Man Walks Into A Room

Man Walks Into A Room

A Novel

Book - 2002
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A man is found wandering the desert outside Las Vegas. The cards in his wallet identify him as Samson Greene, a Columbia University English professor last seen leaving campus eight days ago. Thirty-six years old, with a wife, Anna, and a dog, Frank. But Samson doesn't even recognize his own name, and by the time Anna has made her away across the country to pick him up, doctors have discovered a cherry-sized tumor in his brain; its removal eradicates the last twenty-four years of Samson's memories. Samson and Anna return to New York together, where Samson struggles to connect with the woman he knows he is supposed to love, with his career, with his home, with his "life." He remembers his mother, his childhood in California, the basic shape and processes of the world, but everything else remains blank. In the meantime, Anna sees the same husband she has always seen, but every day has to steel herself against the notion that the man she loves is the Samson who remembers the last quarter century, the Samson who has been shaped by the history of their lives together. Into these daily lives fraught with a peculiarly intimate tension comes a charismatic scientist who invites Samson to take part in a groundbreaking, experimental project involving the transfer of memories from one mind to another--all it requires is a trip back to the Nevada desert. It doesn't take much to lure Samson away from his profound loneliness in the City--where he is stuck between missing the past life that surrounds him and yearning to enjoy the fresh start he's been given--though Anna is never far from his thoughts as he embarks on the adventure that could mean the end of the old Samson Greene. In Samson, Nicole Krauss creates an ordinary man who his facing a searingly new world with gritty poignancy and purely instinctual empathy. Reminiscent of early DeLillo, but with the emotional sensitivity of a budding Cheever, Krauss's sharp, intelligent storytelling effortlessly peels away the layers of quotidian circumstances to reveal the subtle joys and woes of simple survival.
Publisher: New York, NY : Nan A. Talese : 2002
ISBN: 9780385503990
Branch Call Number: FIC Krau
Characteristics: 248p


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Sep 22, 2017

After reading The History of Love, I wanted to continue with the author for awhile. So I picked up Man Walked Into A Room. It is a disappointment. Although the initial premise is fascinating, as another commenter has said, Ms Krauss could not maintain the concept or thread or feeling/attachment to the characters. No doubt the life of someone to whom the events happened to would probably have a chaotic future, the story just kind of bumped along, driven by motives that she had not really made pressing or important to the reader.

May 29, 2013

This novel explores the idea that the loss of memory is a threat to the future. This story addresses this question from an individual perspective, but Krauss is also examining the impact of the loss of historical memory. Her idea is interesting, but she is unable to sustain it.

Nov 30, 2012

This book is all about memory and the various facets of it. Those who have their memories, those who have lost them, those who are losing them, and those who want to lose them. Samson has lost all his memory since age 12, and the story is a kind of odyssey trying to come to terms with the possible permanence of it. What does life mean now that he has no memory of his adult past? Great read. You want to see him come out happy and you anguish with him as he proceeds to work out just what he will do.

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