Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Forgetting Room by Nick Bantock

Years ago, I read Bantock’s Griffin and Sabine tetralogy and was thoroughly enchanted by their long-distance courtship. The drawings and postcards and letters provided an air of mystery and a sense of peeking into the private lives of Griffin and Sabine. I lost touch with Bantock, until I came across this volume at a used book sale.

I read it in one sitting – interrupted only by a steaming bowl of Southwestern Stew my wife made last weekend. The Spanish connection was mildly eerie.

This book tells the story of Armin Hurt who travels to Rondo, Spain to dispose of his grandfather’s house, which he inherited on the old man’s death. He was close to his grandfather, but when Armin’s family moved to Chicago, they lost touch. Grandfather put a game inside the house with clues, so Armin could, in the words of Rafael’s will, “find his belonging.”

Enchanting, absorbing, full of surprises and neat tricks of the mind, spirit, and body. Bantock has at least two other books, and I must find them. Five stars

--Chiron, 12/27/08

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