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The Forgetting Room

by Nick Bantock

Summoned to Ronda, Spain, after inheriting his grandfather’s house, Armon Hurt is drawn into a surreal and mysterious treasure hunt, carefully laid out by his grandfather. In a room where forgetting is remembering, the real is surreal, and life is art, Armon must reclaim his past to discover his future. It’s a neat idea (not nearly as heavy as it sounds) with a few intriguing puzzles, but the story itself is thin and the subplot does not flesh it out. The story works best when it centres around the enigmatic and vibrant grandfather, who is a much more interesting character in death than the rather timid and unassuming Armon Hurt is in life. Nick Bantock’s The Forgetting Room is a glorified scrapbook of the treasure hunt as it unfolds over the course of Armon’s nine-day stay in Spain. A picture book for adults, it offers a series of collages, sketches, and fold-out visual clues that Armon discovers and creates in the search process. More text-heavy than Bantock’s best-selling Griffin and Sabine trilogy, The Forgetting Room remains a light, but enjoyable read.