Bibliophile | The universe plays games in ‘How to be Remembered’

How to be Remembered
by Michael Thompson
Allen & Unwin

Accountant Leo Palmer and his wife Elsie were ordinary people but they had a plan, staring off with renting a one-bedroom flat in Ingleby. After saving for five years, they would move to a bigger place elsewhere with “a backyard, two bathrooms, two cars in the garage, three bedrooms and a couple of kids to fill them”.

The baby boy who arrived just over a year later didn’t know about The Plan but the couple welcomed him nevertheless. They revised The Plan to include a cot in the living room and slashed two years off stage one. But the universe had another plan for the little boy when he was about to turn one year old.

Thanks to a fracture in the universe, the boy woke up on the first anniversary of his birth and there was nothing in the house that belonged to him except the cot he was in and the clothes he was wearing. His parents had no knowledge of who he was or how he got into their house and there were no records of his birth.

On the same day every year, everyone around him forgot he existed and he had to learn how to reset his life over and over again at the Milkwood House Orphanage. Given the name Tommy Llewellyn, he was getting used to being written out of his own narrative every year and seeing other people claiming his experiences.

Then he fell in love he was desperate to find kinks that he could exploit so that he wouldn’t be forgotten, but The Reset hung over his life “like a guillotine blade, glinting dully as a constant reminder that everything in his life was temporary”.

This is such a nail-biting, exciting tale where the protagonist faces unbelievable odds and the reader is totally drawn into the validity of the game the universe seems to be playing. As the ‘Tommy Llewellyn Show’ unfolds, Tommy is faced with learning to discard the things that don’t really matter and hang onto those that do… and the reader is forced to decide what is most important in life.

Lezly Herbert

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