Review: Stranger in a Foreign Land by Michael Murphy

After an accident stole his memory, the only home American businessman Patrick knows is Bangkok. He recovers under the tender ministrations of Jack, an Australian ex-pat who works nights at a pineapple cannery. Together they search for clues to Patrick’s identity, but without success. Soon that forgotten past seems less and less important as Jack and Patrick—now known as Buddy—build a new life together.

But the past comes crashing in when Patrick’s brother travels to Thailand looking for him… and demands Patrick return to Los Angeles, away from Jack and the only world familiar to him. The attention also causes trouble for Jack, and to make their way back to each other, Patrick will need to find not only himself, but Jack as well, before everything is lost…

DNF @ 42%

I love reading and it takes a lot for me to give up on a book but I couldn’t keep reading with this.

I adore a good amnesia story and the chance to rediscover yourself along with becoming someone totally new because you have no memory of who you were. There is a romanticism about amnesia and I am one who loves the trope but sadly it was used here in the weirdest way.

I couldn’t connect with the writing from the first page. It’s very wooden, pedestrian and to be honest, boring. So many details given and so many things told that I was never given a chance to feel anything for Patrick or even as “the man” when he loses his memory after the car accident. I was confused when Jack shows up because there was no indication of a dual POV until we suddenly hop into Jack’s head and see “the man” through his eyes. The head hopping is a constant and it kept taking me out of the story.

Patrick, aka “the man”, aka Buddy goes from being almost childlike with his amnesia to acting like he doesn’t have it at all with his knowledge. I am no amnesia expert but again this boomerang effect of his personality jarred me so much I couldn’t focus on what was going on even when what was going on was odd.

When Jack starts to perv out on this childlike man with no memory I had to take a moment and while I am no prude, it seemed almost predatory the way Jack basically stalked Buddy and then takes him home. I get people being overly kind and wanting to help but Jack could have given Buddy some clothes rather than let him hang out in a towel all afternoon and then naked and have thoughts about going down on the dude as he washed days of filth and dried blood of his body.
I don’t know. I decided to stop when things became physical and Buddy suddenly runs off to get oil from the kitchen to use as lube. Again, I don’t declare myself to be an amnesia expert but Buddy went from not knowing how to slice pineapple to knowing that peanut oil can be used as lube because he wanted to be fucked.

Um… *scratches head*

This ginger loves the Dreamspun line likes it’s my job, but this story doesn’t fit it at all.

No fluff.

Only frustration.

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