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The Memory of a Salt Shaker (The Space Within These Lines Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From the Author
Other stories in the collection include:
The Space Within These Lines Is Not Dedicated -- now available on Amazon.
La Chanson de l'Observation -- now available on Amazon.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00AA2JXB0
- Publication date : November 19, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 156 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 23 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,078,869 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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"He cooks. A small pleasure to him, the food adds scents and heat to the house, adds presence."
Taste is everything for this grieving man, especially salt. The salt in Bert's salt shaker triggers those memories of his past that will get him through the present and help him forget the future. But they are not Bert's memories; they are his dead wife's. Don't we all dream of seeing our lives through the eyes of another?
Though the relationship between taste and remembrance recalls Marcel Proust's "À la recherche du temps perdu," Bernard M. Cox's protagonist is certainly haunted in a way that is arguably more detrimental to his mental state. A work of magical realism, and a narrative reminiscent of Kafka and Camus, "The Memory of a Salt Shaker" is tightly written with sharp sentences that waste no time getting to the point.
One assumes that the person is just going crazy but further reading tells a different story. It is a
quick read and not bad, just not what I expected or would pick to read.
Top reviews from other countries
It details, in a clipped and spare manner, the progressive mental and physical disintegration of Bert, a thirtysomething American lawyer whose wife, a teacher, has been murdered in a heartbreakingly senseless attack by two young pupils at her school, angry at the confiscation of an iPhone. The author delivers an effective, economical portrayal of the numb shock of bereavement, and the submerging of the psyche that may afflict the bereaved. Bert's only physical connection with his dead wife is a workaday object, a salt-shaker that she took from a diner on their honeymoon. Tasting the salt somehow allows him to access memories of their life together (yet from her point of view, not his). However unlikely this is, I found it didn't matter too much in the context of the story.
Not being an American (let alone a New Yorker) or overly familiar currently with American culture and speech, I wasn't able to fill in the sounds, sights and smells mostly absent from the prose (which is, I guess deliberate), I still found the story affecting and a little moving, yet not uncomfortably so. Overall, I found it quite a tasteful and understated piece, like something that unexpectedly draw you in from your routine, read in a short timeslot on Radio 4 (or NPR) late one evening. I was surprised in the end by how much I liked it, as I considered giving up a couple of times, despite it being very short. Although the tone is one of sadness, I don't feel that the book is likely to cause feelings of depression, and ends on a positive (yet still understated note). Recommended.
The main character, Bert, "Discovers the salt in an ordinary salt shaker gives him the power to see his life through the eyes of his deceased wife". It's an interesting premise, and I was glad I stumbled across TMOASS. As a personal preference, I don't normally like stories told in the present tense, but The Memory of a Salt Shaker is so lovingly-written I overlooked that little niggle.
It may be short, but this book is so very sweet.