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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
Who Could Forget? Adventures With a Phenomenal Memory by Frank Healy is the extraordinary true story of a young boy's ability to remember every day of his life from the age of six. He can recount not just the major events, but personal ones too; what the weather was like that day and even what day of the week the event fell on. This may seem like a brilliant gift, but he lived a life of social awkwardness, not even sharing his secret talent with his teachers. Many people may think that it must be enjoyable to have this talent, but when you remember every insult, romantic heartache, and upsetting occasions too, this can be a hard burden to carry. This book will take you on one man's personal journey as we follow Frank through his exploits in the happy adventures of his life and career as a psychologist, and the gloomy, sad times too. You can also discover some excellent techniques to improve your memory in this book.
I found Who Could Forget? by Frank Healy a heartwarming, interesting but, above all, very brave book to write. Although on the surface this ability seemed quite enviable, through the author's honesty I can understand how lonely it must have been to have this ‘gift’ but feel like an outsider to his peers at school. The explanation of elaborative rehearsal was fascinating. Frank, as a child, must have possessed a very analytical mind to invent this technique. I found his life journey a very interesting one, with threads of humour throughout. However, I sensed that his social awkwardness was so sad and, instead of celebrating this remarkable memory, he hid the presence of it from teachers and peers. A very enthralling read and a book I will read again. The exercises at the end of the book to kick-start your own memory would be a great help to anyone studying for an exam.