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The Memorist Hardcover – November 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Near the start of Rose's fascinating follow-up to The Reincarnationist (2007), Meer Logan visits the Manhattan office of Malachai Samuels, the erudite head of a reincarnation foundation. When Malachai shows her an auction catalogue photo of a gaming box once owned by a friend of Ludwig van Beethoven, the photo closely resembles a sketch Meer made as a child based on what Meer wishes were false memories. Malachai believes Meer has been haunted by past-life memories, in particular those of Margaux Neidermier, whose husband in 1814 asked Beethoven to decipher a song inscribed on an ancient flute. The box turns out to contain a Beethoven letter suggesting the composer didn't destroy the "memory flute" as he claimed to have done at the time. When the box is stolen soon after Meer examines it, she heads to Vienna for answers. Alas, others are on the same trail, including FBI Special Agent Lucien Glass of the Art Crime Team, Austrian authorities and assorted thieves. Rose skillfully blends past-life mysteries with present-day chills. The result is a smashing good read. (Nov.)
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From Booklist

Although not exactly a sequel to The Reincarnationist (2007), this novel combines mystery and fantasy in the same way. Meer Logan is still haunted by the memories she experienced as a child, memories that seemed to reveal a past life. Now, spurred on by a letter ostensibly written by Beethoven and a picture that resembles a vision that appeared to her many years ago, she travels to Vienna to try to find out who she is—and who she was. The story is quite convoluted—it involves past lives, a mysterious flute, and a journalist seeking revenge for a terrorist act that destroyed his life—but Rose tells it elegantly, moving gracefully between characters, between time and place, and building both momentum and suspense. It’s more skillfully written than The Reincarnationist, and, as with that novel, there are dozens of ways it could have collapsed under its own weight. But it never does, and for that reason it should be recommended highly to readers who appreciate mysteries tinged with the supernatural. --David Pitt

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA; First Edition edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778325849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778325840
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,444,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Please visit her blog, Museum of Mysteries at

Her photo was taken by Judith Pushett utilizing an old relic: a turn-of-the-century 11 x 14 inch wood camera.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

Her most recent novel THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BREATHS (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and her next novel, THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS will be released March 2015.

Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors -

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization's co-president..

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M.Jacobsen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Memorist is author M.J. Rose's follow-up novel to The Reincarnationist and she has again taken themes of reincarnation, this time weaving 19th century Vienna and the musical world of Ludwig van Beethoven with modern-day terrorist plots. A fast paced historical thriller, The Memorist takes the best elements of The Reincarnationist and improves upon them.

Although there is one carry-over character present, The Memorist is most assuredly a stand-alone novel.

One of the pleasures of reading an M.J. Rose novel is her approach to historical fiction. While much of The Memorist takes place in present day Vienna, her forays into the 19th century are impeccably researched. She incorporates fascinating details into her story, many of which the reader might dismiss as part of the creative license a historical fiction writer so often invokes. It isn't until reaching the author's note at the end of the novel that the full extent of Rose's research becomes apparent.

If the plot synopsis above sounds vaguely familiar, it's because the plot of The Memorist is almost identical to that of her earlier novel, The Reincarnationist. New characters, new memories of past lives, and new artifacts for the protagonist to chase, but the plot movment is the same.

However, the improvements over The Reincarnationist are quickly apparent. Characters are more fleshed-out and their motivations better explored, giving the reader closer relationship with the characters.

Rose's penchant for over-populating her novels with characters is still present, but the improved characterizations make it much easier to keep track of just who is who.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jessica B. Keener on March 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In her newest thriller,The Memorist, MJ Rose boldly embraces the mysteries of time, memory, and music, as she once again takes on the complexities of reincarnation and its dire consequences. Set primarily in Beethoven's Vienna as well as present day Vienna, with occasional throwbacks to 2000 BCE, a thirty-something woman named Meer, plagued by unexplained visions, is at the center of controversy with deathly consequences. So is her archeologist father, Beethoven himself, Beethoven's friend, a journalist who chases modern-day terrorists, and a brilliant, monomaniacal, eccentric man obsessed with unlocking past lives. All become part of an emotional fugue that culminates in an explosive ending reminiscent of Dante's purgatory. Secret, underground tunnels twisting beneath Vienna's streets, ancient vaults and catacombs create a biblical-like backdrop as Meer, her father and others race to break down the walls of time to get at the past--one to save his son, another to save her father. Readers will love MJ's deft ability to move back and forth between the ages, and will be seduced by her knowledge of music and her ability to convey music's power to resurrect the soul.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a youngster, Meer Logan only drew pictures of what looked like a treasure chest. Her family obviously noticing the pattern asked her why she insisted on drawing only this object. Meer explained that she had seen it before although no one including her could figure out when; her parents assumed it was youthful imagination though they were somewhat concerned with her seemingly compulsive behavior disorder.

Now an adult, Meer's sixty-five year old dad Jeremy, known as the "Jewish Indiana Jones" and who works in a Vienna auction house found the box listed in an auction catalogue. Inside the box is a letter that leads Jeremy to conclude that the artifact once was owned by Beethoven's beloved. Meer heads to Austria where memories flood her mind starting with the same flute tune that makes her wonder if she was Beethoven's lover in a previous life. As father and daughter seek a mystical flute, a murder and the stealing of the box and its letter makers both of them fear someone has a different fate in store for them.

THE MEMORIST is much more complex than the exhilarating THE REINCARNATIONIST, as M.J. Rose provides a superb thriller. There are several subplots that converge on Meer who like her dad begins to believe in her previous life. Meer, her dad and several other support players are fully developed so that the audience believes in all the seemingly paranormal nuances. Set aside plenty of time as this is not a fast read, but worth the time as THE MEMORIST is memorable.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By aek15 on April 22, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book based on all the positive reviews here. It is extremely rare that I cannot finish a book, but I just couldn't continue with this one. I was so bored! I had thought the premise would be fascinating, but it just wasn't. The characters are disjointed; they are either so shallowly written, that you cannot get to know them, or they are so cliched, you know them too well because you've seen them many times before in poorly-written novels, bad movie scripts, or trite TV shows. There's lots of repetition by the writer (how many times is Meer going to hear music in her head and either be deeply disturbed by it, black out, and/or be transported back in time--how many I ask you?). Or how about children sinking into their own mysterious - and sinister - world - have we seen this a million times in Grade B movies? I initially thought the premise so wonderfully original, but the delivery was so utterly hackneyed.
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