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The Book of M

A Novel
Length: 17 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Summary

Set in a dangerous near-future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears - an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife, Max, have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day, Max’s shadow disappears, too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

©2018 Peng Shepherd (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Book of 4 stars

Great concept and original take on the post-apocalypse idea. It's a very human tale, about what makes us who we are and love and loss. I thought the writing was great and some interesting narrative techniques really helped to keep things trucking along. The narrators were very good and the use of male and female for the respective POV's was the right choice.
I was engaged throughout, with only a few moments of wandering thoughts on my drives to and from work - that's a good sign of a compelling read!
I have some minor issues with the overall story and the level of disbelief-suspension required, plus it didn't quite hit the heights of my favourite audiobooks in terms of excitement, engagement or narration. Though it was still very good - hence the 4 star review.

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Enthralling and intriguing

Loved the idea of this book, a truly original concept. Beautifully written and engaging characters, heart wrenching at times. I feel like going back to the beginning and starting again immediately now I've finished, as I don't want the book to be over! I will certainly be looking forward to this authors next book when it happens! Great narration too.

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  • AJ
  • 25-01-19

ehhhh

I struggled at some parts and almost googled to see how it ended. The story is a little incredulous, but the book is well written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 12-07-18

Extraordinary and not to be missed

Post apocalypse meets speculative fantasy. Unexpected, delightful, violent at times,anxiety inducing, hopeful., imaginative, and gut wrenching. Just read it! You will not be sorry.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Housepants97
  • 18-06-18

Good but a bit wacky

If you’re looking for something like Station Eleven this book isn’t a bad option. It’s not as good but I also couldn’t put it down. Cool ideas but ultimately it was a bit... much. Amazing narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Abigail Knudson
  • 17-08-19

Bittersweet

The author does an amazing job! The performance was captivating. The actual story left me feeling a bit disappointed, but overall was a good listen.

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  • Christopher Matheson
  • 17-08-19

A Must Read

Just get this book. So much fun to read/listen - I just wanted to know what happens next. Awesome. This book is gravy

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • TAz
  • 03-08-19

Big buildup to not so great ending

Interesting story but took a long time to get to a somewhat underwhelming end. Narration is quite good. Worth a listen.

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  • nik
  • 28-07-19

wonderful story

unique and wonderful story. rich and memorable characters weave one of the best books I've read.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Customer US,MN
  • 27-07-19

Unique but not sci-fi

The audio voices bothered me, but I kept at it for the unique story. I was hoping for a strong sci-fi finish, but it ended up drifting to fantasy and mythology very quickly.

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  • Karen
  • 17-02-19

5 zillion stars to this epic story!

This book deserves ALL the stars!! ALL!! It’s brilliant, beautifully written, and one of the most hopeful post-apocalyptic books I’ve ever read. The Book of M is by far my favorite read so far of 2018. Whenever I think of my favorite all time epic books in this genre (The Stand, The Passage, and Swan Song) The Book of M will now and forever more be in my list.

I’m not sure how to even tell anyone what this book is about. It’s a story about how most people lose their shadow and with it, little by little, all of their memories, until they don’t even remember that they need to eat. Also with the loss of their shadow comes the ability to do magical things, like putting wings onto the head of a deer. But for each magical act, more memories are lost until there is nothing left of the original person.

We follow the journey of Max who after two years has finally lost her shadow and run away, Ory her husband who travels the countryside looking for her, Naz who was an Olympic archer in the time before, and the Amnesiac who lost all of his memories due to an accident before The Forgetting.

I seriously had major chills all up and down my spine as I read the last few pages of The Book of M. My heart!! I am sure I won’t be able to get this book out of my head for a long while and have already caught myself looking for my shadow several times!

Peng Shepherd is a new author that I will be watching out for. If her first novel is this amazing, I can’t imagine how incredible her next ones will be!!

I did a reread by Audible and it was even better this time around!

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  • G. Jeff Heinzelman
  • 13-02-19

The book of mediocrity

The story started out with promise, post-apocalyptic hope bubbled in my heart. Then came the middle where character development crumbled and a main player Max, became a simpering, overplayed weak female caricature. Why couldn't she be stronger? Who knows because page after page was dedicated to her relentingless pining for her husband. The vocal performance of Max nearly brought me to abandon the book, read the character, don't act the character, Zeller made Max almost unbearable with her overplayed obsequience. The last act was an improvement although I was fearful of a harlequin ending, still a bit of overdone melancholy. Performance was riddled grammatical errors and mispronunciations, the former perhaps from the book, the latter from poor production. Lots of promise but it fell flat in many areas.

Oh, and it's pronounced Lake Pon-chA-train, yes there is an ar in there but it's silent and certainly not pronounced Pon-chEr-train.