Nick Bantock,
The Forgetting Room
(Harper Collins, 1997)

The Forgetting Room is equal parts diary, novel, artistic "work-in-progress" and surrealist game. Nick Bantock creates another stunning masterpiece steeped in the mystery of Spain.

The novel details the seven days Armon Hurt spends in Rondo, Spain, after the death of his grandfather. Following the clues he finds in his grandfather's study, Armon gradually returns to the things he learned during art lessons in the same study as a child. His grandfather's instructions lead him on a journey through memory and time, caught in the magic of Moorish legend and the "duende," in order to resolve a painful secret. In the process, Armon confronts the disturbing reality of his own life and emerges with a strong appreciation for his grandfather's lessons.

Bantock's art once again provides an intricate accompaniment to the story. Replete with fold-out instruction booklets, wedding invitations and a step-by-step examination of Armon's developing art, The Forgetting Room is a narrative marriage of art and text.

[ by Audrey M. Clark ]

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