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The Measure of Darkness by Liam Durcan

The Measure of Darkness

by Liam Durcan

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2919569,855 (3.61)7



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Written by a neurologist, this book deals with the aftermath of an automobile accident in which Martin, a Canadian architect, can't come to terms with his loss of spatial awareness (neglect syndrome). His long-estranged brother is the only family member who supports Martin through his rehabilitation and return to "normal" life. It's hard to follow in parts when told from Martin's point of view, because he doesn't understand what is lacking from his vision, and is increasingly paranoid as the story proceeds. ( )
  terran | Feb 12, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Trying to put his life back together after a horrific accident in a snowstorm – his car parked on the side of the road no match for the snowplow – Martin’s is a battle with his brain, which has been left badly damaged. Once a successful architect in Montreal, he is now under the guardianship of his older brother, a retired veterinarian. This is a character driven story, driven by unlikeable characters, in unrelenting darkness of spirit - Martin’s past, Brendan’s past, their lives unconnected for decades. Martin’s life parallels the life he imagines of his Russian architect idol.

I thought the author did a fine job portraying the life of a person suffering from the loss of spatial awareness called “neglect syndrome”, and with the architectural descriptions and settings. I found it well written and interesting, and I appreciated learning about this piece of a medical syndrome. ( )
  countrylife | Feb 4, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is the story of Martin, a former architect who wakes from a coma only to find that he has had a brain injury causing "neglect syndrome" - the loss of spatial awareness. He refuses to accept his condition and the result is that he becomes increasingly paranoid, agitated and clashes with all those around him. The story is quite slow and plodding and I found I just really did not like Martin at all, which made it very hard to remain interested in the book. ( )
  TracyCampbell | Sep 7, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When I started reading this book I thought it was the best written book I've ever received from early
reviewers. The writing style was very clear and clean and the author expresses himself very well. I was very impressed by the fact that this was only the author's second novel and that he actually works as a
neurologist(!)because I find his writing style to be so fine. But then I got stuck in the middle of the book and I found it difficult to pick up again. I finally did finish it and my final feelings is that the book moves in too many different directions ending up with a very confused plot.One of the other major problems with
the book is that the author seems to focused on the mental state of the main character, that I felt I was
learning more then I wanted to know. It got to the point that I didn't care about how he reacted to things.
The secondary plot line about the Soviet architect was very, very interesting, but sometimes it seemed to move out of the principle focus of the book as the story dealt with the Vietnam war and relations of siblings. By the end of the book even a senile mother is introduced, for what purpose I wasn't sure. And then late on there is all these details about the city of Detroit, and I wasn't sure what the point of all of that was. It was interesting..but the book kept moving in far too many directions for me to feel totally comfortable with it. A lot of people comment on the "surprise" ending..the explanation for the accident
that has happened to the main character Daniel, but this is dealt with so succinctly by the author that
it didn't seem to matter so much to me. I think the writer has a great prose style, I just wish the book
was more tightly edited. Overall I think it went on longer than it probably should have. ( )
  alans | May 26, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I honestly did not enjoy reading this book. I gave it several attempts as I feel a book I struggle with might not present a struggle when read in a different frame of mind. For me it felt like there was a disconnection between the narrator and the reader which wasn't fully recovered when the point of view was altered. It became a chore to work through the book which I simply do not have time for. For those who have endless hours to dissect and digest what they are reading, it may well be rather enjoyable. I received an ARC through library thing in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion. ( )
  Jenn.S | Apr 11, 2016 |
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Part I: I would like to see more clearly, but it seems to me that no one sees more clearly -- Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Part II:  At last each particle of space is meaningful, Like a syllable of some dismantled word. -- Louis Aragon
Part III: And even I, who would like to keep the two cities distinct in my memory, can speak only of the one, because the recollection of the other, in the lack of words to fix it, has been lost. -- Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
For Thomas Durcan
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It started with Martin recalling the surprise he'd felt when he first saw the house.
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Martin, an acclaimed architect, emerges from a coma after a roadside accident to find his world transformed: not only has the commission of a lifetime been taken from him, but his injury has left him with "neglect syndrome," a loss of spatial awareness that has rendered him unfit to practice and unable to recognize the extent of his illness. Despite support from his formerly estranged brother and two grown daughters, his paranoia builds, alienating those closest to him. His only solace is found in the parallels he draws between himself and gifted Soviet-era architect Konstantin Melnikov, who survived Stalin's disfavor by retreating into obscurity. As Martin retraces Melnikov's life and his own fateful decisions, he becomes increasingly unsettled, until the discovery of the harrowing truth about the night of his accident hurtles him toward a deadly confrontation.

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