Quick read

Cinco de Mayo Michael J. Martineck Edge Publishing 256 pp $14.95

One May 5, every person in the world is struck with a blinding headache.

When this planet-wide brain pain clears, the Earth’s population finds itself experiencing a strange, new ability: Sharing their memories with another person.

They haven’t lost their old memories—just gained another set. While some don’t mind, many are alarmed at the prospect of a complete stranger knowing all their most intimate secrets. People often obtain the memories of a person completely unlike them, and this disparity can be wonderful or devastating. Either way, the strange phenomenon is life-changing. This is Cinco de Mayo, the new book by Michael J. Martineck.

Martineck has a rather original idea, but his writing manages to distract from the plot. Filled with a lot of telling but no showing, and marred by awkward metaphors, it becomes increasingly difficult to read without staring in frustration at each page.

If the reader can get beyond the writing speed bumps, Cinco de Mayo could certainly be enjoyable. For those who like that kind of thing, the book is rife with metaphysical questions, and once in a while, there is a flicker of humour. The story is an intriguing idea, but unfortunately the writing fails to carry it.

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 11, published October 26, 2010.