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Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World: A Satire Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is an all-too-commonplace contemporary tale of unrewarded talent. Ever since his graduation, when he triumphantly won a minor literary award, Daniel Waterstone has pursued his self-appointed destiny of joining the great classic novelists by penning a definitive work which will herald a new renaissance in American literature. Ten years on, his life is narrow and Spartan, he has no friends, practically no family (his mother, an emotionally cold woman, lives far away) and his only interactions are with his greedy literary agent and a sweet and wise eighty-three year old librarian. Women are a mystery to Daniel and one for which he seems to have no time or inclination ... until he meets Clare, a beautiful musician. But Daniel's initial enthusiasm is sadly dampened when she turns out to be utterly bonkers.
Daniel has published two novels, both well received by critics, but ignored by the buying public. When his agent drops the bombshell that his publishers have rejected his latest masterpiece and want their advance back, Daniel hits rock bottom. In a desperate mental state, literally starving and unable to pay for his rent or utilities, he starts writing a bitter, over-the-top satire, lampooning the latest best-selling self-help guides.Read more ›
The romp (in the Merriam Webster sense of the word) begins with personna Daniel Waterstone, "the recipient of the prestigious Marcus and Imelda Rogerspoon award for the student showing the brightest promise for a future literary career." Then, instead of having the decorum to sit down and shut up, Daniel demonstrates his oratory acumen to tell the audience that:
"We are living in dangerous times," he then said, pausing, for dramatic effect. "Having progressed through the age of reason and enlightenment, civilization is now poised to enter the age of insanity. I tell you, in no uncertain terms that what we are currently witnessing, at least here, in the West, is the decline of culture itself."
Aside from a few typographical errors (which may be intentional for all we know), this book successfully entertains in all environs from a noisy city bus to the quiet contemplation of a reading room.
We were reminded of Charlotte Bronte "Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agonised as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love."
Should you, Gentle Reader, have the misfortune to know well a genuine novelist, then you will instantly recognize the wellspring of angst penned by Daniel Waterstone.
"Do I write what the market wants? Do I write something... that will sell?Read more ›
This book is a wonderful satire on modern publishing, and a clever exploration of degrees of sanity.
Although the early pages don't seem to have the inventiveness of the rest of the book, there are still some gems to be found. I love the awkward restaurant scene when Daniel dines with his agent, Suzanne, which is reminiscent of one of my favourite scenes in Orwell's "Keep the Aspidistra Flying". Daniel's first contact with his potential love interest, Clare, and his relationship with elderly librarian, Mavis, are both delightful.
Once Daniel's book takes off, so does this one. It soars with a glorious irreverence into the realms of absurdity, becoming increasingly wild as his life spirals out of control. There are many bizarre scenes to tickle the funny bone, and some stand-out laugh-out-loud ones, too. My absolute favourite is Daniel's hilarious first visit to his agent's office after his book has been published. I won't spoil it by explaining it - I just urge you to read it!
My son was so intrigued by a book that made his mother laugh out loud, that he read it - in one sitting. His verdict: "It's entertaining." Praise indeed from a teenager. I think any author who can entertain a middle-aged woman and an adolescent boy has got to be getting it right.
I'd like to thank the author for sending me a review copy of this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a creative person, this satire hit very close to the heart – and even though it was painful, it was completely enjoyable and entertaining. Read morePublished 13 months ago by DespondantDespot
Highly recommend this book that fully deserves its string of awards.
Davis is a writer with something to say which he does in an entertaining and engaging way. Read more
A satirical look at the world of publishing. Sad, but oh so true. It's also a wonderful insight into what lengths people will go to because a book "promises" them... Read morePublished on 17 April 2014 by Dianne Harman
Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World is the second book I've had the pleasure of reading by Award Winning Playwright Dermot Davis, his book Zen and Sex having... Read morePublished on 8 July 2013 by MartyH