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Extended Audio Sample The Story of Forgetting: A Novel, by Stefan Merrill Block, Patrick Lawlor Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,282 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stefan Merrill Block, Patrick Lawlor Narrator: Patrick Lawlo Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In Stefan Merrill Block’s extraordinary debut, three narratives intertwine to create a story that is by turns funny, smart, introspective, and revelatory. 

Abel Haggard is an elderly hunchback who haunts the remnants of his family’s farm in the encroaching shadow of the Dallas suburbs, adrift in recollections of those he loved and lost long ago. As a young man, he believed himself to be “the one person too many”; now he is all that remains. 

Hundreds of miles to the south, in Austin, Seth Waller is a teenage “master of nothingness”—a prime specimen of that gangly, pimple-rashed, too-smart breed of adolescent that vanishes in a puff of sarcasm at the slightest threat of human contact. When his mother is diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s, Seth sets out on a quest to find her lost relatives and to conduct an “empirical investigation” that will uncover the truth of her genetic history. 

Though neither knows of the other’s existence, Abel and Seth are linked by a dual legacy: the disease that destroys the memories of those they love, and the story of Isidora—an edenic fantasy world free from the sorrows of remembrance, a land without memory where nothing is ever possessed, so nothing can be lost. 

Through the fusion of myth, science, and storytelling, this novel offers a dazzling illumination of the hard-learned truth that only through the loss of what we consider precious can we understand the value of what remains.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Block displays an innate gift for developing believable characters each with his own distinct voice. The result is a story that’s compulsive and transporting.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Susan Henn | 2/19/2014

    " 5/10 A talented young author's first book. The story is told flipping back and forth through the eyes of two characters. One character is an old man who has experienced a great deal of loss in his life including the loss of his brother and mother to early onset familial Alzheimer's. The other character is a precocious teenage boy whose mom is dying from the same disease. The boy sets out to discover the mysteries of his mom's past by pretending to compile information about the disease for a leading researcher. The book is well written, however, I question if the characters, as they are presented, would have the high level thoughts and vocabulary the author attributes to them. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Onix | 2/18/2014

    " A little "too real" for my liking "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Laura | 2/9/2014

    " I enjoyed the scientific aspects "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kathy | 2/2/2014

    " The author completed a lot of research on the topic. Though fiction, it read like a true story. "

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About the Author
Author Stefan Merrill Block

Stefan Merrill Block was born in 1982 and grew up in Plano, Texas. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2004. The Story of Forgetting is his first novel. Stefan lives in Brooklyn, New York.