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Man Versus Himself: a novel Paperback – August 5, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Erik Benson lives in Seattle, Washington, where he has been working at small and large Internet companies for five years. He maintains a personal site at erikbenson.com, and a website for this book at manversushimself.net.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (August 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595283535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595283538
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,578,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By jim hall on November 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Erik Benson's novel takes you inside the mind of an eccentric inventor of cities, nearing death and becoming increasingly obsessed with not becoming obsolete. As his mental state begins deteriorating the book really becomes hard to put down, and Benson's writing is wildly innovative and interesting. You don't know where he's taking you and you don't know exactly where you've wound up when it's all over. But one thing is sure, that place is creepy. It is like the feeling you get at the end of a David Lynch movie. Something is wrong, but you're not quite sure what it is. It is like the voice of Hal from 2001.
Benson's novel is timely in that it is colored with multiple planned communities, invasive information-gathering technologies, and office power politics. But its core is constructed around more timeless conflicts. When a man defines himself by what he produces, what happens once he becomes unproductive? And as our memory fails us, what remains of our identity? As death nears and our bodies deteriorate, what recourse do we have? Can we impose our identity on someone or something else? Will we resort to nonsense or destruction? Or can we find some synthesis with everything outside of ourselves and slip away quietly and peaceably?
Ultimately, Benson's first novel is a lyrical and fast-moving story that examines both group social behavior, the future of technology, and the most personal internal conflicts of man. It definitely holds up to multiple readings, which is my mark of a great book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jana Kleitsch on October 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
What if Erik was an 89 year old CEO? What if Erik lived in a city he created? This book gives insight into the wonderful imagination of Erik. He's a great story teller, although I had to skip over some of the computational subplots as I prefer more mindless reading. I've tried to convince Erik he needs to change the ending. Maybe I could pay some money for my own ending that could be posted on the [...] website because upon finishing the book I had to huck it across the room (like I did with some of my other favorite, emotion-inducing books). Read it to see for yourself.
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Man Versus Himself: a novel
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