It's the classic dilemma of the writer: Do you write what's in your heart or do you write what sells? Daniel Waterstone wants to write the great American novel. He has two literary books in print but no one's buying. His agent won't accept his latest masterpiece because it's not deemed commercial. In a final act of desperation, Daniel decides to write - not what's in his heart but - what he thinks will sell. It's a decision that has changed not just the publishing industry but the world as we know it.
GOLD MEDALIST WINNER 2015 READER'S FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW (starred)Daniel is an affable protagonist-a bit self-obsessed, but basically decent. Davis's novel is an entertaining farce about modern society, a deft, fast-paced tale that will leave self-aware readers giggling. This is an entertaining book that will reward readers.
THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW"Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World" is ironic, iconoclastic, and pure entertainment from first page to last. It is also based upon an all-to-familiar scenario common to almost anyone who has written their version of the 'Great American Novel' only to have it (and them) rejected by an unappreciative publishing community and a culture that values pop culture absurdity over literary erudition. Highly entertaining, "Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World" is recommended reading -- especially for anyone who has ever set about trying to get something of quality published only to see hackneyed flack work be received enthusiastically by an undiscerning public. Also highly recommended is author Dermot Davis' earlier novel, "Stormy Weather" (9780984418114).
SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEWProbably the best thing about this book is the assortment of wacky characters, including the idealistic but naïve Daniel, the villainous agent and her ex-con younger brother, and the girl who believes in Charles Spectrum even when he tells her it was all a joke gone wild. Its a roller coaster ride for Daniel, but pure fun for the reader;full of odd metaphors, literary allusions, and hilarious coincidences. Sometimes wordy, but still a great book for anyone who enjoys a laugh at all the crazies in the world; including themselves.
|Publisher:||Expression Unleashed Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.48(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Did I enjoy this book: You know what? It’s funny. I’m not saying I guffawed or anything, but it’s just the sort of snarky satire I love. I mean, sure, there were more commas than are strictly necessary, and sure there were several pages I skimmed, but it’s an irreverent little book and I liked it. Would I recommend it: Go for it (especially if you aspire to write novels)! As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Daniel Waterstone has had aspirations to be a successful and famous writer, one that would follow the chains of Steinbeck and Faulkner. Fantasies about it often overwhelmed and clouded his head. Although somewhat prideful and arrogant at his graduation, Daniel had a point. “Our literature has been in decline for decades. Loopy fads and fantasy genres, of questionable merit, now clog our once-great literary arteries.” (3) There was an “urgency” for a revival of great American literature. Now, 10 years later, he is living as a “true” artist—in a run-down apartment with a bed, a desk, and a typewriter. He was the poor, starving artist. But he did win that writer’s award in college. Yeah, that’ll pay the bills. I liked this book because it authenticated the struggles and passions of a real writer trying to come up with the next great story while also trying to make a buck. Aren’t we all? But to hear the words: “Nobody is buying what you write. No one is buying your books…Your work has no commercial appeal.” (15) Heartbreaking. Of course, the classic was Daniel’s reaction—utter freeze mode. “I don’t have anything else. This was it. This is it. I poured my soul into these pages…agonized over every single word, every phrase, every description…every vowel.” (17) A question that every writer must ask is: What do I write? Do I write something the market wants and that will sell? Or do I write what I want? “Idiots do not have the intellectual capacity to identify genius. All that idiots are mentally equipped to recognize are other idiots.” (32) But what do they read? “People are miserable and are leading lives filled with a mix of boredom and pain. Books help them to escape all that.” (37) But “[Daniel] didn’t want to pimp out his genuine talents and become a hack, just to sell books and become ‘popular.” (41) But he was broke and he needed to do something. “As frustrating as it may be…you can only watch from the sidelines as your baby grows up. In most cases, they die or, more likely, stall in infancy. In some rare cases, however, a book becomes a monster. Whether we like it or not, once it goes public, a book takes on a life of its own.” (72) “People say that it’s good to have an open mind but the best kind of mind to have is one that’s totally vacant.” (131) The agent is crazy! In fact, the entire publication spectrum was crazy—yet accurate. For a dream to finally come true but to have none of the fulfilling qualities one anticipated seemed lyrical, ironic and, to paraphrase Daniel, satirical. The novel explores the dark, cold recess of the publishing world along with a slew of ineffable, metaphysical possibilities. Well-written and enthralling, this smart and witty novel is a must-read! Funny, sorrowful, and relatable. It will stay with you long after you’re done.
Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite What can I say and where do I start? Brain - The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World by Dermot Davis is one of the best books I have read in the last few months. The story is about novelist Daniel, who unfortunately does not write what the market wants. His books are not mainstream enough and very different from something like Twilight. He writes high quality - but nobody seems to want that these days. His agent turns his latest book down and Daniel might even have to pay back the advance he received. These are very bad times for the literally starving author who is months behind in paying his rent. So Daniel decides to find out what the market wants and then he writes. What he intended to be a satire of self-help books, however, turned out to be a huge hit - as a self-help book. People take all the ideas - and very strange ideas they are - seriously and Daniel, under a pseudonym, turns into the most popular author. But will he be able to continue the farce, especially when he has to hold seminars and appear on TV shows? Brain - The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World by Dermot Davis is an excellent, witty, and entertaining book. It shows everything that is wrong with current trends in the book world and how easy it actually is to make people believe things just because they are written down in a book. If a self-help book tells you to walk backwards all day and not use one half of your body the other day and to soak your head in ice-cold water for four hours - would you do it because the author claims it would improve your life? Brain is a very clever book and very entertaining, especially if you know what it's like to be in Daniel's shoes or if you sometimes despair about the current state of literature. If you would like to get away from vampires, especially the sparkling ones, self-help books, and books about questionable celebrities, then this book is an excellent choice!