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The Forgetting Room: A Fiction

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.".. to my grandson, Armon Hurt, I leave my house in Ronda, Spain and the uncertainty of its contents. May he discover his belonging." -- From the last will and testament of Rafael Hurtago So begins Nick Bantock's latest novel, in which readers are invited to delve into the journal of Armon Hurt, a sad, discontented man who discovers his inner fire. When his art .".. to my grandson, Armon Hurt, I leave my house in Ronda, Spain and the uncertainty of its contents. May he discover his belonging." -- From the last will and testament of Rafael Hurtago So begins Nick Bantock's latest novel, in which readers are invited to delve into the journal of Armon Hurt, a sad, discontented man who discovers his inner fire. When his artist grandfather dies, leaving him the family home in Spain, Armon travels to Andalusia with the intention of selling the property. Once there, however, he finds a sealed cardboard case containing a small oil painting and a surreal booklet. As he examines these mysterious artifacts, Armon realizes that he is holding both his grandfather's last communication to him and a puzzle. He begins to decipher the conundrum, and as each new answer leads to more questions, Armon finds himself painting furiously in his grandfather's old studio strangely compelled to create a picture that is somehow linked to his legacy. Featuring paintings, drawings, collages and paper foldouts, this in no ordinary novel. Captivatingly imagined and genuinely memorable in its deeply personal account of a man in search of himself, "The Forgetting Room" is a handmade treasure, a seamless blend of artistry and language and a tantalizing read.


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.".. to my grandson, Armon Hurt, I leave my house in Ronda, Spain and the uncertainty of its contents. May he discover his belonging." -- From the last will and testament of Rafael Hurtago So begins Nick Bantock's latest novel, in which readers are invited to delve into the journal of Armon Hurt, a sad, discontented man who discovers his inner fire. When his art .".. to my grandson, Armon Hurt, I leave my house in Ronda, Spain and the uncertainty of its contents. May he discover his belonging." -- From the last will and testament of Rafael Hurtago So begins Nick Bantock's latest novel, in which readers are invited to delve into the journal of Armon Hurt, a sad, discontented man who discovers his inner fire. When his artist grandfather dies, leaving him the family home in Spain, Armon travels to Andalusia with the intention of selling the property. Once there, however, he finds a sealed cardboard case containing a small oil painting and a surreal booklet. As he examines these mysterious artifacts, Armon realizes that he is holding both his grandfather's last communication to him and a puzzle. He begins to decipher the conundrum, and as each new answer leads to more questions, Armon finds himself painting furiously in his grandfather's old studio strangely compelled to create a picture that is somehow linked to his legacy. Featuring paintings, drawings, collages and paper foldouts, this in no ordinary novel. Captivatingly imagined and genuinely memorable in its deeply personal account of a man in search of himself, "The Forgetting Room" is a handmade treasure, a seamless blend of artistry and language and a tantalizing read.

30 review for The Forgetting Room: A Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Greendale

    The Forgetting Room is a bewitching blend of art and text. Armon inherits his grandfather's house in Spain; before putting the house on the market, he ventures to Spain to explore the contents of the house. There he discovers his grandfather has left behind a mysterious trail of clues for Armon to follow. While Armon puzzles the trail of clues, he constructs a collage. The reader is made privy to the collage as it evolves from a simple sketch to a multi-layered work of art with brooding colors. A fe The Forgetting Room is a bewitching blend of art and text. Armon inherits his grandfather's house in Spain; before putting the house on the market, he ventures to Spain to explore the contents of the house. There he discovers his grandfather has left behind a mysterious trail of clues for Armon to follow. While Armon puzzles the trail of clues, he constructs a collage. The reader is made privy to the collage as it evolves from a simple sketch to a multi-layered work of art with brooding colors. A few other collages appear in the book, crafted with precision and delightful for their strategic simplicity. Armon's work on his collage gives rise to memories of his grandfather: Almost every day I'd sit in Grandfather's studio watching him paint and listening to him talk about whatever came into his mind. Mostly his words were too grown up for me and sailed blithely over my head, but his deep, gentle voice was as reassuring as the warm cocoa Grandmother plied us with on winter afternoons. Such memories, along with exploring the house, lead Armon through the trail of clues. What he discovers at the end is more marvelous than he could have imagined. Though it's a work of fiction, The Forgetting Room reads like an instruction booklet on the author's signature technique for creating collage. It's one part story, one part art, and one part mystery with a dash of the extraordinary.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    In my 20th year, I picked up a copy of Griffin & Sabine - An Extraordinary Correspondence while loitering at the Wordsworth Book Store in Harvard Square. I was stone-broke — living on crackers, jello and sno-cones… and this was a great way to spend a weekend. I was also in the Oxytocin throes of new love so I fell. I fell really really hard. It had that voyeuristic concept (like when you are reading letters that high school boyfriends wrote your mom) that gave me chills and the delusional inkling that made Grif In my 20th year, I picked up a copy of Griffin & Sabine - An Extraordinary Correspondence while loitering at the Wordsworth Book Store in Harvard Square. I was stone-broke — living on crackers, jello and sno-cones… and this was a great way to spend a weekend. I was also in the Oxytocin throes of new love so I fell. I fell really really hard. It had that voyeuristic concept (like when you are reading letters that high school boyfriends wrote your mom) that gave me chills and the delusional inkling that made Griffin an awesome archetype of dysfunction. 20 years and too many cynical experiences later, I found The Forgetting Room. Was I looking for that rush again? Wordsworth is gone. Maurice is gone. Hell… welcome to crows feet, gray hair and stretch marks. I needed a win. Ok, I knew… I knew it wasn’t going to be Griffin and Sabine revisited. There are already like six sequels to that story. I saw The Forgetting Room---which is such a great concept in its own. A room for forgetting? A forgotten room? The possibilities. Then there was Spain… land of Don Quixote, Pedro Almodóvar, Plácido Domingo, etc… and lastly.. but not really… the art of Nick Bantock. The wedding invitation, the concertina pages, the collages. I needed the visual reminder of what I loved so much about the Griffin and Sabine books. Plus, the story sounded intriguing -- Armon has one week to clean out his late grandfather, Rafael’s, house in Rondo, Spain to prepare it for sale. His marriage has failed. He has no passion for his bookbinding business. He is broken by what ifs and roads not taken. Here, he is presented with a past that never had a chance to really play out. There was a time when he idolized his grandfather, taking weekly art lessons and meditating on Rafael’s socialist ruminations. There was a code to live by with Rafael that Armon’s own father couldn’t provide for him-a sense of connection that Armon lost in adulthood. Now, his grandfather gives him a puzzle that will unravel that code for an adult Armon. Sounds neat, right? I so wish it was. I was hoping that the game would enlighten… that I might solve it before Armon… but, not really. In the end, I felt duped. There was no angelic chorus or warm fuzzies or even light chuckle to be had. The artwork is darn pretty though. [image error] And the Garcia Lorca (view spoiler)[ I have raised three arches and with a clumsy hand have placed in them the muse, the angel and the duende. Through these empty arches enters a wind of the mind, which blows over the heads of the dead insistently, searching for new landscapes, accents we never knew. (hide spoiler)] quotes were swoon worthy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Darby

    The images and imagery provided by the words are beautiful. I put this book on my list of favorites because of what it did for my art. It opened me up in my art more then I can ever explain. But I don't think what I got from it...is what most people reading the book would get out of it. The story is a good story and if you liked the Griffin and Sabine Series then you'll most likely enjoy The Forgetting Room too. Currently reading again - 1/22/09

  4. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    2001: 3 stars I like this much better than I did the Griffin and Sabine series. 2019: 4 stars It's unusual for me to change my rating of a book, even after so many years. One obvious explanation may be that I took my time to think about the story as it unfolded and to study the inserts (for which Bantock is known). Or maybe it was just my mood. This time, I was more aware of the many strands to the storyline, ranging from the concrete to abstractions to fantasy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bishop Harber

    So yesterday I received an anonymous gift in the post. Always intrigued by packages arriving in my name—and especially when it is not an "ordering week" in which I am waiting all too impatiently for UPS, FedEx, USPS, and horseback rider to fill my front porch with beautiful brown packages—I tore into the wrapping while driving down the road. Instantly I knew who it was from even though there was no insert, label, or other clue. (And she has been properly thanked for such an amazing gift.) Books So yesterday I received an anonymous gift in the post. Always intrigued by packages arriving in my name—and especially when it is not an "ordering week" in which I am waiting all too impatiently for UPS, FedEx, USPS, and horseback rider to fill my front porch with beautiful brown packages—I tore into the wrapping while driving down the road. Instantly I knew who it was from even though there was no insert, label, or other clue. (And she has been properly thanked for such an amazing gift.) Books are always a road into any real man's heart—even if only for the momentary glimpse of a sparkle of gratefulness. It is, of course, one of the reasons why I gift books to my own partner and other friends on a regular basis: that is, to share the love I have for them in the only way that makes sense to me. But I digress... What lay on the seat next to me surrounded by shreds of brown paper, was Nick Bantock's The Forgetting Room. Having had a discussion with this same young lady over Bantock's acclaimed Griffin & Sabine Trilogy, I was fascinated by the story hinted at by this particular book. I was told I would love it. She was right. I love it! This is a story that strikes the core of personal lessons I've been trying to learn—and to teach—for decades. The source of creativity, identity, and family all revolve around what ultimately becomes a ghost story of such delicate and exquisite proportions you could miss it if you breathed in the wrong direction. I admit I read it in one sitting this afternoon. I couldn't put it down. The words and images combined here create such a mesmerizing entanglement of the mind. The Forgetting Room is not a difficult read. It's quite easy, in fact. But it is deep in ways that are subtle, that sneak up on you, and make you realize you've just experienced an epiphany without so much as a single whimpering note from an angel's horn. It was silent. It was cleansing. It was sublime.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn F.

    Audiobook. Abridged. I don't know if the reason I didn't care for this audiobook is because it was abridged or that I have absolutely no artistic bent, maybe it's both. I thought the hero sounded like a spoiled brat. When his grandmother and grandfather had decided after their house burnt down to move into the great-grandfather's house, he pretty much cut them off. Even when his grandmother died, he didn't bother to go to the funeral because his dad wasn't going. After his grandfather Audiobook. Abridged. I don't know if the reason I didn't care for this audiobook is because it was abridged or that I have absolutely no artistic bent, maybe it's both. I thought the hero sounded like a spoiled brat. When his grandmother and grandfather had decided after their house burnt down to move into the great-grandfather's house, he pretty much cut them off. Even when his grandmother died, he didn't bother to go to the funeral because his dad wasn't going. After his grandfather dies and leaves him his house in Spain, he has a somewhat reconciliation with his past and with the art lessons his grandfather gave him, but when this book ended I thought, "That's it?" I don't mind books where everything is not tied in a bow at the end but this just felt way too abrupt. I can blame it on the abridged audiobook but I'm not sure that I would have changed my mind reading the complete book. I've read some of the reviews where they loved this book and almost all of those reviewers found the scenes where the hero was painting to be wonderful. That must be it. Anyway, not keeping this audiobook.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Audrey-anne

    The writing was very beautiful and evoking. This author is very good at phrasing things the perfect way. The story was also pretty interesting. A short, nice read!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Pinder

    Perplexing. Beautifully written. Some gorgeous phrasing, which I copied in my journal in order to think deeply about it later.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Adam Rodenberger

    Some might think Bantock is a one-trick pony, but I personally enjoy the addition of his own art and pull-out material in his books thus far. In "The Forgetting Room," Armon's grandfather has died, leaving him a house in Spain. His grandfather, an artist and all-around playful man, leaves clues to some greater understanding of the man himself cast about in the house. Throughout the course of the book, Armon begins slowly coaxing out an artistic side of himself that he never really pursued during Some might think Bantock is a one-trick pony, but I personally enjoy the addition of his own art and pull-out material in his books thus far. In "The Forgetting Room," Armon's grandfather has died, leaving him a house in Spain. His grandfather, an artist and all-around playful man, leaves clues to some greater understanding of the man himself cast about in the house. Throughout the course of the book, Armon begins slowly coaxing out an artistic side of himself that he never really pursued during his early years. I found this part of the book engaging as I can imagine what the death of this kind of artistic family member might elicit from their heirs. But when the ending came in the last three pages, the whole point of the book felt trite. Bantock had me completely up until then (which is why I give this a 4- and not a 5-star rating) with his prose and story-telling. Regardless, Bantock remains an author I enjoy and whose other books I will most likely enjoy as well. His endings seem to be severely lacking for my taste at this point, however, which is disappointing considering how strong the rest of the books lay out.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pat Kane

    I am conflicted about this book. I did love the premise itself. The main character has received an inheritance from his grandfather, a home in Spain. His grandfather seems to have been a stronger influence on him than his own father, and spent a lot of time with him as a youth teaching him to paint. The book covers 9 days in Spain where he plans to see the house, and get it on the market to sell. His time there is spent attempting to unlock clues his grandfather left him. My problem with the boo I am conflicted about this book. I did love the premise itself. The main character has received an inheritance from his grandfather, a home in Spain. His grandfather seems to have been a stronger influence on him than his own father, and spent a lot of time with him as a youth teaching him to paint. The book covers 9 days in Spain where he plans to see the house, and get it on the market to sell. His time there is spent attempting to unlock clues his grandfather left him. My problem with the book is that I felt he could have spent a LOT more time developing the characters and the plot line. It felt very clipped, like a cliff notes version. I wanted it more fully developed, both the present time and his memories of his grandfather.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shayla Perreault

    This book brought me back to myself. What an intriguing legacy to leave... I won't spoil it, but as an artist myself, I'd love to do the same. Especially delightful since the studio descriptions, his process while collaging, and the sense of being apart of it make it an almost tactile read. It felt like taking a deep, relaxing breath when I didn't realize I'd been holding it. No surprise that I'm now in an uber productive phase in my studio.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Not quite as magical as the Griffin & Sabine trilogy, but i love pretty much anything by Nick Bantock.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne Tapia

    This was a lovely book. Luscious prose.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    2.5 stars --The weakest Bantock I've read yet. :(

  15. 4 out of 5

    Duc

    I got this book from a Goodwill store during Labor day weekend. I like Bantock’s combination of word and pictures. I read the Artful Dodger which has a small mention of TFR. I was a little bit disappointed. Griffin & Sabine series got the full explanation. What’s unique about TFR is that Nick describes his painting process and shows how a painting evolves. I’m not sure if I liked the completed painting. For me it was obliterated with too many bits but rich with layers. What I like is the pa I got this book from a Goodwill store during Labor day weekend. I like Bantock’s combination of word and pictures. I read the Artful Dodger which has a small mention of TFR. I was a little bit disappointed. Griffin & Sabine series got the full explanation. What’s unique about TFR is that Nick describes his painting process and shows how a painting evolves. I’m not sure if I liked the completed painting. For me it was obliterated with too many bits but rich with layers. What I like is the painting of the three moons and it’s evolutions. The book is organized into 9 or was it 10 days. Instead of keeping a traditional diary in - situ, the narrator recalls the magical journey that he has under took. In a way, the final painting in the book is a visual diary of the events that took place at the house/studio. I was looking for more of this information in the Artful Dodger but Nick seems to have run out of steam and didn’t say much about it. One of the best thing about TFR is the inspiration. It speaks directly about creativity but in a very subtle way. We are like the Narrator/artist in the book drawn along in a visual and verbal game until we are deep within the mystery of the process of creativity. This book makes me want to have a Studio of my own for to do a painting. It makes me want to go out and sketch a landscape. The ending is satisfying. I want to say that it has a Kafkaque or Borge feel to it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I really enjoyed the Griffin and Sabine books I've read and so when I found this book I was very excited. In it the character, whose name I can't remember travels to Spain to decide on selling the house of his recently deceased and estranged grandfather. While they were close when he was young time and distance and a hinted at rift between father and son (in this case the grandfather and the father of the boy) keeps them apart. The grandfather was an artist and the grandson dabbles but cannot fi I really enjoyed the Griffin and Sabine books I've read and so when I found this book I was very excited. In it the character, whose name I can't remember travels to Spain to decide on selling the house of his recently deceased and estranged grandfather. While they were close when he was young time and distance and a hinted at rift between father and son (in this case the grandfather and the father of the boy) keeps them apart. The grandfather was an artist and the grandson dabbles but cannot find his own style. The book is meant to be a touching story of a grandson grieving and coming to a fuller understanding of who his grandfather was, but the characters are so two dimensional that by the time the touching lesson came about I didn't feel too invested in it. There's a hinted at lost love, a divorce that is gotten over, but not knowing anything of the characters it seemed sort of trite and tossed in because the author is either a hopeless romantic or thinks that his audience can't live without a love affair, not matter how randomly tossed in. I also was disappointed in the art in the book. I found the art in G & S quite charming but the art here, created over the course of the week in Spain by a completely different character was in nearly the exact same style. It left me thinking that the books he writes are really just an avenue for his own art and that the art isn't thought of as character development. This, I am sad to say somewhat cheapened G & S for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I'm baffled by all the positive reviews of this book. It fell very flat for me, and definitely wasn't as good as Griffin and Sabine. Armon Hurt goes to Ronda, Spain, to empty out his grandfather's house after he died. Despite the fact that his grandparents essentially gave him all the love and affection that his own parents didn't, and despite the fact that he and his grandfather bonded over art, Armon hadn't seen his grandfather since he and his parents relocated to the States. So he finally f I'm baffled by all the positive reviews of this book. It fell very flat for me, and definitely wasn't as good as Griffin and Sabine. Armon Hurt goes to Ronda, Spain, to empty out his grandfather's house after he died. Despite the fact that his grandparents essentially gave him all the love and affection that his own parents didn't, and despite the fact that he and his grandfather bonded over art, Armon hadn't seen his grandfather since he and his parents relocated to the States. So he finally forces himself to Spain now that Rafael is dead. He discovers a treasure hunt in his grandfather's belongings. (view spoiler)[But the hunt leads to - - not anything special - - but to Armon realizing he's lost his inner fire and he finds it. It's a little disappointing, especially because I didn't care either way or know much about Armon; I in fact cared more about Francesca and Paolo, his grandparents' neighbors. (hide spoiler)] As another review noted, the art in this book seemed very similar to Bantock's other books, and I didn't think the style of it fit Armon at all, or his grandfather's paintings (at least the two that we saw). Also, what was the point of the scar-faced girl? That was left unresolved. Overall, I was disappointed.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shaniah Smith

    Throughout 'The Forgetting Room', the main character, Armon, transition in front of your eyes. At first, he is shy and keeps to himself. He is only in Spain to go through some of his grandfathers stuff. Through a series of riddles and game his dead grandfather set up for him, he starts to open up. When his grandfather died he inherited his house and everything in it which included a box of riddles he was supposed to solve. He started painting and in some way it brought him closer to his grandfat Throughout 'The Forgetting Room', the main character, Armon, transition in front of your eyes. At first, he is shy and keeps to himself. He is only in Spain to go through some of his grandfathers stuff. Through a series of riddles and game his dead grandfather set up for him, he starts to open up. When his grandfather died he inherited his house and everything in it which included a box of riddles he was supposed to solve. He started painting and in some way it brought him closer to his grandfather and by the end of the book Armon had met a girl, understood what his grandfather was conveying to him, and was planning on coming back to Spain to visit. Armon really opend up to people and it shows the change of his personality from hermit like to a social butterfly. Overall, I enjoyed the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    When his grandfather dies, Armon inherits the family home in Ronda, Spain, and finds himself trying to unravel the surreal conundrum his grandfather has left for him. Armon begins to remember his childhood art lessons, and gradually, as his grandfather's studio takes hold of him he finds himself pulled, day by day, toward a most extraordinary, elliptic link with his past. I can't rate this book as it combines the written word and an art project that the protagonist, Armon, works on th When his grandfather dies, Armon inherits the family home in Ronda, Spain, and finds himself trying to unravel the surreal conundrum his grandfather has left for him. Armon begins to remember his childhood art lessons, and gradually, as his grandfather's studio takes hold of him he finds himself pulled, day by day, toward a most extraordinary, elliptic link with his past. I can't rate this book as it combines the written word and an art project that the protagonist, Armon, works on throughout the book. Evidently this used two different areas of my brain. The story was interesting and as a non-producing artist I found the combination of the development of the painting along with the story unique. I would have liked to know more about the main characters. Is that the sign of a good book?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jen H.

    I think this book is a piece of crap. Did I say that clearly enough or loud enough for ya'll to hear? I picked it up because the way it was bound and the way it integrated art with literature intrigued me. It's a mystery of sorts, but its the sort of mystery that falls flat on its face when one gets to the end and the author hasn't done a good job of tying all the ends together. If I had to explain the theme in a phrase, I'd say that the author places high value on the concept of the circle of l I think this book is a piece of crap. Did I say that clearly enough or loud enough for ya'll to hear? I picked it up because the way it was bound and the way it integrated art with literature intrigued me. It's a mystery of sorts, but its the sort of mystery that falls flat on its face when one gets to the end and the author hasn't done a good job of tying all the ends together. If I had to explain the theme in a phrase, I'd say that the author places high value on the concept of the circle of life. No real meaning to life. What goes around comes around. We're all just meaningless pieces of plasma whirling around in a cosmos with no identity or purpose. Bleech and double bleech.

  21. 4 out of 5

    AE Michels

    As always, Bantock's work is rich and strange, a shifting, hinting puzzle of a story. I didn't enjoy this one as much as some of his other work--perhaps because of the unrelenting male POV, perhaps because I was somehow expecting a different story. Nonetheless, it's an intriguing plot, and as usual one never quite knows how things will turn out. It does have the fun of 3D--there are items that fold out from the pages and have to be opened and examined. I think perhaps this one left a few too man As always, Bantock's work is rich and strange, a shifting, hinting puzzle of a story. I didn't enjoy this one as much as some of his other work--perhaps because of the unrelenting male POV, perhaps because I was somehow expecting a different story. Nonetheless, it's an intriguing plot, and as usual one never quite knows how things will turn out. It does have the fun of 3D--there are items that fold out from the pages and have to be opened and examined. I think perhaps this one left a few too many questions unanswered, but it's still quite enjoyable, and one feels the protagonist's emotions clearly as the story progresses. I'll keep my copy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Sometimes the value of a book is determined by the reader's mindset at the onset of the read. In the case of Bantock's "The Forgetting Room", my particular circumstances at the time made it a perfect fit. This is the kind of story that makes one think and on many levels. Letting go of blame, forgiveness, moving on, looking at the big picture without being distracted by the details and so on, I found many parallels applicable to issues in my own life. Perhaps more suitable to one's art Sometimes the value of a book is determined by the reader's mindset at the onset of the read. In the case of Bantock's "The Forgetting Room", my particular circumstances at the time made it a perfect fit. This is the kind of story that makes one think and on many levels. Letting go of blame, forgiveness, moving on, looking at the big picture without being distracted by the details and so on, I found many parallels applicable to issues in my own life. Perhaps more suitable to one's artistic side, I definitely recommend "The Forgetting Room" as a pleasant way of filling a vacant evening,

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    i had been giving this book years ago by a woman i had worked with. i thought it was strange that she was so adamant about me reading it and i put it on my shelf and completely forgot about it. now that i have time i decided to take a look. i found this book to be surprisingly mysterious and inspirational. this book reads like a journal of an incredible journey one man takes in rediscovering his grandfather as not just a caregiver, but a teacher, and a guide. i really enjoyed the way this book t i had been giving this book years ago by a woman i had worked with. i thought it was strange that she was so adamant about me reading it and i put it on my shelf and completely forgot about it. now that i have time i decided to take a look. i found this book to be surprisingly mysterious and inspirational. this book reads like a journal of an incredible journey one man takes in rediscovering his grandfather as not just a caregiver, but a teacher, and a guide. i really enjoyed the way this book took me along with armon and i felt that i could relate this story to those i experience many times over in life, rediscovering memories and beliefs about this fascinating world we are apart of.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Nick Bantock fictional story of a man's spiritual awakening in less than 200 pages. It is a tale that takes place during a nine day visit to Spain with the intention of selling his inheritance, his grandfathers house. Armon Hurt is given a cardboard case full of clues and discovers his belonging, or the sense of being connected to his heritage. As he attempts to solve the riddle, he finds himself, to his amazement and delight, in his grandfather's studio, the Forgetting Room, working on a painti Nick Bantock fictional story of a man's spiritual awakening in less than 200 pages. It is a tale that takes place during a nine day visit to Spain with the intention of selling his inheritance, his grandfathers house. Armon Hurt is given a cardboard case full of clues and discovers his belonging, or the sense of being connected to his heritage. As he attempts to solve the riddle, he finds himself, to his amazement and delight, in his grandfather's studio, the Forgetting Room, working on a painting, infused with memories and a new sense of purpose.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Louise Leetch

    A great little book about a man who inherits a house in Spain from his artist grandfather. He's also been left a riddle to solve, as in his childhood. Great fun, especially if you are a puzzler. Plus you don't have to do any of the thinking. Lots of art mixed in with the story, mostly modern collage but the author discusses the art as only an artist can. He explains the building of a work which is so very much a part of it's soul. It's a beautiful gift his grandfather has left him, he only has t A great little book about a man who inherits a house in Spain from his artist grandfather. He's also been left a riddle to solve, as in his childhood. Great fun, especially if you are a puzzler. Plus you don't have to do any of the thinking. Lots of art mixed in with the story, mostly modern collage but the author discusses the art as only an artist can. He explains the building of a work which is so very much a part of it's soul. It's a beautiful gift his grandfather has left him, he only has to find it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah B

    Having grown up being entranced by the pictures in the Griffon & Sabine series, I was looking forward to this. Warning: I didn't rush this. I took my time. I looked over the pictures. I pondered over the scenery. I enjoyed reading this. Was it as good as G & S? No, I don't think so. I appreciated that he didn't get too existential with it,though. But I did enjoy stepping into the Forgetting Room for a time.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen J.

    I found this to be a lovely and engaging book. The marriage of art and literature was wonderful, and I sincerely appreciate Bantock's appreciation and understanding of brevity. In the 105 pages--with graciously spaced text and a variety of pages dedicated solely to art--Bantock delivers a beautiful story that doesn't give any more or any less than that which is completely relevant. This was a very enjoyable and easy read peppered nicely with eloquent statements and profound ideas.

  28. 4 out of 5

    T.S.

    This was an interesting book that combines literature with visual art. I liked the format of how the two were intermingled; I also appreciate the authors appreciation for brevity. He says a lot in so few pages, but, unfortunately, it takes a toll on character development, leaving me with one-dimensional characters that I really could not care less about. In the end, this meant I really didn't care about the ending, which ultimately left me feeling nothing.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Um, definitely a unique book - with 'pull-outs' (for lack of a better term) of what Armon found. "When his grandfather dies, Armon inherits the family home in Ronda, Spain, and finds himself trying to unravel the surreal conundrum his grandfather has left for him. Armon begins to remember his childhood art lessons, and gradually, as his grandfather's studio takes hold of him, he finds himself pulled, day by day, toward a most extraordinary elliptic link with his past."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

    Was excited to discover this book since it was set in Andalusia & would be intermixing history and art in the plot. First book by Nick Bantock that I have read so I wasn't expecting the envelopes, foldouts and collages that went along with the text. Enjoyed the story, the character of the grandfather, the talk of deunce(dark spirit of creativity) and the setting but the puzzle left me confused. Short in number of pages but not a quick read.

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