Customer Reviews for

Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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  • Posted December 23, 2013

    I will admit that this was not a favorite book of mine on many l

    I will admit that this was not a favorite book of mine on many levels, but I truly felt it deserved a 4-star rating for several reasons. This is a different sort of book than you will probably ever read, and if you don't sit down and truly digest it, you are sure to miss some very important messages within the book.

    The style in which this story is told is very unique. Anya writes all of her thoughts and ideas during this horrific time in her life as letters to her father. I will not provide spoilers, but it is clear that her father is the man with whom she shared a bond that transcended time and space. These letters are sweet, saucy, acrid, and brutally honest. 

    Poor Anya is facing a rare illness about which most know nothing. She makes some observations about the world in a way that few of us will contemplate saying or thinking. It seemed so callous and caustic, but as I continued to read, I realized that this author allowed her character to make observations about the world that one never voices. Her character continues to point out how her brain issue is nothing compared to a world where people refuse to use their brains in everyday life. I began to realize just how naive and trusting I am.

    I was glad that profanity was nonexistent (from what I remember), and no sex acts were detailed. It is clear that Anya has a religious background, but I cannot say that she is truly a follower of Christ. Even at the end. But I will say that Anya gets the chance to "live like she was dying." If only we would all be brave enough to live every day like this!

    I was glad the book was short because as insightful as it is, I found my mind wandering now and then just because the letters were so poignant. I would have loved to get more than just Anya's perspective in the book. But I guess that Anya was essentially deserted by everyone, so having another perspective would have been challenging. But I think it could have made te story a bit more interesting.

    I cannot imagine having to go through a physical issue like this, and by reading this book, I got a glimpse into the lives and minds of those with a debilitating disease. If you would like something deep and different, use your brains and get this book!

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not finacially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

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  • Posted March 5, 2013

    ┬┐Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out┬┐ is an epistolary novel t

    “Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out” is an epistolary novel told through the letters of a woman named Anya to her beloved father. At the very beginning, Anya is diagnosed with a very rare brain condition that requires surgery and a lengthy recovery.
    Her diagnosis sends Anya into a path of self-discovery and reflection on both herself and the people and world that surround her, and in each of her letters she tackles a different theme, from the strength of friendship to materialism to frenemies to finding out that a man she’s been seeing is married.
    It doesn’t seem fair that Anya has such a terrible diagnosis, when she is already the victim of an abusive relationship as an adult and the survivor of sexual abuse as a child, but Anya tackles those events in an analytical way, focusing on how and why she fell prey to abuse.
    Though she frequently chides her father for leaving her (and the reader finds out the details of how and why he has left at the very end of the novel), they appear to have a close relationship and she spills her emotions to him freely and affectionately.
    Though at times I found Anya’s explorations a little grating (she does tend to complain), I overall enjoyed her musings. She addresses a lot of issues we all think about (religion, office jobs) and her perspectives on those things keep the novel interesting. The novel is also jarring in its description of her terrible recovery (excruciating headaches and a shunt are two of the things she has to deal with). Something as simple as a slamming door or a ringing cell phone causes her great pain.
    I’d recommend this to readers who enjoy epistolary novels and those who enjoy novels about people overcoming the odds or taking journeys of self-discovery.

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  • Posted January 19, 2013

    She kept rambling on for along time about the same things. It go

    She kept rambling on for along time about the same things. It got boring. I wish I could give a better review but.....
    was expecting it to be different. And was not. If your looking for different try something off the Best Seller list. This is 
    not it.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very consistent voice. Very haunting ending

    I've never kept a diary. If I did, I wonder what I'd put in it. Essays describing, defining, and righting the world? Poems to hide my secrets? Cynical diatribes? I don't know. But the protagonist of Pandora Poikilos' novel Excuse Me, My Brains have stepped out, having just been diagnosed with a neurological disease, starts writing a diary in the form of letters to her absent father. Recognizing how others misuse the brains they've been given, the protagonist wonders if it's she or they needing brain surgery, and performs a surgery of her own with words. Fear of dying, anger and loneliness permeate the entries as the wounded brain follows tangents through to ideas. "Here's another thought," she writes, but the absent father remains absent to the end.

    Soon the details of Anya's treatment trickle onto the page-time out from work for a lumbar puncture, and the way an employer parades her illness as if she's been hired for her label, not for herself. Pain. Repeated pain. Friends disappear. Reality takes their place. The essays cover issues from sexual abuse to home maintenance and the reasons for love. Filled with personal commentary they create a vivid internal picture of Anya, whose true self is never seen until the final scene.

    The voice is very consistent. The view-point very individual and determined. And the illness, though rare, very real. The whole creates a book that reads like diary or blog, with background slowing growing till the story's done.

    Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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