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Amnesia: A novel

Amnesia: A novel - Peter Carey Got this from FirstReads, the giveaway program of GoodReads.

Even a couple days after finishing this book, I'm not sure I can describe what it's about, because I'm not sure I know. Certainly the main character is a journalist who seems to overestimate his own abilities and importance. And he's surrounded by shady characters who can't be trusted with a variety of motivations. So it's definitely interesting.

It's just that when the book ends, I'm not really sure what's happened. The epilogue helps. It's clearer than the rest of the book. But it seems like this book is an account of a battle of wills told by someone caught in the crossfire, who doesn't really understand what's going on. He's stuck in the past, desperate to link the current events with the political event of his youth responsible for his disillusionment with the government. In that sense, it's a true mystery; most of the time, I knew I had incomplete information.

I had expected something that's heavy in hacker-speak, technology controversy, and the after-math of the crime described in the blurb, a hacker opening the jails of Australia and America. That sounds like it would be a big deal. But that is dealt with in the first 3 pages of the novel and never really comes up again. It was necessary to make the stakes high, but nothing more. So the book was not at all what I expected.

What it interesting? Absolutely. Was is amazing and well-written? Ummm... I don't think so.