Memento Mori

Memento Mori

Book - 2000
Average Rating:
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In late 1950s London, something uncanny besets a group of elderly friends: an insinuating voice on the telephone informs each, "Remember you must die." Their geriatric feathers are soon thoroughly ruffled by these seemingly supernatural phone calls, and in the resulting flurry many old secrets are dusted off. Beneath the once decorous surface of their lives, unsavories like blackmail and adultery are now to be glimpsed. As spooky as it is witty, poignant and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more.
Publisher: New York : New Directions Classic, 2000, c1959
ISBN: 9780811214384
0811214389
Branch Call Number: F Spa

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spiderfelt_0
Sep 05, 2017

I picked this up because I saw two references in one day Muriel Spark and then the next day, coincidentally, it landed on my desk at work. Now that I've finished it, I can't figure out why it sparked my attention. It was a grand soap opera discussed in small fragments of recollections, without the benefit of knowing the characters when the action was happening, concluding with the most anti-climactic ending ever.

k
kountzcl
Jul 27, 2017

Like another reader, I have read no other novels by Spark, but began this book hopefully. At first I was intrigued by the dilemma and the characters. Dame Lettie, for example, and the Grannies in the old-age home are memorable. But as the story wore on, with more gossipy flashbacks, it lost me, until I only skimmed the closing pages. The author makes her point about Death, but I ended without feeling satisfied.

d
DeltaQueen50
Jun 18, 2013

This is the first book I have read by Muriel Spark and I admit I was a little concerned as to whether I would enjoy her work, but this story totally enchanted me. Although this subject matter could have been depressing, in this author’s capable hands this unique story of aging eccentrics was both fresh and inventive.

jaybarksdale Nov 17, 2012

Another rich re-read. Very witty, and yet touching. Each of the old ones reacts differently to Death.

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