restricted access The Forgetting Machine by Pete Hautman (review)
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Reviewed by
Hautman, Pete The Forgetting Machine. Simon, 2016 [224p] (The Flinkwater Chronicles)
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-4814-6438-3 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-4814-6440-6 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-6

In this bright, funny sequel to The Flinkwater Factor (BCCB 11/15), readers see more of the wacky town of Flinkwater, where most people are extra smart and where experimentation on the citizens results in regular scientific advances. Our narrator is, once again, the optimistic Ginger Crump, who is growing increasingly concerned by the weird memory loss in those around her and by the talking, reading cat that has a new affinity for her. It all comes together eventually, and the bad guy is caught [End Page 576] (and gets a taste of his own medicine when his own extreme memory technique happens to him and all of his personal recollections are crowded out by the OED and Wikipedia), memories are restored, and the animal receptacles of knowledge are freed. There is additional memorable content in Ginger’s wry observations about her odd town, a sad subplot about an isolated kid and her hyper-religious family, and a sturdy amount of thoughtful commentary about e-books versus print books and the future of reading. A snappy afterword explains whether the scientific advances mentioned in the book are possible in the present or if readers will have to wait a bit longer to see them in action, as with the pizza-delivering drones.