A musician struggles to get over himself in this hilarious, heartfelt tale of the creative life. Songwriter-guitarist Dan Green's dream comes true when he's signed by a major label--and then turns into a nightmare when record-company philistines refuse to release his militantly noncommercial album. An epic funk ensues. Dan sits in his tiny Manhattan apartment watching TV, obsessing over the relative merits of soy and rice milk, plastering his walls with post-it notes that memorialize his every random thought and holding endless stare downs with the guitar he can no longer bear to pick up. His thwarted ambition and wounded sense of artistic integrity make him a major downer to be around--he's thinks making money from music is selling out and hassles a waitress for the crime of wearing the T-shirt of a lousy band. His hypercriticality dooms his relationships as well. Using elaborate checklists and analytical tools like the "smart-heat index," he ferrets out flaws in every woman he connects with. Dan's neurotic self-consciousness eventually gives him a case of "fiction depersonalization syndrome," the sense of being a detached outsider watching his life as if it were a movie--one that grows increasingly strange and traumatic. Dan is so deep in his head that his story might have turned out airless and claustrophobic, but Zweig makes it anything but. The protagonist is a keen, evocative observer of his hipster demimonde and its vibrant if often pathetic denizens. The book is in part a love letter to New York and its haunting streetscapes with "a thousand shades of crystalline liquid gray," and the beguiling women that Dan can't help wanting to marry as they waft by. The author's prose revels in smart literary turns, in charts and graphs and hangdog philosophizing, but it packs plenty of emotional resonance. As irritating as Dan's rock'n'roll purism is to his friends, readers can't help sympathizing with his quest to make his life more musical. A terrific debut from a talented writer. --Kirkus
"TOP 3 BOOK of 2009" . . . "What a first novel this is-it's Dave Eggers and Chuck Klosterman writing about each other, really. Zweig conjures a musician struggling with his art and with himself, and in the process has crafted a psychological treatise on depersonalization (we're all over-exposed to media and are losing ourselves), as well as a tale of an everyman in New York falling in love on every corner." --BabyGotBooks.com
"The novel is so well written . . . It is such a pleasure to read a book that made me feel so much." --HeyBrooklyn.com
"Really well written and darkly humorous . . . I seriously dug David Zweig's new book: Swimming Inside the Sun." --F'd in Park Slope
About the Author
David Zweig is a writer and musician living in Brooklyn, NY. He has released two critically acclaimed albums, All Now With Wings and Keep Going. Both albums cracked the Top 20 on college radio playlists and garnered accolades for Zweig, with the press calling him a "symphonic pop prodigy." Zweig's debut novel, Swimming Inside the Sun, was released late 2009.