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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Patron Book Review: Andrew's Brain by E.L. Doctorow

Posted by Irv S., library patron and guest blogger

Andrew's Brain by E.L. Doctorow is described as a "radical trip into the mind of a mna who... has been the inadvertent agent of disaster." Some of the events are tragic, e.g., he death of a beloved innocent, some not, e.g. spilling bar peanuts and a drink on the lap of an ex-wife's current husband.

There is a great deal of action but most of it "offstage," described by Andrew.  Some events, occurring in the 21st century, will be well known to the reader and provide poignant background.  Doctorow does not write in the style of Tom Clancy of James Patterson.  He is subtle, more in the cerebral style o John Updyke.

Andrew, a 'cognitive scientist" asks his reader, "How can I think about my brain when it is my brain that is doing the thinking?"

The dust jacket says the book deals with issue of truth and memory, brain and mind, personality and fate, and one another and self.  The novel delivers on the promise, and, as might be expected of a great writer, very effectively. There are fascinating plot twists, especially in the last quarter of the book, with references to and descriptions of a recent president and two of his principal advisors.

Excellent reviews my be found in Sunday Book Review and New York Journal of Books.

Andrew's Brain is thoughtful and well-written, another literary jewel from Mr. Doctorow.

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