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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Memory Palace
Format: Hardcover|Change

on 11 August 2013
You really need to buy the hardcover version of this book to fully appreciate the illustrations. It's a dystopian novella, set in London a number of generations hence. In everyday life (which is truly crumbling), memory is outlawed - Memory and culture have degraded and virtually disappeared, except within a brave group of dissidents who are dangerously trying, at great cost to themselves, to keep the past alive. The story is short but profound, ironic, witty and painful. The ideas forming the base of the story and the story's execution are fabulously original and intriguing. The whole book, text and illustrations together, is wonderful - like a treasure trove to be poured over and relished. The hardcover version is a compact work of art. I can't wait to see the Memory Palace exhibition at the V&A. Loved it!

PS Have now seen the V&A Memory Palace: Wonderful artwork & graphics, beautiful, huge complex, minutely detailed structures & fantasies, stunning intricate paintings of a dystopian world generations into the future. Wow! Utterly beautiful stuff. It is actually screaming out for another book, one which captures the artwork and the graphic text of the exhibit itself in colour and in detail - A beautifully executed pop-up book would be perfect.
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on 21 July 2013
When I went to the V&A exhibition of this I was fascinated but way too tired to really appreciate the words on the walls and the real meaning behind it, so I bought the book.

It's a quick read but I found it harrowing. This is my first time reading any Kunzru and his writing lifts off the page. The world he creates, in so few words, is memorising yet a little terrifying and for me, definitely confusing in a really great way. My sympathies changed several times throughout the book. I understand the main aim of 'the Thing' - getting back to nature- but at the same time understand the plight of people wanting to remember everything.

There is one particular scene near the end which is especially moving as throughout it (and it's quite short) my mind was jumping around like crazy, thinking of how we treat the world today and how we live our lives. The flower child in me found this book to be a truly amazing experience and really made an impression on me.

Aside from the writing, the illustrations are fantastic and give a good, but not perfect, view into what the exhibition was like. There is one particular real life model that is shown on page 18 & 19 that is quite possibly one of the most impressive wooden artworks I've ever seen. I could of spent hours staring at it.

If you get a chance to go to the V&A, I definitely recommend both seeing the exhibition, playing around with the memory posters & buying this book!
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on 20 June 2013
This is the illustrated short fiction story by Hari Kunzru that informs the original Memory Palace exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum - an exhibition that takes this story as its jumping off point and aims to create a non-linear or walk through graphic novel within the Museum.

It's a bold idea, and the success of the project hangs on the central narrative that Kunzru has created here. Fortunately he's more than up to the task, and his tale of an imprisoned Memorialist accused of "membership of an internet" in a future London where all electronics have been wiped out by a vast magnetic storm, is a wonderfully wry, sly and moving piece of modern dystopian fiction in the vein of classics like Riddley Walker.

While the story is very short, the book itself is a fantastic object embossed in an eroded copper and featuring multiple illustrations and text inserts from the exhibition, all of which make the experience of reading the story part graphic novel, part exhibition catalogue and part science fiction short story.

You don't have to have read the book to experience the exhibition, but you'll definitely want to own it afterwards.

In the meantime, this is a bold experiment that pushes the idea of what it is to experience a story and capture a memory in exciting new ways, and I'd definitely recommend it.
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on 9 July 2013
Imagine a world where memory has gone. Not only gone but forbidden. The world created by Kunzru Hari is a desperately frightening one. This short and alarming tale is illustrated in the book and in the wonderful exhibition at the V&A museum in London, by a collection of very creative minds. What is left of London and the confusion of the fragments of memories left in this dystopia are not comfortable reading at times, but combined with the exhibition really challenge thinking. Then of course, if you were allowed one memory to retain from your life, only one mind, what would it be?
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on 28 August 2013
This is an interesting project and an absorbing book. The book is linked to exhibits at the V&A where graphic artists interpreted various aspects of the book. I bought it after watching a SKY programme about the project. The programme shows more of the graphics than appear in the book, although a personal visit to the galleries showing the graphics would be rewarding. I wasn't disappointed - nor was my 14 year old grandson who did it in reverse by reading the book then watching the programme on SKY.
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on 30 January 2014
I bought this book after visited the V&A Museum. I thought the exhibition was so-so, and after reading the book, I thought the exhibition got worse! Yes, that means the book is great! I'm not a heavy reader but this book got my hooked for 2-3 hours!

Let's hope the US don't make a movie out of this.
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on 15 December 2016
A smart, considered and sensitive book.
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on 4 August 2013
Unusual to read a book that was specifically written to coincide with an exhibition. Very emotive but brilliantly written and illustrated. Planning to visit the V&A to see the exhibition. Am working on my memory palace!!
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on 14 November 2013
This book is amazing. It arrived in very good condition and was totally worth every penny. this is the cheapest you'll probably get the book so i would definitely advise buying it.
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on 10 February 2016
Enjoyed it
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