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Andrew's Brain: A Novel (Random House Large Print)

Doctorow, E.L.

3,768 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0804194483 / ISBN 13: 9780804194488
Published by Random House Large Print, 2014
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Andrew's Brain: A Novel (Random House Large ...

Publisher: Random House Large Print

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, SLATE, AND THE THELEGRAPH

This brilliant new novel by an American master, 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 in his life, 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. And as he confesses, peeling 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. Written with psychological depth and great lyrical precision, this suspenseful and groundbreaking novel delivers a voice for our times—funny, probing, skeptical, mischievous, profound. Andrew’s Brain is a surprising turn and a singular achievement in the canon of a writer whose prose has the power to create its own landscape, and whose great topic, in the words of Don DeLillo, is “the reach of American possibility, in which plain lives take on the cadences of history.”

Praise for Andrew’s Brain
 
“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
 
“Cunning [and] sly . . . 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.”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
From the Hardcover edition.

Review:

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, January 2014: From the start of this magnificent novel, we’re told that “Andrew” has done bad things. “I am numb to my guilt ... incapable of punishing myself,” he tells the unnamed man he calls “Doc.” The things we don’t know about these two men are numerous. Where is Andrew? Who’s he speaking with? A shrink? A cop? And why? It gives nothing away to state that the unraveling of those and other questions is what makes this such a strange and compelling page turner. Via the tense Godot-like conversation/interrogation, we’re slowly exposed to Andrew’s life. Or at least a version of it. “You don’t know everything about me, Doc, you’re only hearing what I choose to tell you,” Andrew says. And later: “We’re all Pretenders.” We learn Andrew gave up his daughter to an ex-wife after his second wife died on 9/11--an event that echoes menacingly throughout this wise, witty, and unnerving examination of truth and memory. The conversation between two people who clearly know each other well, but distrust each another more, keeps us on shifting ground throughout. We eventually learn of Andrew’s murky role in the basement of a post-9/11 White House, and his run-in with characters named Chaingang and Rumbum. “Jesus, I don’t know why I talk to you,” Andrew huffs more than once. Not until the final page do we discover, he must. --Neal Thompson

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