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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Andrew's Brain, by E.L. Doctorow

I have not had the opportunity to write about any of the books I have read recently. Therefore, I am sharing a review from a pre-blog read.

LibraryThing.com Early Reviewer's - 2013

Rating: 4.5 stars.

This novel is difficult to assess. It is highly complex with an abstract narrative that flows like a storm at sea. The reader struggles to make sense out of a storyline that appears to defy plot and logic. In the end, there is some clarity, but certain facts remain vague, such as the protagonist’s exact location or the reality and sanity of his thought process. The novel requires prolonged analysis while the mind wants immediate and concrete answers. The reader must ponder whether the end justifies the means.

I breezed through this novel like a salmon swimming upstream to spawn. It was difficult but I knew there was purpose. I saw stylistic beauty and reason along the way. I was frustrated and excited by the vague energy that compelled me forward. Then I reached the defining moment from which the book starts to make sense. From that point forward, there was fluidity in the reading, and by the end of the novel, I was mesmerized. I quickly reread most of the novel to connect details that, previously, seemed formless. The story came together and the depth of Doctorow’s perspective combined with his talent for the written word, once again, awed me.

I have not unraveled all of the mysteries contained within this book, and have not decided whether they are all meant to be known - that may be part of the author's purpose within the plot. What I do know is that Doctorow has amazing literary aptitude and scope; that however his delivery, his understanding of human kind and capacity for interpreting it, is brilliant. Be patient and enjoy the journey.

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