8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This is a very well-written novel filled with clever statements and an unusual plot,
This review is from: Andrew's Brain: A Novel (Hardcover)
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I enjoyed this book because of the unusual way the plot developed. I shouldn’t describe the plot since the question “what is going on” is part of the joy of reading this drama. I liked how Doctorow switched his story from one time to another and then back again; the suspense that this produced; the author's clever use of language; the question I had whether Andrew was crazy or just unlucky as he claims; and why was he being interviewed and what would be his reaction to the interview. I liked the irony of Andrew an expert on the brain being analyzed by a person interested in his behavior. In short, I liked finding out what was going on.
The book had many witty and shrewd statements, as a store sign "Efficient and Courteous Self Service"; a description of an affair where the girl went and married a man that looked like him "So that when she wrote a few years later to tell me that she was leaving him I knew it was all over between us"; and "I entered the world of abs and pecs and quads. No two-syllable words in that crowd."
E. L. Doctorow filled this drama with many ideas and discussions presented in clever ways. There is, for example, a brief discussion on "cloud thinking," an "oversoul," the idea that there are ideas that seem to come down and be thought by many people throughout the world, such as the turn to conservatism in religion. He discusses "the two thieves dilemma": two thieves were caught but there was insufficient evidence against them. The detective gave each a choice. Betray or keep mum. If they both betray, they may get ten years in prison. If one betrays the other, he will get five years, and the betrayed man twenty. If neither betrays they will go free. What will the thieves do? Andrew uses this trick in this story.