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24 Reviews
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a concise summary of the contortionists handbook
BUY THIS BOOK IF:
You have any interest in psychiatric or psychological matters
You like masses of detail
You like masculine, relatively unemotional biographies
You enjoy books which start in the present and then explain what happened to get to that point.
You have an interest in drug culture
You would rather be left to think at the end of...
Published on 2 May 2005 by cabbage_leaf

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright if you have a short memory
After seeing the huge accolade from Chuck Palahnuik on the cover I wasn't sure about this as I'm not a particular fan of his, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would - great characters and some interesting ideas about identity and trust.

However, there were quite a few places where Clevenger was needlessly repetitive, rattling on and on about the main...
Published on 3 Dec 2008 by A. Furse


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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a concise summary of the contortionists handbook, 2 May 2005
BUY THIS BOOK IF:
You have any interest in psychiatric or psychological matters
You like masses of detail
You like masculine, relatively unemotional biographies
You enjoy books which start in the present and then explain what happened to get to that point.
You have an interest in drug culture
You would rather be left to think at the end of the book than have all the loose ends neatly tied up. This book ends in a mess of ends.
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK IF:
You like books which start in the present and continue along a standard time scale of chapter 1: two days later, chapter 5: next month, etc.
You like lots of emotions in your books
You cannot handle very long, very detailed sentences
You like books which 'go somewhere' and finish in a very different place to where they started.
The story of a man who constantly changes identites in order to escape from various authorities. he is actually running away from many things, including his past and a dozen authorities all over america. After his fifth overdose, psychiatrists cannot figure out whether it was a suicide attempt or not. As the psychiatrist takes 'Daniel' through the interview, 'Daniel' (or John, or Steven, or Eric, whoever he is today) takes the reader through his life story to how he got where he is.
Good page-turner.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever Clevenger!, 26 Sep 2006
By 
Cazza (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
What a fantastic read! Chuck Palaniuck's recommendation caught my eye and was enough for me to snap this up! I'm glad I did! The novel follows the antics of Daniel Fletcher, a man who is constantly changing his identity. He is so good at it that he can fool anyone and everyone, even the authorities and the psychiatrist brought in to analyse him. He is a great character and Clevenger writes the part so well.

His conversations with the psychiatrist are particularly captivating as he is able to anticipate every move, every gesture and every question posed to him. Clevenger is a stickler for the smallest details and that's what makes him a great writer - I'm sure he could write about fly-fishing and I'd be equally fixated!

I loved it from start to finish. Short, but extremely sweet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing but icy cold, 30 Oct 2010
By 
Four Violets (Hertford UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This is one of those books with a "hero" one really shouldn't like, but it`s impossible not to sympathise with him. John Vincent is a drug addict, from a squalid background, living in a twilight world of crime and unconventional sexual encounters, creating alter-egos for himself as he evades being sectioned for repeated overdoses. John Vincent claims they are his attempt to stop the unbearable pain of unexplained headaches. He is also evading underworld figures who want him for his talent at creating identities, a talent he has frequently used for himself as he constantly re-invents himself. Until he meets a woman who has as many secrets as he does. Intriguing, yes, but icy cold and at time a bit over the top in the "male fantasy" department.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book, 20 Oct 2003
By 
M Stacy (Leeds, West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Contortionist's Handbook (Paperback)
Chuck Palahniuk says (on the cover) something like 'This is the best book I've read in five years, maybe even ten'
I have to agree. This is an amazing debut. It's a perfect rollercoaster of a book! Every peak and trough is placed exactly right. It'll grab you and even when you finish it'll stay with you. You will miss your stop if you read it on public transport. You will want to stay off work to finish it.
How good is this book really? It's one of those rare books that you'd spend your own money buying numerous copies of to give to other people.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY, READ, SHARE..., 7 Oct 2003
By 
Edinburrower (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Contortionist's Handbook (Paperback)
This book wasn't available on amazon.co.uk until recently and so I got it elsewhere (direct from the US) - now that it is available here, I recommend to everyone fortune enough to chance upon this page that they buy it... It is a gripping story of personal reinvention against the backdrop of the L.A. underworld. The kind of story which lingers in the mind afterwards, the kind of book you make sure you keep handy for the inevitable re-read.
I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book - looking forward to his next, 22 April 2005
By A Customer
I picked up this book to read a page or two and next thing I knew half an hour had passed me by.
It's very well written. The writer has done his homework, writes with great authority, and entertains.
I'm looking forward to his next: Dermaphoria.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good read, 21 Nov 2013
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Good read.
Author is very good. First book of theirs I have read.
Quite simple plot, easy to follow
.Different.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read in ages, 27 Feb 2013
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This book actually got me reading again. The prose itself is so enjoyable, you won't look back after reading a couple pages. This book opens up a world of conmen, forgery and clever deceipt for you, and describes it with such detail, that it actually makes you want to go out on and try it out yourself. Left me wanting for more, the book definitely earned it's spot on my bookshelf.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 10 Feb 2013
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I chose this book as it was recommended alongside similar authors I appreciate - Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, Hunter S Thompson, William Burroughs. If you enjoy a quite graphic description of a hard life typically written Gonzo style and dealing with fairly dark experiences, then you will also enjoy this book. There is accuracy in the account of scenes which builds the integrity of the subject matter. Read it now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Contortionist heaven., 3 Aug 2012
My daughter is very pleased with the book. Now her and her friend can plan what they are planning to do together.
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The Contortionist's Handbook
The Contortionist's Handbook by Craig Clevenger (Paperback - 24 Sep 2003)
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