The Memory Artists Jeffrey Moore Phoenix $128 Memory loss is no laughing matter; neither is the inability to forget. Canadian novelist Jeffrey Moore, however, treats both afflictions with wit and warmth in this gem of a novel whose characters all have good reason to join hands in search of a memory pill. Noel Burun is a hypermnesic synaesthete, meaning he has total recall and sees words in colours. But just as he can remember his own birth and recite verbatim The Arabian Nights, his mother has trouble navigating her way through memory lane because of Alzheimer's disease. Noel's sole friend is also his doppelganger, albeit in appearance only: where Noel is the nurturing type, Norval, a writer, appears interested solely in cultivating sexual charisma - his own. Samira, a victim of date rape by drugging who now suffers amnesia, becomes the focus of Noel's and Norval's attention. All share more than physiological problems. They're also patients of not-quite-down-the-line neuropsychologist Dr Emile Vorta. It's clear that Moore injected personal experience into this novel (his parents were Alzheimer's sufferers). But although his prose benefits from believable moving passages, he overdoses on creativity. Footnotes, journals, newspaper clippings and other voice forms sometimes distract from an entertaining read.