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Waking Up in Toytown: A Memoir Paperback – 6 Jan 2011
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"There is no truer writer than John Burnside...[A] searching enquiry into a life: bruised, filled with grace and as plangent and haunting as any plainsong" (Catherine Lockerbie Scotsman)
"Burnside's memoir deserves to become a classic. Has anyone written about the direct experience of mental illness with such scrupulous observation and wit?" (Daily Express)
"A brilliant portrait of isolation... This sophisticated study of the human mind argues for our right "to continue in the pursuit of whole-heartedness. To be not-normal after all"" (Fiona Sampson Independent)
"Beautifully written and observed memoir ... an affecting book from a writer of manifest talent; a compellingly readable memoir possessed of a genuine spiritual and intellectual depth" (Adam O'Riordan Sunday Telegraph)
"This is an extraordinary book and one so honest it scorches" (Carlo Gebler Irish Times)
The sequel to the award-winning A Lie About My Father.See all Product description
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One of the few great living writers of English: lyrical, chilling, truthful.
He takes the same approach to his "madness", his apophenia. He presents it as an altered state that's no better or worse than whatever normality is, but feels that he prefers it to a lot of "normal life" he sees lived by others. Perhaps most outsiders see themselves this way, that while the discontentment and restlessness causes pain, it's worth it in comparison to an alternative of boredom brought through contentment.
Although on the surface this is a fairly straightforward autobiography, it's a much deeper, philosophical and psychological examination of a state of being. I'm not sure I can explain it much more, you'll have to read it and see if it captivates and captures your attention as much as it did mine. But I'd certainly recommend it as one of the most original and thoughtful autobiographies I've read.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I recommend this book, as well as Burnside's earlier memoir of his father and himself as a child, entitled 'A Lie About My Father.' If you're looking for honesty, insightful understanding, and beautifully written prose, John Burnside is an author you should read.