A Read to Forget

I just finished Mia Ajvide´s "Mannen som föll i glömska" (= the man who was forgotten). I was attracted to it by the unusual story, which is given away by the title. It´s about a man, Jack, who is forgotten by everyone within a few days. His wife, his mother, all his collegues and friends, they all forget about him, they destroy all traces of him, whereafter they forget that he has ever existed. By experiment he realizes that people can only remember him for as long as they sense his presence, either by looking at him or hearing him or by touching him. If he looses contact with them, only for a second, they totally forget about him.

Jack is soon found by other Forgotten, and he gets to know a whole community of them, lead by a woman named Hanna, who is a Link, a normal person who remembers the Forgotten and can help them to survive. At the same time as he struggles with his strange metamorphosis and his relationship to the Forgotten, he is also researching an old mystery that will prove to have a strange connection to his situation.

This is a ghost story, really. I have never read Ajvide´s husband´s novels about undead and such, but I imagine there are similarities. I had hoped for something interesting, but I found parts of this book rather boring. Like Franzen, Ajvide writes with great attention to detail, but it never seems quite as relevant to the story. Where Franzen´s many words makes his story dense and strong, Ajvide´s many words dilute and weakens. If she had managed to reduce the 300+ pages to 200+, I think it would have improved greatly. But I don´t think it would have saved it from being rather flat and one-dimensional. The story is what happens to Jack. The End. I can´t find any interesting shifts of perspective, ideas, suggestions, anything. It´s all show, no tell. It´s like a stew without any spices at all. Not much veg, either.

It´s an entertaining read in a way, you will want to know how it ends, but then what? I can´t find anything to digest, anything to entertain my mind, anything to keep. Too bad.

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