Tuesday, December 25, 2018

G1046 Book Review of Amnesia Nights by Quinton Skinner

Name of Book: Amnesia Nights

Author: Quinton Skinner

ISBN: 978-1-909572-08-9

Publisher: Fentum Press

Type of book: Memory, secrets, hallucinations, business, money, finances, wealth, present times, week, Boston, Minneapolis, friendship, relationship, romance, family

Year it was published:2018

Summary:

John Wright’s mind is playing tricks on him. He sees people he thinks he knows, but they are only strangers. His memory flickers in and out of focus. He has not seen his fiancĂ©e, Iris, in over three years. He fled their Los Angeles apartment one night after a fit of rage that may or may not have left her dead. He has been living off a small fortune he stole from Iris's rich, manipulative businessman father. He bides his time and waits for the police to find him and charge him with his lover's murder. Has he killed her? Is she really dead?

Talented, clever, sophisticated Iris was his anchor, the one joy in his troubled, lonely life. At Harvard, she transformed John from a shy and awkward undergraduate into an elegant, self-assured man. But now she's gone, and his memories of her are obscured by a miasma of guilt and uncertainty.

One bright day Iris returns. Is she real, or just a cruel figment of his addled brain? Only a journey into the deepest corners of his past will reveal the truth about John and Iris--about life and death and love, and secrets too dark to reveal.

Characters:

Main character or characters are John "Jack Wright, Iris, Iris's father and Frank Lee. John "Jack" Wright comes from a poor family and has cut all connections off. Due to his father's career, John is obsessed with renovating an apartment and desires to be more than he is on his own terms and not just be known as a freeloader. Iris is a beautiful young woman who fell in love with John against her father's wishes and from an early age didn't have a mother. But despite that, she has a big heart and a lot of love -and money- for her boyfriend and her friend. Iris's father's background is very similar to that of Jack Wright, and the two seem to be cut from the same background in a domineering way. Iris's father is also determined, has little to no scruples and often gives a gift with one hand while plotting ways to take away the gift. Frank Lee is an ambitious friend of Jack and Iris. He is determined to be whatever he can be with also very little scruples.

Theme:

The message I got is about a mirror, how people become mirrors of our inner selves.

Plot:

The story is in first person narrative from John's point of view, and although the present happens within one week, John does tell the audience of his past as it relates to Iris and his childhood. What also I found interesting are how other characters subtly mirrored John, in particular Iris's father who seemed to be the older version of Jack; and Frank, who on the surface appears to have everything that Jack desired; so yes, very strong character build up. The plot and tale itself also have very strong points, and in fact, for me, the story doesn't contain weaknesses; its a tale that challenges the mind and dares to ask the reader what is real and what is but a lucid dream.

Author Information:
(From the book)

Quinton Skinner is the author of the novels AMNESIA NIGHTS, 14 DEGREES BELOW ZERO, and ODD ONE OUT, as well as non-fiction books on fatherhood and rock'n'roll. A former critic and magazine editor, he works as a journalist and communications specialist based in Minneapolis.

Opinion:

Reading this tale is similar to hallucinating because the tale dares to play with all senses at once, and the audience becomes very disoriented and unsure of whom to trust and whether or not these events have occurred. What I think is the amazing part of AMNESIA NIGHTS is the main character's unreliable personality, and how he seemed to want to self destruct any happiness he encountered in his life, which put his narrative into a big question. Also, if I might say, the coincidences and meetings are a little too obvious for my taste, while the rest of the novel will keep everyone guessing as to what happened and what drove John "Jack" Wright to do what he had done to his beloved girlfriend.

This was given for a review

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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