The Memory Police, by Yoko Ogawa (Review)

“You’re the same person now that you were when you wrote novels. The only thing that’s changed is that the books have been burnt. But even if paper itself disappears, words will remain. It will be all right, you’ll see. We haven’t lost the stories.”

Rating: 3.5 stars

Usually on a 3.5 stars I round it down to 3 stars out of 5 on Goodreads, but I made an exception for this one because I absolutely couldn’t put this book down. Once I’d gotten started, I was reading it at work in between orders, and stood in the kitchen waiting for food. 

The Memory Police is an allegorical dystopia that, ultimately is about so much more than it appears. On the island of this story lives a novelist, working on her manuscripts quietly and trying to keep under the radar of the Memory Police who anyone who doesn’t lose their memories when things disappear. But at heart, this is a book about humanity and personality and asks a lot of interesting questions about how our memories and experiences, and our feelings about those experience shape who we are as a person. It’s an overall unnerving read, actually discomforting in parts. I described it to my housemate as giving me a ‘general aura of stress’. I think this is going to be the kind of book that I’m thinking about for a while before all the implications sink in.

Note: This review is copied verbatim from my Goodreads account dated July 10th 2019.

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