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Publisher's Summary

Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe, risking everything to save the ones they love. In the middle of a market in India, a man’s shadow disappears. This mysterious phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories. 

Two years later, Ory and Max have escaped the Forgetting by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears. Knowing that her condition makes her dangerous, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memories disappear, he sets out into a perilous, unrecognizable world.

©2018 Peng Shepherd (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Graceful and riveting." (Publishers Weekly)

"A voice that's as emotionally compelling as Gone Girl, a novel that's as thrilling as The Stand. Prepare to fall in love with your own shadow. And to lose sleep." (David Lipsky, New York Times best-selling author of Although of Course You End up Becoming Yourself and Absolutely American)

"The Book of M is exciting, imaginative, unique, and beautiful. Shepherd proves herself not just a writer to watch, but a writer to treasure." (Darin Strauss, best-selling author of Half a Life)

What listeners say about The Book of M

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  • Caz
  • 19-08-2020

It started so well... if 2020 was a book...

I love a dystopian apocalyptic adventure and I really enjoyed this book to begin with. It started so well and I was really enjoying it, couldn't stop listening to it initially. Then it all went a bit wrong with too many characters, disorganised plot and a hint of Eastern Asian mysticism, before a descent into the ridiculous. Not an amusing ‘suspension of belief’, but totally bonkers. It took on the impression of somebody’s weird dreams, made up from totally disjointed episodes before it just stopped making sense – or perhaps I lost interest.

The plot holes are massive, like how did Naz’s sister arrive from Tehran in a world where air travel would be impossible, to find her in a downtown industrial area of America which she had never seen or visited before. Maybe she flew in on a magical elephant who paint and read minds?

The borrowing from other sources was also very apparent. Echoes of “The Stand” and “Swan Song” with the spiritual quest; flashes of “His Dark Materials” and the loss of the shadow like the detrimental severing of the dæmon; roving gangs of violent marauders like any post-apocalyptic adventure (“The Road”, “Mountain Man Series”); Katniss from the Hunger Games appears as Naz, the arrow wielding assassin; and who could forget the nod to Ghostbusters with the Statue of Liberty episode.

I had high hopes, I wanted it to be good. Now I want to unlisten to it, return it, and get my credit back.

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  • ClareR
  • 21-12-2018

Very enjoyable

Oh how I love a bit of dystopia. This time, people 'lose' their shadows, and with the loss of their shadows comes the loss of their memories. The added twist, is that when they are losing their memories, people begin to be able to do remarkable, scary things. Magical things.
We follow Ory and his quest to find his wife, Max, after her shadow disappears. She leaves to protect him. There are also two other main characters whose stories we follow - an olympic trained archer and the Amnesiac.
I loved this. The narrators were excellent, and for such an implausible concept, it just seemed so likely! For a book with magic, it didn't seem wildly fantastical. Why SHOULDN'T this happen? It makes a change from a killer virus (for the record, I like those kinds of stories too, by the way). I really liked the descriptions of those who lost their memories - the way in which it happened sounded a bit like I would imagine those with Alzheimers or dementia lose their memories. This book is about how important our memories actually are, how they shape the way we live our lives.
A very good book/ listen!

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  • Cheyenne
  • 30-04-2019

Amazing!

Such a great story. Kept me hooked all the way to the end. incredible story telling. The voice actors really did a brilliant job too.

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