Thursday, March 26, 2015

Five top books that use amnesia effectively

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well.

At B & N Reads Somers tagged five books that use amnesia effectively, including:
The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum

After all this time, and so many movies and reboots of those movies, it’s easy to boil Jason Bourne down to the image of Matt Damon performing some fairly improbable stunts, but let’s not forget that Ludlum expertly used amnesia as a way to propel the plot of his classic spy novel, not merely to play tricks with the reader. This is another book that plays with identity, using a character who assumes several throughout his life and the story itself, and it uses the lack of memory as a way of exploring how much of who we are is where we’ve been. One of the great things about how amnesia is handled in this book is the way Ludlum ensures that Bourne’s adversaries don’t always realize he’s lost his memory for most of the story, using the condition to create tension instead of covering plot holes.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue