turner; earlier comments give enough of the plot

i found it on Kindle 40 years after reading it first and still enjoyed it

it has nuances of the better "Plague of Demons" which i haven't found on Kindle, yet
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start, but really worth the effort 21 Dec 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a bit of a Keith Laumer fan, so it was great to find this book on Kindle (more please Amazon).

Although it takes a little time to get going, it's worth it in the end. As with most Laumer books, this is pure escapism rather than serious Science Fiction but that makes it great light reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trace of Memory 21 Jun 2001
By Thomas Gentry-Funk - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The librarian at my high school introduced me to this book in 9th grade (1977) I was blown away by the creativity of the story. Today, I read the same tattered text (purchased during a library book sale) bound by the library. The story of Foster and his odd memories creates a world familiar yet surreal. Truly one of the best sci fi books I have ever read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man of Two Worlds 8 Oct 2008
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
A Trace of Memory (1963) is the second SF novel by this author. It starts in the far past and continues into contemporary times.

Far in the past, a man awoke in a starship to find himself surrounded by dead men. Only Ammaerlin was still alive, but close to death. He made a recording of Ammaerlin's memories and pocketed the cylinder containing his own memory trace. Then the Hunters found him and he fled the spacecraft.

When the shuttle landed on the world below, he buried Ammaerlin within the landing circles. Then primitives armed with bronze weapons cut him off from the shuttle. The locals looted the landing craft, but they did something that caused it to return to the spaceship in orbit.

In this novel, Legion is a former music student, military intelligence agent, and hard luck case. If it wasn't for bad luck, he would have no luck at all. He reads an advertisement in the Mayport newspaper about adventure, but crumples the paper and returns to his intentions of robbing one of the stores.

Foster had placed the advertisement and others like it in various newspapers for over eight years. Many had answered the ads, but none were suitable for his task. Then he gets a call from the local police about a man claiming to be answering the ad and drives to the station to meet him.

Foster believes that Legion is the man that he wants. Still, Legion lacks self-confidence. Only the appearance of Hunters in the house convinces Legion to stick with him. They manage to elude the Hunters and flee out of state.

In this story, the Mayport police discover that Foster is no longer present in his home. They find various weapons within the house and suspect the structure has been used by criminal elements. They decide that Legion was a northern hoodlum who had murdered Foster and put out an all-points bulletin on him.

Then the local police find Foster's car parked outside the hotel where they are staying. When he returns to the room, Foster has gone through the Change and now remembers nothing of his former life. The car -- with its box of money and papers -- is unattainable, so Legion and Foster take a bus out of town.

Foster has an unusual notebook containing strange writing. Some entries are written in plain English, but the first such are dated in the eighteenth century. Legion starts reading the English entries and discovers that the entries are identical with Foster's handwriting.

Foster notices a scruff mark on the nearly indestructible back cover of the notebook and Legion uses a microscope to see an encryption key. He translates the encrypted middle section and finds some coordinates of the home nest of the Hunters. They interpret the writings to refer to Stonehenge.

This tale takes Legion and Foster inside an ancient control center with instruments and screens. The radar screen shows an object at a very high altitude. Legion pushes a button and the shuttle returns to Earth. Then they board the landing craft and fly off to the mother ship.

The story follows one of the major themes in this author's works. Something strange is found and further investigation reveals an even stranger situation. In Worlds of the Imperium, Bayard finds evidence of alternate worlds. In this story, Legion finds artifacts of an ancient interstellar civilization. Enjoy!

Highly recommended for Laumer fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of ancient civilizations, strange enemies, and high adventure.

-Arthur W. Jordin
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Trace of Memory 4 April 2000
By Russell C. Longmire - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Always been a fan of Keith Laumer but this is one of his best. It was the second book he got published.His books are full of wit and one liners. I must have read this book 20 times at least. When I go on a short trip and am not reading anything else, i bring this book to re-read. Its full of action and humor. A great story from a great but under rated writer. After being out of print for a number of years, this book is back in print. I wish the science fiction book club would re-issue this book and I wish one of the makers of audio books would finally get around to this one.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Remember Camelot 22 Mar 2008
By Paul Camp - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
_A Trace of Memory_, Keith Laumer's second novel, was originally serialized in _Amazing_ in 1962 and published in book form the following year. It was immediately recognized as a good science fiction adventure story by critics and readers alike.

What was not discussed-- at least, not to my knowledge-- were the Arthurian threads running through the novel. The enigmatic Foster is revealed fairly early in the novel to be the historical King Arthur, who abandoned the throne of England when his knights began to realize that he did not age. A number of the names of people and places are Arthurian. Foster's companion whom he buries is named Ammaerlin (Merlin); his home planet is Vallon (Avallon), and its capital city is Okk-Hamiloth (Camelot); the villainous despot of Vallon is Ommodurad (Mordred); and the identity that Legion adopts on Vallon is Drgn (dragon). There are other names of this sort that you may look up if you wish. I don't want to give away the ending of the novel, but I think that it is fair to say that the last few chapters draw heavily on Arthurian legend.

Laumer reinforces the Arthurian threads with a number of circle images throughout the novel: a notebook cover and signet rings embossed with two concentric circles... Stonehenge... the double orbits of the two planets in the Vallonian system... the rings on a tabletop in an ancient English pub... the great ring-boards of Okk-Hamiloth and Bar-Panderone... a sword embedded in a circular design in a castle wall... Collectively, they are reminiscent of the round table or of Excalibur-- of age, solidity, tradition.

Laumer also uses occasional musical images that reinforce the Arthurian tone of the novel. The hero, Legion, is a one-time music major. When Legion first stays at Foster's home, Foster is listening to the _Liebestod_. When Legion first enters the beautiful but empty city of Okk-Hamiloth, he plays Ravel's _Pavanne for a Dead Princess_ on the clarinet "and felt a forlorn nostalgia for a glory I had never known..." (109). But shortly afterward, when he is enslaved by a baser, more primitive civilization, he plays only tunes such as the _Beer Barrel Polka_ and _Little Brown Jug_. Laumer uses musical imagery to comment on man's nobility or lack of nobility.

Laumer also uses musical imagery to comment on Legion's character in one scene. Halfway through the novel, Legion has made his fortune on Earth. He is sitting on his island retreat smoking a fine cigar "and listening to the best music a thousand dollar hi-fi could produce" (76). It is an indication that Legion's concerns at this time are largely materialistic. He has not yet learned to to be more altruistic, to live for higher ideals.

It would be overstating the case to say that _A Trace of Memory_ is a retelling of the Arthurian legend. For one thing, Legion does not seem to be modeled on any Arthurian character. Indeed, through most of the novel, he is set up as a foil to Foster. He is more informal, more down-to-earth, more democratic, more practical, more witty. For another thing, the overall plot of the novel does not seem to rely heavily on any Arthurian legend. It is only at the end that the Arthurian references become obvious.

But if the novel is not a strict retelling of the Arthurian legend, it does seem to use Camelot as an ideal of chivalry and nobility that Laumer feels that most of mankind fails to obtain. It is also a goal toward which Legion unconsciously, almost against his will, strives. At the opening of the novel, he is a self-pitying vagrant contemplating robbery. At the close of the novel, he is a genuinely noble hero. Part of the fun is watching Legion change and grow along the way.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Begging for a reprint! 5 Jan 2000
By E. Davido - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fabulous book! Worth reading over and over again (I have for 15 years or so). Wonderful imagery and plot.
Please someone convince the publisher to do another reissue of this title! I have been trying for over a week to remember the title or the author and finally remembered a few minutes ago only to find out it is out of print. I am willing to drive from Seattle to Portland (to Powell's bookstore!) this Saturday to find a copy. That is how good this book is!
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