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Andrew's Brain by E. L. Doctorow
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Andrew's Brain (2014)

by E. L. Doctorow

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3088936,210 (3.09)33

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Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
Outstanding book, needed 4 readings! ( )
  rhactor | Dec 31, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book through the early reviewers program, but only just got around to reading it this week. I'm really not sure what to make of it. I've read Ragtime and liked it, so I was expecting something similar from E.L. Doctorow. However, this is a very different book. Instead of a cast of characters, this book tells the story of just one: Andrew, a cognitive scientist. He recounts a difficult life in which he accidentally poisoned his young daughter, got divorced, lost his second wife on 9-11, and ends up working for the President. It's difficult to know which of these things are true. My best guess is that Andrew is a psych patient who has made up most of this story. Unfortunately, the truth is never revealed, which makes the book a very unrewarding read. I'm not sure if Andrew has a psychiatric illness or is just a weird, unlucky guy, but either way I didn't really like him all that much. ( )
  ahegge | Nov 25, 2014 |
One of my most painful to listen to audiobooks ever and it wasn't the narrator. The blurb says "we are led to question what we know about truth and memory, brain and mind, personality and fate, about one another and ourselves." and the book did none of this for me. It left me wanting to smack Andrew and his therapist. His story wasn't strange...it was quite ordinary; people have ups and downs all throughout life, not one person over the age of say, 30, hasn't suffered some sort of loss. What made Andrew different was his obsession with himself completely overshadowed any sign of compassion, if, he had any at all. It was all about him.

I grabbed this first because it was Doctorow and second because I have brain issues (AKA mental illnesses) of my own and thought that I would be able to relate or see my illnesses in a new way.
There was nothing, so much nothing that I NEVER write an actual review like this in any form on Goodreads. This is indeed a first.

I love Doctorow, but it was as if someone else was writing this or he was trying to be his own version of the hip navel gazing debut memoirs/novels that are trendy right now.

Someone very wise said "Stick with what you know." No idea whom, but Doctorow should have listened.
  ChewDigest | Sep 12, 2014 |
We're all Pretenders, Doctor, even you. Especially you. Why are you smiling? Pretending is the brain's work. It's what it does. The brain can even pretend not to be itself.

There has got to be someone somewhere that will love this book but unfortunately I am not that person. Immediately when I finished this I felt like writing a scathing review of it but after calming myself down I am just going to do a short (calm, and respectful) review for this quick read. This started off reading like my philosophy textbook from my college class that I took, then it read like a textbook on the human brain, and finally it was like reading a liberal anti George W. Bush speech. Quite frankly I am still baffled on how we managed to move from Andrew, the main character, being a professor and teaching these complex things to ending up at the White House. I just didn't know what to make of Andrew and did not like him ever while reading the book. This book was just frustrating throughout. Quite honestly, the best thing about this book is that it was short (oh geez, I am starting on my scathing review now). I can't even imagine who I would recommend this book to but it clearly was not meant for a person like me. ( )
  dpappas | Aug 20, 2014 |
No stars. Hated this!
1 vote Dianekeenoy | Jul 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
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I can tell you about my friend Andrew, the cognitive scientist.
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A psychological tale recounts the experiences of Andrew, who confesses to an unknown recipient the memory- and truth-challenging events, loves, and tragedies that have led him to a mysterious act.

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