The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd

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The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:23 pm

Jon Manley brings this review to our attention:
Equally atmospheric is Sam Lloyd’s first novel, The Memory Wood (Bantam, £12.99). Abducted from a chess tournament in Bournemouth, 13-year-old prodigy Elissa is imprisoned in a cellar in a house in the mysterious “Memory Wood”, where she is visited by strange, lonely Elijah. He isn’t quite all there, but Elissa is clever and resourceful beyond her years – just as well, because although Elijah is desperate to keep his new friend she must persuade him to help her escape by indulging his Hansel & Gretel fantasy while putting the strategies and gambits of the chessboard to good use. DS Mairéad McCullagh’s investigation makes a serviceable parallel narrative, and the villains are Stephen King-lite, but what makes this book special is the marvellously executed subterranean power game. Superbly creepy, with an unexpected twist, this is a very grim modern fairytale.
Jon adds: "Surely a nom de plume?"

Maybe so, but the Amazon author page carries a photo (oddly, not on his publisher's page). Is he known to this community?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

John McKenna
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Re: The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd

Post by John McKenna » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:06 pm

At first I thought it was a novel by Sam Loyd the problemist.

No, it's contemporary and the author lives in Surrey with two 'l's.

The nearest I get to a novel these days is usually via the cinema.

I recently saw - ... rfield-pg/


"Dickens had a great interest in chess. He wrote a selection called Chess Chat (mostly chess history) in his diaries (see All the Year Around, Vol 13, 1865) and he had a nice section on chess in his Dictionary of London, 1879. In this book, he lists all the chess clubs and chess magazines of London." ... es-dickens

PS Apologies, old chap, for brusquely imposing a polemical zwischenzug on you elsewhere "in the community".
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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