Mneme’s Place is Ralph Jonas’s refuge from his anxieties, failures, and disappointments. The huge bar without a clock is also where Jonas relives his memories and converses with both old and new friends, including neuroscientists, musicians, and the inventors of the flush toilet. As he and his memories gather for drinks to reminisce and argue, Jonas has but two wishes—to assemble and manage All-Star baseball teams to play periodic games at Mneme’s, and to write a novel about the people who have played important parts in his life.
Having fled Hollywood for Europe to regain his sanity after years of writing for television, Jonas fills up notebook after notebook, night after night, brilliantly characterizing both former colleagues and his own dysfunctional family. As he writes in a bar where daily routines never elicit more than a smile from him, Jonas develops a habit of taking notes as he listens to the conversations of others. But what Jonas takes in and what he writes down are not the same.
From those he has known and not known inside a European bar, Jonas’s novel slowly develops, ultimately revealing a diverse group of eclectic and unforgettable characters.
About Glenn P. Wolfe
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Published May 19, 2011
Literature & Fiction.