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Swimming Inside the Sun Paperback – July 31, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Second Guess Media (July 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615297501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615297507
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.9 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,999,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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.

More About the Author

David Zweig is a writer, lecturer and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. His latest book, Invisibles, is about the power of embracing anonymous work in a culture obsessed with praise and recognition.

He has released two critically acclaimed albums, All Now With Wings and Keep Going. Both albums charted 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, a modernist bildungsroman about identity and self-consciousness, was released fall 2009. It quickly gained notice with a rave review from Kirkus calling it a "terrific debut from a talented writer."

Zweig has been invited to lecture at universities, academic conferences, and corporations around the U.S. and the world. As a freelance journalist, his pieces have appeared in a variety of publications, including The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. More at davidzweig.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BrooklynGuy on October 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is an amazing tale of a young musician in NYC trying to find himself in the chaotic world inside his head. I am usually quite a slow reader but finished the book over one weekend. As a native NY'er , I enjoyed reading about all the locations in the city, most of which I have been to or heard of. The main character is incredibly neurotic (to say the least) and to be able to get inside his head and see how he perceives the world was fascinating. Lots of musical/pop culture references and funny (yet dark) tales of the main characters love interests. The story switches from 1st to 3rd person so it's was an interesting way to follow the characters journey.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott Moshen on October 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so incredibly personal, it's so raw, you really feel so much reading it, that you almost feel badly that the author went through so much creating it just to get you to feel what he felt. From there, it's logical to point out how vivid it is. The author's facility with words, especially for a first time author, is little short of astounding. And while this book is definitely cerebral (really cerebral) it's really poetic too. I realize writing that that those two points aren't antagonistic: cerebral vs. poetic. I suppose what I mean is that for all the manic devotion and rigid theorizing the protagonist does about his life, it's clear that the author revels in more gossamer textures that words, their sounds, and their colors create. The story, while seemingly straight-forward, takes fascinating turns in point of view and plot. Little, or, nothing resolves as you expect, and the changes the protagonist undergoes, moving from woman to woman, from creative pursuit to creative pursuit, or, most often, during the stasis he endures between prospects, the storms within himself, burn along in ways that keep the reader engrossed, when, in less capable hands, just the opposite could have been the case. A really moving read I've already recommended to several friends.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By david peroff on December 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
well written and very intense story about a wannabe NYC artist who is willing to look inside as well as out for the answers to why?
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
When the major label company signed him, guitarist Dan Green thought he could walk across the bay to Brooklyn. He was euphoric until the firm listens to his obviously talented but non-sellable album. They refuse to waste another penny on it or him.

Stunned and depressed he no longer can touch his guitar as if it contains a deadly toxin and even stops fantasizing over the female backpacking neighbor Andrea Liebman. Instead while contemplating rice milk and Kierkegaard, Dan dooms every possible relationship with lovers and friends over selling out. As people avoid him like he has swine flu, Dan creates his "smart-heat index" that enables him to classify women he sees, some for the first time, and instantly considers proposing but the flaws he perceives in them prevent him. His neurosis of failure turns psychotic as he depersonalizes everyone into various categories of self soul sellers.

This deep character study hooks the audience who wants Dan to make it in life and with his music, but do it on his terms (a psychotic sort of Eddie from Eddie and the Cruisers). The story line avoids clichés and burying itself inside of the lead protagonist's head with simple but clever focus switches from first person to third person though Dan continues to tell the tale. Readers who appreciate a profound tale in which Manhattan is gray, cold and aloof yet somehow also warm, creative and fascinating will enjoy the intense well written Swimming Inside The Sun of troubled Dan Green.

Harriet Klausner
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