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This Book Does Not Exist [Kindle Edition]

Mike Schneider
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.90
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Based, in part, on a true story: When the love of his life vanishes in the midst of a trying but passionate long distance relationship, an aspiring writer must brave the perils of a surreal world warped by his memories and imagination in order to find her.

Combining memoir, science fiction, mystery, and suspense into a love story that explores the evolving nature of relationships in an increasingly digital world, This Book Does Not Exist is an imaginative, page-turning novel in the tradition of works like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami and Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis. Musicians record breakup albums... consider this a breakup novel, written for all of us who have ever loved and lost.

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Dearest Reader,

Some time ago, I was on the brink of emotional collapse. I was in the midst of a breakup... breaking up and getting back together and cracking, and eroding, and finally breaking apart... having lost the first girl I ever loved through a combination of circumstance and something else, something indefinable that yet I yearned to define. I can remember breaking down in tears on the bathroom floor one October morning in Los Angeles. I had been writing a novel about a screenwriter whose girlfriend vanishes into another world, a bizarre and dangerous place shaped by the mingling of memories and imagination. I thought writing might help. The book wasn't finished. I was unstable. I didn't know what else to do besides go home. So I went. I drove across country to Ohio in 37 hours without stopping to sleep overnight. I had lost the love of my life. When I got to Cleveland, my goal was to complete the book. It was my only plan for survival. 

In Cleveland, writing was therapy. I went out at night and explored a city in transition much like me. I found massive hospital campuses, pockets of rebuilt vibrancy serving Belgian beer and gourmet pizza, and so much open space, so many forgotten people, so many abandoned homes and factories connected by roads snow plows had torn apart. Every night, when I got home, I wrote about what I saw and did. These excursions filtered their way into the novel, becoming the basis for the majority of the plot. One night, I got lost in East Cleveland on my way to the movies. Another, I drove past a ramshackle house with a sign on it: "Come to Jesus today because tomorrow may be too late." I even had dinner at a restaurant near the airport with a red door in the bathroom.

In about eight months, I finished the book. At this, at least, I was successful. I sent the manuscript to a couple publishers of who both thought the work was too hard of a sell... too odd, too unsettling, too personal, a mixture of genres ... and why did it have to be so contemporary? I ignored everything that was said. I turned to Amazon. I knew there was a stigma attached to "self-publishing" - in the eyes of some people, it was code for "not good enough." But I didn't care. It didn't matter to me what the literary elite thought or what people would say to me at parties. I needed to live. If I didn't get the book out of my head and into the world, I knew I might not make it. So I published, without barriers or restrictions.

This Book Does Not Exist is the book I wrote to survive a breakup, a strange, melancholic combination of science fiction and memoir, created for anyone who has loved and lost. Based on many of the kind messages I have received since publication, I know it has meant something to more than a few others. Maybe, if you need it, the story will mean something to you as well. 



About the Author

Mike Schneider grew up in a small town near Oberlin College before attending New York University, where he studied Film and Television Production with a concentration on screenwriting. After a stretch working in feature film development in Los Angeles, he shifted into writing full time. This Book Does Not Exist is his first, and possibly last, novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 559 KB
  • Print Length: 251 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,822 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Ultimately Enjoyable Story April 5, 2012
By M.R.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Admittedly, I wasn't preparing to sit down and give this a four star review. However, when I weighed out my frustrations with the story with what I actually got out of it, it feels awfully unfair to give it any less of a rating.

I think my biggest problem comes from the concept of "The Door" itself. While I understand its purpose and symbolism within the story, I was a little disappointed that this was the method in which the author used to unleash the story's conflicts. Mind you, it was handled well, but for a story with so many good ideas and fresh perspectives, it was disappointing that "The Door" itself felt a little cliched and boring.

So, then, let's talk about those aforementioned good ideas and fresh perspectives. The tone of the book, at first, seemed to need a little adapting to. Somewhere between stream-of-conscious writing and a thread of blog entries, the story-telling does a great job of getting us inside of Mike's head and offering perspective on his actions. As the reader, we're just as confused as Mike is, only because we know nothing more than what sees.

Additionally, I really enjoyed the use of pop culture in the story. The referencing of specific movies, songs and websites was never done in a way that felt like just name dropping. Every reference legitimately added to the story, a feat that I wouldn't have thought possible if someone had described it to me.

Ultimately, though, it comes down to something so much more simpler: The entertainment value. For a mere $0.99 (the cost at which I acquired the book, though I see that the price has increased a rather insignificant amount since then), I was given far more entertainment than I have been by movies, books and music that I've paid 15 times as much for.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reminded me how fiction is supposed to feel. October 31, 2012
By jsmith
Format:Kindle Edition
I don't usually write reviews (just hit the stars and click away, right?), but after blasting through this book in 24 hours, I felt obligated to express my gratitude. It grabbed me right away, and gradually weaseled its way into my psyche. I know, I know, the social networking references probably won't age gracefully, maybe it lagged briefly in the middle, but whatever. I'm sure there's technically better writing out there, and it's not Charles Dickens, but then again... it's not Charles Dickens. It's just a really good read, if you're in the right place for it.

For me, "This Book Does Not Exist" did exactly what I feel good fiction is supposed to do: get your attention, take you somewhere else, speak to you on different levels, and make you unable to put it down. That alone was good for 4 stars, and +1 star for giving me that pensive, somewhat sad feeling when I ran out of pages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Therapy sessions on paper. October 23, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mike Schnieder wrote this story while attempting to understand life, love and loss. The emotions and feelings that we go through when we lose someone, either through death or an accident or a breakup, bleed out onto the pages (or screen) of this novel. If any of you is familiar with pain of being away from the most important person in your life, you will feel a connection with the book. There are elements from many different genres and you will find a fresh perspective on a narrative work. The way you are drawn in to the writing is fantastic, I think Mike has a great future in writing and you would be wise to read this book.

This Book Does Not Exist is about how we disconnect, fall down and learn to pick ourselves back up, no matter how hard or grueling the journey can be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative Story w/ Enough Meat to Undermine Its Hiccups February 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hard to review this one. Overall, I was struck by the originality of the story and the social media touchstones (e.g. Kayak and FB) that tied the novel into the "real" world. There were elements that grew tiresome --a major one was the girlfriend, but I digress lol--but ultimately, this was a story that I wanted to finish. And even though I positively *hate* the cover and am not terribly crazy about the title either, almost 2 years after reading the story, I still think about it sometimes. In fact, I'm writing this review because just I referenced TBDNE in a frustrated indie author's discussion thread on Amazon. But back to the book: I also appreciate the use of music -- Here, My Dear by Marvin Gaye is a prime example--to link Mike's world (the protagonist) to my world.

This book is imperfect, as most human-made stuff is, but it is engaging, original, and makes me look forward to reading more of Schneider's work once he's gotten more backing/support ($$$) and his gift for storytelling has gained even more seasoning. As an indie singer & songwriter with one album released and another in the oven, I give Mike Schneider's book a hearty thumbs-up and (also) raise my fist in solidarity. I believe time will allow him to continually develop his craft and I earnestly hope that the hard-knock indie life doesn't quench his spirit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange, meleoncholic, familiar November 17, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This Book Does Not Exist is a puzzle of a book, drawing heavily on The House of Leaves, and, in a certain sense, books like Brett Easton Ellis' Lunar Park. it's loaded with pop culture references which seems to irritate a lot of people but, whatever, I think it's a great style and an excellent way to tie the reader in to the reality of the story. The writing itself is concise, and, for the most part, clever and interesting. There are a few moments of bumbling, but the pace is such that it doesn't really matter, as I read this book in 2 days.

The author does an excellent job of drawing out that helplessness feeling one experiences when exiting a relationship, especially a somewhat turbulent long distance one. Been there, done that. I found myself wanting more of the happy couple before the disappearance and, perhaps, slightly more detail at the conclusion. I'm also very curious as to the actual occurrences that sparked this story. I took some issue with some of the "incidents" in the book, and, at the very least, I felt that a few were a little uninspired.


This is a fantastic read and a fantastic first novel and it is truly a great breakup story. The author pours his heart in here and it shows! The shortcomings are few and relatively minor, and the price is certainly right. I very eagerly await reading more from this guy, especially since we have so much in common.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Holy Crap that was really good
Lots of twists, lots of fun and stuff to read, liked it a lot.
Published 1 month ago by Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars A twisted psychological labyrinth
You think you know what you're getting into when you judge the cover, (c'mon, we all do it, that's why the adage was created in the first place! Read more
Published 10 months ago by K. Ferri
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely an interesting read
This book did not end up being at all what I expected, since I came upon it while looking at suggested reads for people who enjoyed House of Leaves. Read more
Published 10 months ago by namarsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Just great
Well done, good writing, super concept, and kept me hanging til the end. Absolutely one of the most intriguing I've read. Loved it.
Published 13 months ago by Jane V Stephens
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Current
I really enjoyed this book from the moment that I began reading it. I liked the narration, and the integration of social media. Read more
Published 14 months ago by andrew
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read
The title of the book got me. I read the book in two sittings. I could not wait to see what happened. Read more
Published 15 months ago by letitbe
2.0 out of 5 stars It really shouldn't exist, really, it shouldn't
Boring book, terrible presentation, unrealistic premise. I lost track of this on my Kindle and started to read the second book in the series. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Freemont DelRay
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak
I expected better. I say to the story - what?
Not really sure what is expected of the reader.
Maybe i fail to "get it".
Published 18 months ago by Michael K.
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing...
Although the premise was interesting, I found the book much less so. Generally, it was poorly-written and difficult to get through.
Published 21 months ago by Richard Brassard
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
This book was .. amazing. I suggest that you read it. I couldn't put it down. Very good work Mr. Schneider.
Published 21 months ago by louis perry
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More About the Author

Once, Mike wrote fiction. Then he moved to Los Angeles, started writing movies, and he disappeared.

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Topic From this Discussion
Not sure I understand the ending
I like to think that the end of this book tells you that no matter how much you loved someone, he or she doesn't have to be the last one you loved. It's just hope. Even if one is uncertain about whether what's coming is going to be right and perfect, there is a way out. So, after everything he... Read More
Nov 21, 2012 by l0rena |  See all 2 posts
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