- I jumped up and down on the bed like a kid.
- I put my hands into a pitcher of ice water, then splashed some of the water on my face.
- I tried to run up the hill backwards, to activate dormant parts of my brain.
- I put the book under my pillow, to help me "dream up" a review while I slept.
In order to get my creativity flowing, I took this book to heart. Surely I jest! (Yep, I devised the antics above for dramatic effect.)
In the book Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World by Dermot Davis, protagonist Daniel Waterstone is a struggling writer who lives in Los Angeles. He cares deeply about literature and his artistic integrity as a writer. Daniel hopes to publish part two of The Impossible Dream series, with the help of his agent, Suzanne.
In a crazed state of consciousness, Daniel writes a book called You Have a Brain--Use It!, under a nom de plume, Charles Spectrum. His book is a satire, but people take it seriously, as a self-help book. Although Daniel calls the book "garbage", people love it, and it becomes a best-seller.
The success of his book becomes a dilemma to Daniel, because he wants people to know the truth, that the book is meant as a parody. Will his ideals survive in the contemporary world of publishing? Or will Daniel Waterstone, now known as Charles Spectrum, "sell out" in order to sell books?
What did I think of Brain? It's a very funny book (it's won some awards ), but it's also thoughtful and thought-provoking. Published in 2013, set in the present, it's a book about books, with a special appeal for book lovers. When Daniel visits his elderly librarian friend, Mavis, she is wise and candid, as usual.
'If all we had was a literature section, then I'd be out of a job, along with the rest of the staff.'
It's a book about writing. There are numerous references to writers in this book, like Melville, Cervantes, Chekov, Hemingway, Hughes, Dickinson, and others. Daniel describes his experience while writing his best-seller, which made him laugh out loud at times.
"The entire writing experience was like one he had never experienced before and he would be at a loss in knowing how to or in trying to replicate it."
It's also a book about publishing; Daniel's book is published by Bubbleday. Brain pokes fun at the publishing industry, which (according to Mavis) favors mystery, thrillers, and romance, rather than literature. It also pokes fun at overly simplistic, downright zany self-help books. Brain is quite humorous. But there's a serious side to Brain as well. This incisive book will make writers think about writing, and it will make readers think about reading. Along with the ample humor there's a purpose, to make us think about the quality of our writing and reading. Award-winning playwright Dermot Davis has written a book that illustrates and dramatizes the issues that contemporary writers and readers face. Brain gives us much to think about.
Thanks to the author for sending me a complimentary copy of his book, for his guest post, An Insider's Look at Indie Publishing, and for his patience with my review post. I think Brain could be brilliant on the stage. For another review of this book, please visit Bookfoolery.
Thanks for reading! Your comments are welcomed.