Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What We're Reading: Atmospheric Disturbances

Atmospheric Disturbances is so original and eccentric that I'm not altogether sure how to describe it to you. At its heart is the relationship between a psychiatrist, Leo, and his Argentine wife, Rema. He becomes convinced that his Rema has disappeared and that a simulacrum has taken her place. His search for his real wife follows an unlikely path, and he soon looks to meteorological research for answers. This book reminds me a little of a book that I tried but failed to finish, The Raw Shark Texts, which involved a shark that ate memories and an individual who had to write notes to his future selves, Memento-style, so he wouldn't lose himself entirely. So, in short, it's a little mind-bending and you better be in the mood to concentrate and to read carefully or you're going to get lost and frustrated. It leaves you feeling a little haunted, and you do find yourself hoping that Leo can extricate himself from his increasingly obvious self-deception. It begs the question - how well do we really know the ones we love? I'm sure we've all been surprised by someone even after many years together; their actions or responses may seem like that of another person entirely. This is the story of one man who must determine if he is to fall in love again with a "new" woman or search endlessly for the old one.

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