49 Following

Lagraziana's Kalliopeion

This is a blog about my reads as well as everything related to them.

My taste is for good quality literature - old and new. Some of it I review here or on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.



This Could Be the Last Day of Your Life: Memento Mori by Muriel Spark

Memento Mori - A.L. Kennedy, Muriel Spark

Abridged version of my review posted on Edith’s Miscellany on 15 November 2013


The plot of Memento Mori revolves around a circle of Londoners in their seventies and eighties who have known each other for ages, most of them well-to-do and suffering to different degrees from the common afflictions of advanced age. One after another receives anonymous telephone calls which account for the novel’s unusual title. The Latin phrase “memento mori” is generally translated as “remember you must die”, the sentence which the mysterious strangers pass on to their elderly targets. Each one of the protagonists takes the morbid reminder according to his or her character.


In Memento Mori Muriel Spark displays the whole range of human reactions to the fact of impending death from sheer terror over stubborn denial to patient expectation. Of course, the characters are exaggerated into types and yet as a reader I never got the impression that they were completely unrealistic. Quite on the contrary their idiosyncrasies adopted during a long life and two wars make them appear very human and give room for quite a number of funny turns despite the serious topic. Thanks to Muriel Spark’s economical language and simple style the novel is a pleasure to read.


Altogether Memento Mori by Muriel Spark is an exhilarating and amusing read with a critical undertone regarding our ways to deal with (or rather to push away) death and old age. My verdict: highly recommended!


For the full review please click here to go to my blog Edith’s Miscellany.

Source: http://edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com