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There's an old saying that goes: “the mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.” In Doctorow's latest novel, we are given a look into one such terrible master: Andrew's Brain. The story, told in stream-of-conscioussness narration, plays like a puzzle. As more parts come together, the stranger the mind of Andrew becomes.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, SLATE, AND THE TELEGRAPH
This brilliant novel by the author of Ragtime, The Book of Daniel, Billy Bathgate,
and The March
takes us on a radical trip into the mind of a man who, more than once, has been the inadvertent agent of disaster. Speaking from an unknown place and to an unknown interlocutor, Andrew is thinking, Andrew is talking, Andrew is telling the story of his life, his loves, and the tragedies that have led him to this place and point in time. As he peels back the layers of his strange story, we are led to question what we know about truth and memory, brain and mind, personality and fate, about one another and ourselves. Probing, mischievous, and profound, Andrew's Brain
is a singular achievement in the canon of an American master. Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.
"Too compelling to put down . . . fascinating, sometimes funny, often profound . . . Andrew is a provocatively interesting and even sympathetic character. . . . The novel seamlessly combines Doctorow's remarkable prowess as a literary stylist with deep psychological storytelling pitting truth against delusion, memory and perception, consciousness and craziness. . . . Doctorow] takes huge creative risks--the best kind."--USA Today
is cunning. . . . A] sly book . . . This babbling Andrew is a casualty of his times, binding his wounds with thick wrappings of words, ideas, bits of story, whatever his spinning mind can unspool for him. . . . One of the things that makes Andrew] such a terrific comic creation is that he's both maddeningly self-delusive and scarily self-aware: He's a fool, but he's no innocent. . . . Andrew may not be able to enjoy his brain, but Doctorow, freely choosing to inhabit this character's whirligig consciousness, can."--The New York Times Book Review
"A tantalising tour de force . . . a journey worth taking . . . With exhilarating brio, the book plays off . . . two contrasting takes on mind and brain. . . . Andrew's Brain
encompasses] an astonishing range of modes: vaudeville humour, tragic romance, philosophical speculation. . . . It fizzes with intellectual energy, verbal pyrotechnics and satiric flair."--The Sunday Times (London)
"Dramatic . . . cunning and beautiful . . . strange and oddly fascinating, this book: a musing, a conjecture, a frivolity, a deep interrogatory, a hymn."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Provocative . . . a story aswirl in a whirlpool of neuroscience, human relations, loss, guilt and recent American history . . . Doctorow reveals his mastery in the sheen of a text that is both window and mirror. Reading his work is akin to soaring in a glider. Buoyed by invisible breath, readers encounter stunning vistas stretching to horizons they've never imagined."--The Plain Dealer
"Andrew's ruminations can be funny, and his descriptions gorgeous."--Associated Press
" An] evocative, suspenseful novel about the deceptive nature of human consciousness."--More
"A quick and acutely intelligent read."--Entertainment Weekly