• PreviousNext •

Review Excerpts

Full Reviews

Prisoner in a Red-Rose Chain
The Memory Artists

The Memory Artists
(Press excerpts)

  • Best Novel, Canadian Authors Association Award (2005)
  • Best Novel nominee, Sunburst Award (2005)
  • Best Novel nominee, Rogers' Writers Trust Award (2004)
  • Best Novel nominee, Hugh MacLennan Prize (2004)
  • Best Novel nominee, WordsWorthy Award (2004)
  • "Book of the Year," Sunday Telegraph
  • "Book of the Year," Montreal Mirror
  • Published in 14 countries worldwide
(U.S.A., 2006)
  • "The characters are well-meaning, generous and sweet-even the brilliant, misanthropic (and hilarious) ladies' man Norval.... This is a rich novel, erudite and funny... The Memory Artists is a pleasure to read; it's strangely uplifting to spend time with these flawed but humane characters." - The New York Times
  • "A wonderfully complex and unpredictably moving novel that juggles five deeply written and unique characters who are hard to forget." - Entertainment Weekly
  • "Essential reading." - Esquire
  • "A dashing, postmodern debut novel...Moore exhibits a nimble, sprightly touch, with understated emotive depths; his rendering of Stella's sadly solipsistic diary is particularly heart-wrenching." - Publishers Weekly
  • "A kaleidoscopic melodrama that earns points for its high-art stylistics, yet still works all the emotions." - Kirkus Reviews
  • This exceptionally entertaining and clever novel...deftly explores the intricacies of human memory while drawing a touching portrait of human relationships. Moore manages a rare combination of postmodern hyperintelligence, emotional insightfulness, and cutting humor...[a} skill full balance of character study and intellectualism." *Starred review* - Library Journal
  • "This ingenious novel makes for mesmerizing reading. Even more entertaining than its inventive construction is its blazing humor... The witty Moore explores every facet of memory—as both a burden and a blessing—in this delightful and inspired story." *Starred review* - Booklist
  • "Critic's Pick" - Chicago Reader
  • "One of the most remarkable books I've read in years... Moore's prose is like liquid poetry, finding wonder in every surface it touches, every ideal it reflects, every notion, character, or flaw that it discovers... It really is a brilliant book." - Little Professor (Birmingham, Alabama)
  • "The complexity of the authorship adds to the overall believability of the novel... The characters are as colorful as the spectrum in Noel's mind. Moore does an excellent job of revealing them in unconventional ways." - Indiana Daily (Indianapolis)
(U.K., 2004-2005)
  • "A model of inventiveness." - Times Literary Supplement
  • "All the hallmarks of [Moore's] fiction are here. They include an ability to create engaging characters, and a fine balance of warmth, insight and eviscerating humour." - Independent
  • "The story is unforgettably human... leaves the reader spellbound."- Scotland on Sunday
  • "It is not often that I truly cannot decide whether a tale is fact or fiction... Jeffrey Moore uses Noel's genius and synaesthesia to offer beautiful descriptions of luridly coloured (and memory dysfunctional) characters, as well as his experience of his mother's disease to portray the agony of watching a loved one's inevitable decline. He also finds time to delve into the sometimes murky world of medical research and comment on the role of medicine as an interface between science and art...wonderfully intense." - The Lancet
  • "The narrative tells of fear and moving self-sufficiency among people who can't always be sure where their minds are wandering. Moore's bittersweet smarts move the focus between the troubled characters... The disjunctions in memory jolt the novel, but often seem as nothing compared to old-fashioned romantic confusion." - Guardian
  • "Combines smartness with wisdom." - David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas, in Sunday Telegraph Books of the Year
  • "A challenging book, bristling with scientific and literary references from Feynman to Baudelaire by way of Nietzsche and Rossetti, this will not fail to make a huge impact." - Good Book Guide
  • "Jeffrey Moore is one of those writers whose anarchic imagination and deeply irreverent take on life give him a unique facility to entertain. Which is exactly what he does, stupendously, in The Memory Artists... The story develops in a dizzying whirlwind of complex twists and turns. The chaotic actions and reactions, the disturbing and endearing cast draw one into an alternative reality. It's like being spiked with acid. A cerebral assault course... The Memory Artists is extraordinarily erudite and written with consummate elegance. It is hilarious, filled with pathos and irony, twisted, satirical, tragicomic and extremely challenging. It is a delight... beautiful... inspired, what more can I say? Read it."- Chatshow Network
  • "Jeffrey Moore's The Memory Artists is a quick-witted, hilarious contemporary tale of the tricks of memory and the senses." - Edinburgh Festival
  • "There is a warmth and hope — even love — that infuses the relationships between the characters, all in their different ways locked in their personal prisons." - Morning Star
(CANADA, 2004-2005)
  • "Explosions of colour set in motion this inventive, complex novel of shifting perceptions. Winner of the Canadian Authors Association Award and short-listed for several other prizes..." Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  • "Twisted, tragicomic and extremely entertaining... The Memory Artists is one of those few novels that can pack humour, pathos, satire, love, friendship, hope and cynicism all in one volume... Like Life of Pi, The Memory Artists is one of those tales too fantastic to be true, yet so convincingly told that we can almost believe it. By turns puzzling, heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny, Jeffrey Moore's witty prose will leave the reader out of breath at the end, wondering what the hell just happened." - The Link (Montreal)
  • "Ingenious... mesmerizing... reading it is like immersing oneself in a warm bath of words and ideas. There are many rich nuggets buried in The Memory Artists." - The Gazette (Montreal)
  • "An astonishing work of sheer scholarship and galley-slave research, yet full-on page-turner, with expected mordant Moore wit but real love and humanity, too...I believe congratulations are in order, but know I will have to take a number and go to the back of the line." - John Griffin (film critic, The Gazette)
  • "A metafictive puzzle box, a carefully structured collage of narrative voices... The novel is a delight... challenging, often beautiful, and frequently inspired narrative play." - Straight (Vancouver)
  • "A journey of fleeting moments and repetitive scenes, juxtaposing various shades of recollection with a dance of words... The Memory Artists is a MARVEL." - Edmonton Journal
  • "Virtuoso wit... Pythonesque (as in Monty, not lethal serpent)... crawling with tragic irony. Sad and compelling." - Montreal Mirror
  • "Genuinely moving... characters both unique and recognizable." - Vancouver Sun
  • "The Memory Artists is an amazing book... Funny and bittersweet, Moore's novel is a real delight." - CBC Radio
  • "A hilarious yet poignant book about a young genius trying to deal with his mother's Alzheimer's... Entertaining and intelligent." - Flare (Toronto)
  • "Ingenious... A brainy follow-up to Red-Rose Chain." - Montreal Review of Books
  • "Believable emotion and humour... Most poignant... Touches the reader like a fairy tale." - St. Albert Gazette (Alberta)
  • "Moore's comic genius is undisputed...The oddball relationship between the son who can't forget and the mother who can't remember is fraught with hope and laughter... Ribald and compelling, the humorist is always erudite and there many hilarious sequences that left me aching for more." - Hour (Montreal)
  • "All the ingredients of an entertaining, seductive mystery... Moore repeatedly displays his ability to draw characters through subtle gestures." - Quill & Quire (Toronto)
  • "Infused with the same wit, verve and zany imagination that energises Red-Rose Chain... The sections that deal with Stella's Alzheimer's are wonderfully written and genuinely moving." - Literary Review of Canada
  • "Jeffrey Moore's characters are brilliant and infuriating. Despicable and seductive. The Memory Artists is one of the few contemporary novels I plan to read again." - The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon)
  • "Something about [Moore's] play with memory touched and fascinated me... The book is terrifying but comforting at the same time. The intense playfulness, of course, is comforting, as that kind of humour always is, but it's also got something to do with the warmth of the irony that saturates the book. So much irony these days is cheap and cynical, not a trace of authentic feeling... The Memory Artists made me think and feel at the same time, which is said to be one of the definitions of poetry. Great stuff!" - Magdalene Redekop, University of Toronto
  • "Complex, ambitious structure ... Moore should be commended for his inventiveness." - Globe & Mail
  • "An extraordinary story of memory, love and colour... Inspired by his own parents' battles with Alzheimer's, Moore has created a glittering mosaic of a book, full of diagrams, colour charts, diary entries and twists and turns. It offers a unique vision of the power and scope of the human mind." - Books on Line
  • "A novel that pushes at the edges of expectations, [that] dares to be different... Particularly touching... The chemistry that exists among the characters is very real and truly honest." - Marc Horton (Books Editor), Edmonton Journal
  • "Excellent... An inventive and compassionate look at those who are prisoners of their own minds." - Cover to Cover (CTV)
  • "Cogent observations... A novel of ideas, and the ideas are very good." - University of Toronto Bookstore Review
  • "The winner of the Commonwealth Prize has again proven his talent for wry commentary... Moore's clever, complicated construction testifies to his ability and broad imagination." - Winnipeg Free Press
  • "This is a wonderful, complex and fascinating novel, which is beautifully written! It is about living with and treating Alzheimer's disease, about having and living with synesthesia, about a young man's search for life, meaning and growing up, about the complexities and mysteries of relationships and their effects on people's lives. About artists, poets and research scientists. And more. I will only say, Read this book! It will engage, surprise, absorb and fascinate you. I greatly look forward to more writing from this author!" - Human Rights Educator
  • "Springing from a highly original and ironic premise, The Memory Artists is a faultlessly executed piece of work. The tragicomic characters are both engaging and believable and the book delivers a powerful conclusion that is surprising, but in retrospect, almost predictable. The storytelling is first-rate and the characters are easily recognizable. In my mind's eye I kept seeing a young Leonard Cohen cast in the role of Norval and the whole thing is crying out for a film adaptation. It's a clever, engaging and satisfying read."
  • "The Memory Artists brings the world of memory to life. In its portrayal of characters struggling with childhood recollections, amnesia and Alzheimer's, this novel forms a rich tapestry of perspectives. Jeffrey Moore has the knack of creating lively and memorable fiction that is both full of wit and deep perception."
  • "This engaging novel is Nabokovian in its wit and style, but still manages to bring forth an individual voice which can make you laugh and cry on the same page." - Judges' comments, Canadian Association of Authors Award for Best Novel
  • "In this surprising and intriguing novel, a group of characters on a quest for a memory pill excavate their own pacts with the past. Presided over by a ghost-writer who combines diary entries, lab notes, and interviews with ’dramatic reconstructions,’ THE MEMORY ARTISTS is a brilliant collation of the multiple faces of loss and retention in the aesthetic kingdom of memory. Author Jeffrey Moore explores memory as fabulous torture, blessing and curse, muse and mirage, logos and discovery." - Jury, Sunburst Awards
(International, 2005-2006)
  • "Both hilarious and heartbreaking... The Memory Artists is a well written and thought-provoking novel that allows readers to look at the world from an intriguingly different point of view." - Exclusive Books, "Book of the Week" (South Africa)
  • Reviewed extensively throughout the world, in Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland, France, Greece, New Zealand, Serbia, Israel, Turkey, Japan, South Africa.