Posted by: chartroose | November 4, 2008

The Memorist — Review and Giveaway

M. J. Rose, 2008, 533 p.

The Memorist is probably the most entertaining novel I’ve read all year.  I’ve read a lot of good (and a couple of great) ones, but none of them were as exciting as this one.  I initially approached it with trepidation and skepticism because it’s a thriller, and I burned-out on thrillers years ago.  Trepidation led to procrastination which in turn led to a total freak-out fit because I ended up nodding over the last hundred or so pages early this morning.  I got it done, though, and I’m really glad I did.

I’m not going to rehash much of the plot here, other than to say that it’s about reincarnation and Beethoven and a memory flute that holds the key to past life regressions.  Before I go on, I MUST include this H. R. Pufnstuf photo of Freddie the Flute:  (Please forgive me, but I just can’t help it)! 


I think Ms. Rose really did her homework here.  The New York and Vienna settings are impeccable, the characters are fully fleshed out and vital, and the historical elements are accurate and verifiable.  

One  other thing I appreciated about this novel was the ending.  I’m always thrilled when an author concludes a novel the way I think it should be concluded.  The ending was just right–it didn’t feel forced or rushed or just plain dumb like so many denouements do anymore.  I got the feeling that Ms. Rose was especially careful when writing the conclusion to ensure that it was intriguing and made sense and tied in well with the rest of the plotline.

I’ve mentioned several times before that one of my favorite things about reading fiction is that it often gives me the opportunity to learn about and explore new things.  In addition to Beethoven’s ties to a reincarnationist society, The Memorist brings up Mozart’s possible murder a few weeks after writing The Magic Flute.  It has been said that he was poisoned because he revealed some Masonic secrets in his opera.  I didn’t know this, and I’d like to learn more about it. 

If a novel leaves me wanting to learn more, then I know it’s a very good one.

My favorite Beethoven Symphony is #6 (pastoral).  It’s absolutely stunning!  Here’s a youtube video: 


I had jury duty yesterday, and I have to go back today to be voir dired.  I arrived home quite bedraggled  because the case I’m being considered for is huge and I remember the details being splashed all over the local news networks about a year ago.  I hope I don’t get selected for this one.

Anyway, as I was approaching my front door, feeling all bummed-out and world-weary, I noticed a large box sitting on my doorstep.  This lifted my spirits a bit, and I rushed it inside and tore it open.  Much to my surprise and delight, the box was filled with six novels:  three paperpack copies of The Reincarnationist (which is the precursor to the Memorist)

and three beautiful hardcover copies of The Memorist.  So, now I can give these wonderful novels away!  Leave a comment if you’d like to enter, and I’ll draw three winners on Monday, November 10th.  The three fortunate winners will receive a copy of both books.  Good luck! 

If you’d like to read other blogger’s reviews of this and other novels, check out TLC Book Tours.  You can find all kinds of good reviews and information there.


  1. Sounds like a great book – I’ll take a chance!

  2. Please toss my name in the pot for the book drawing.

    Obligatory Beethoven Reference – Symphony No. 9 is on my iPod, due, mainly, to A Clockwork Orange.

  3. O dear lord I’ve been DYING to read these two books. I’ve heard how great they are and I just love the covers 🙂 THANK YOU for the chance!

    Oh…and I love Beethoven as well. Love the video. And I hope you don’t get picked for the trial!

  4. Please enter me!

  5. That sounds awesome! What a great giveaway. 😀

  6. I’ve been wanting to check out both these books and just haven’t gotten around to it – maybe because I’m supposed to win these??

    Please enter me in your giveaway.


  7. […] November 4th: Bloody Hell! (review and […]

  8. I’d really love to read both of these books! Please enter me.

  9. Please add my name into the hat! Both books sound wonderful. Thanks!

  10. Hi Char! Great review! I just learned that People Magazine picked this book as their “Pick of the Week” in their Nov. 10th issue- I guess they agree with you that it’s a great book!! Thanks again for hosting MJ Rose on her TLC tour.

  11. ooh pick me! These books sound fabulous.

  12. Chartroose – first of all, love the H R Pufnstuf reference 🙂

    I’m also one who tends to avoid thrillers, but I like all the research that went into these.

    I was abstaining from contests for a while. Abstinence is for the birds, please enter my name in the giveaway!

  13. Oh my goodness, this is an awesome giveaway! I initially passed over The Memorist because it was a second novel, and I am normally a little ambivalent about thrillers, but your review combined with this giveaway solves both of these problems. Hooray!

  14. Sounds like a great book!!

  15. Your review of “The Memorist” sounds facinating! I’d love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks.

  16. Ohhhh, I just love it when a book from my wishlist is featured in a giveaway. I’d love to enter! Thanks for doing this!

  17. Oh great. One of the silly songs I am most likely to get stuck in my head is actually the theme song for HR Pufnstuf. I’m be humming that all night. But I’d love a chance to win the books.

  18. Just by the title of the book, it sounds pretty serious. I would never had picked it up based on just the cover or the title.
    But your review is excellent and a few other reviews I read were good too.

    Please enter me. It sounds exciting.

  19. The Reincarnationist has been on my wish list since I first read a brief synopsis. Please enter me in the drawing!

    Good luck with jury duty….

  20. If you are shipping internationally I would love to read these books!

  21. I can’t help but think Fantasia whenever I hear that symphony.

    These both sound like great books and I’ve heard only good things about them. Please enter me!

  22. ME!!! pick me! the music is lovely, thank you for sharing.

    and I doubt they’ll pick you if you remember the details from the news… “Yes, but can you be impartial?”

  23. This post is lovely! And I would be thrilled to win these books — haven’t read either but I’m hearing so much about them, I’m really curious. Thanks for the chance, and the lovely post.

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  24. I don’t need to be entered because I received a similar package the other day. After reading your review, I can’t wait to read my copy. I’m starting today!!!

  25. I’ve read quite a bit about MJ Rose and her apparently phenomenal ability to promote her books. She sounds amazing. Please enter me as well – I’ve had her books on the TBR since I heard of the first one!

  26. me too me too!

  27. Well heck, why not. Go ahead and add me. I loved this post, but I must confess it was mainly because of Freddie the Flute. You have such a great sense of humor. Thanks for the laugh!

  28. I’d love to win these – they look fascinating.

  29. I’ve heard so much about these books that I simply have to read them. Maybe this will be my chance to finally do it… if, that is, Lady Luck favours me and you’re willing to send the books all the way to Finland 🙂

  30. Beethoven and books. Life doesn’t get much better. I’d love the chance to have these.

  31. Looks really interesting – count me in 🙂

  32. Ooh, this sounds intriguing, please enter me in the contest!

  33. I love that you say that she really thought about then ending and worked on it to make it so that it made sense. That is so important. Nothing worse than really liking, or even really hating, a book and then boom- the ending seems slapped together, non-sensical and rushed.

  34. Freddie the Flute!!! He was my favorite!
    Please enter me!

  35. First of all, thanks for another glowing review of this book (and I’m sorry about the jury duty!). I really am interested in reading this, but I was bummed when I read that it was the second in the series. This giveaway – which rocks as usual – makes my day! I would love a chance to win these books. Please enter me. 🙂

  36. Oh, yeah! Please, please, please sign me up! I’ve been considering reading both of these novels, but I always end up putting it back down at the last minute. After reading your review though, I’m thinking that was a huge mistake! Thanks for that great review! Now I definitely have to read it, whether I win the drawing or not. Good luck to everyone!

    P.S. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you don’t get selected for jury duty on that case.

  37. It looks great! I would like to enter the contest, please 🙂

  38. I would love to be entered into the contest!
    Many Thanks for all the lovely book recommendations you give!!


  39. Please enter my name in the draw too, these books sound fascinating. Freddy flute brought back many happy memories of watching H R Puffinstuff as a child! Thanks!

  40. I’ve just found your blog, and I love your reviews! These books sound really interesting – I’ve added them to my TBR pile. Thanks for a great blog!

  41. […] Tuesday, November 4th: Bloody Hell! It’s a Book Barrage! […]

  42. […] November 4th: Bloody Hell! (review and […]

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