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Memory (1996) by Lois McMaster Bujold
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Title:Memory (1996)
Authors:Lois McMaster Bujold
Info:Nord, cosmo oro
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Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold (1996)



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This is well matched with the previous book chronologically. The last one explored Mark's psychology & life, this one deals with Miles. I liked it a lot better. Mark's had a lot of repetition, concentrated mostly on the few items we already knew of his past & his reactions to them over & over. While there wasn't any new information on Miles, he's a much better documented & a much more complex character. He very believably gets himself into & out of the trick bag on a regular basis, the main fun of this series. In this story, it's even better done than normal, though.

Bujold has done a great job of setting up the situation & does even better with the solution. The Imperial Auditor position is new to the series, well introduced by the description of the old one while our attention is mostly on Miles meeting his victim. Even on my first read, I remember thinking this would be a perfect position for him, so when it is offered, it seemed a natural growth rather than pasted on.

She also allows the characters to grow, change, & generally move through life. It's been obvious for some time that Admiral Naismith & Lord Vorkosigan can't coexist forever. Cordelia's worries about what would happen to Miles when he had to choose (She says 'give up the little Admiral', but that could be wishful thinking.) & his affair with Quinn have made this point for 2 or 3 books now. Their decisions are often hard ones & some are just a shame, but that just lends them more reality.

All in all, I'm very pleased with both the book & the series. No matter how you count it, there have been about 10 books so far. Most series go stale for me long before now. This one is like a soap opera, dragging me along to see what happens, then adds some new wrinkle that I want to see to the end. As usual, it was very well read. I'm on to the next one, [b:Komarr|61884|Komarr (Vorkosigan Saga, #11)|Lois McMaster Bujold|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1322572043s/61884.jpg|1129294]. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Miles Vorkosigan is used to having difficulties with his physical body ?? he makes up for this by being smarter than almost everyone around him. But in Memory, for the first time Miles is dealing with mental handicaps, too. So is his boss, Simon Illyan. This story is painful as we watch these two brilliant men have to give up the parts of themselves that they think define them. In fact, this happens for other characters, too. It takes a little while to get going, but in the end thereƒ??s a lot of change for everyone in Memory.

http://www.fantasyliterature.com/fantasy-author/bujoldloismcmaster/ ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Best yet of the series. ( )
  sageness | Feb 7, 2014 |
Having built an adoring fan base with her previous books in the series, Bujold is in the unique position in modern day genre fiction of being able to write a lengthy novel in which the inward struggles of the characters and their place in their world is of prime importance. The adventure part of this book doesn't even begin until well after page 300, but this reader never thought, when is it starting?! Engrossing, human, and very well developed. Bujold is a master of her craft. ( )
  thesmellofbooks | Jan 10, 2014 |
Sometimes, resurrection isn't all it's cracked up to be. Even if you come back from the dead, you may not be able to regain your past life. After his previous adventures in mortality (Mirror Dance), Miles Vorkosigan is trying to get back into his routine. This is, naturally, complicated by the fact that he spends most of his time in his alternate persona, the aggressive, intelligent, and daring Admiral Naismith of the Dendarii Free Mercenaries. Unfortunately, his adventures did not leave him unscathed: he has developed an unnerving tendency to go into epileptic convulsions at the worst possible moment. In this case, the worst possible moment happens to be right in the middle of a daring rescue mission while holding a plasma gun. After his crew picks up the (rather too literal) pieces, Miles realizes that his condition will inevitably lead to his real commander, Captain Illyan of the Barrayaran Imperial Security, taking his Naismith identity away from him. Terrified at the prospect of the loss of this integral facet of his personality, Miles makes an incredibly stupid decision: to lie to Illyan. The consequences are more drastic than he could possibly have imagined. But Miles has little time to mope: the Emperor of Barrayar has fallen desperately in love, Illyan himself has developed a frightening illness, ImpSec is in chaos, and Miles has forced himself right into the centre of all of it.

Like Mirror Dance, Memory is an exploration of identity. Both Miles and Illyan are locked into unfamiliar identities, without the authority and history and determination that shapes their actions and perceptions. If one's memory, one's position, one's very mission in life is lost, what remains of the self? Miles has spent his life trying to overcome his own inadequacies. Resurrected into a broken shell, his very memories shattered, he must now come to terms with his failure to meet his own ambitions, his suspension between two identities while everyone around him has matured and progressed. Throughout, Miles has achieved greatness by faking it--and throughout, people have been endangered by his reckless bluffing. Now, finally, his "forward momentum" has turned against him. The book is not just a major turning point in Miles' life journey, but also an exploration of the definition of self.

Of course, since this is the Vorkosigan Saga, all the deep stuff is wrapped in a tasty bundle of colourful characters, hilarious events, and random appearances of That Idiot Ivan.(I found him particularly likeable in this one.) And, of course, there is Miles himself. I have realized recently that the protagonists I stay with never seem to have harmonious personalities. For me to become passionately attached to a series, I require some truly significant flaws. Without exception, the protags of "my series" are sardonic, self-deluded, obnoxious, saturnine, self-hating, self-destructive, or just plain batshit crazy. Miles gets bonus points--he fulfils all of the above, as well being probably diagnosably bipolar. I think I understand why, apart from the homophily aspect: I need the character to occasionally take the unpredictable, stupid, immoral, idiotic, selfish, attritional, craven, guilt-driven action. For their decisions to feel real and suspenseful, I need them to sometimes take the wrong choice and for that choice to have consequences. Of course, this also makes my tendency to bounce between bouts of aching sympathy and absolute fury with the protagonists practically inevitable. This book set new records in that department, and not just for the character of Miles. hover for spoiler

If there is one flaw in the book, it's the whodunnit component. Bujold is fantastic at building characters, but a mystery writer she ain't. The first time I read this, I started suspecting the villain before the crime actually happened, I continued to suspect the person throughout, and I was unshocked by the ending. The only thing that actually did surprise me was just how idiotic and myopic Miles et al. were over the whole thing, and how much praise was eventually heaped on him for seeing the obvious. However, while this doesn't really function as a whodunit, Bujold has created characters that practically breathe, and I loved the opportunity to delve into the personalities of some of the series' well-beloved and longrunning characters, from Illyan to Lady Vorpatril. It makes for an entirely enjoyable and quite thoughtful story, and in the end, that is what matters. ( )
1 vote page.fault | Sep 21, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois McMaster Bujoldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Trudie Senior and Trudie Junior.
First words
Miles returned to consciousness with his eyes still closed.
Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart.
COPYRIGHT PAGE NOTICES: [For the Baen hardcover]

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this or portion thereof in any form.

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Book description
One life to live...well, two, actually.

Dying is easy. Coming back to life is hard. At least that's what Miles Vorkosigan thinks and he should know, having done both once already.

Thanks to his quick-thinking staff and the specialist who revived him, his first death won't be his last. But his next one might be, a realization he finds profoundly unsettling. Even after he returns to military duty, his late death seems to be having a greater effect than he's willing to admit. Unfortunately, his weakness reveals itself to the world at large at just the wrong time and in just the wrong way, and Miles is summoned home to face Barrayaran security chief Illyan. But when things begin to go subtly wrong in Imperial Security itself, "Who shall guard the guardians?" becomes a more-than-rhetorical question, with a potentially lethal answer.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067187845X, Mass Market Paperback)

Miles turns 30, and--though he isn't slowing down just yet--he is starting to lose interest in the game of Wall: the one where he tries to climb the wall, fails, gets up, and tries again. Having finally reached a point in his life where he can look back and realize that he has managed to prove his courage and competence, he can move on to bigger and better things.

Depending on how you count it, this is the eighth, ninth, tenth, or eleventh book in a series--not all are about Miles or even his extended family. A good place to start is with the first Vorkosigan story, Shards of Honor.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:44 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A disgraced space hero gets a second chance. Miles Vorkosigan lied about the state of his health and is dismissed from service by his superior. But when his superior falls mentally ill and starts making mistakes it is to Miles he turns for help. By the author of Mirror Dance.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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