apparently a self-perpetuating meme, in that the only way you can talk about the book is in reverent tones, thus accounting for the book's reputation. all the reader can say, without spoiling the plot, is "this is about memory and loss and suppressing memory and has one horrifying twist." doesn't that make it sound amazing?
I'll have to reread, but it appears to be a trick work in that sense. does not otherwise contain value in that, for example, even "Atonement," for example, can just appeal to downton abbey fans, i.e., you can read atonement purely for its period appeal, without anything narratological. instead, this is a "trick pony" work. okay i've seen the trick.
it has this huge readership cloud around it, but can't give it more than 3/5 for some philosophical passages.
also, quite short. novella rather than novel. man booker failure