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Evolution of Insanity Paperback – January 27, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Evolution of Insanity is brimming with thought provoking ideas, philosophical insights and strong prose. Go ahead, take the first sip and read this book - Lucien Black
Overall this book gets two thumbs up from me and I would certainly recommend it to my friends (in fact I have already) - Katina Ferguson --Goodreads
About the Author
Entrepreneur, Environmentalist, Philosopher, Race Car Driver, and many other random things. Haresh Daswani experiences life in the fullest color in a very observant fashion. He is also currently a columnist for National Free Press in Canada and Augusta Free Press. Haresh Daswani carries the riddles and observations of life in a unique play of form, merging art, written and form abstract with clinical external analysis. He has dwelled on the curious intermarriage of poetry with essay and short story narration, playing with multiple voices, playing with differing layers and levels of involvement.
Top customer reviews
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fascinating. The observations and commentary on life by Mr. Daswani will have you begging for a sequel to this
I thought Evolution of Insanity would be a novel, or at least a set of linked stories with an overall arc, but it seems to be a collection of the Haresh Daswani's storeis, essays and poems. While there is no story link, the individual entries are linked by Daswani's wry humour and razor-sharp observations.
The entries in the book include short stories (some very short), absurdist observations of the vagaries of everyday life; observations on social trends; essays on religion, life and people; and even a few poems.
I have to admit, I was put off at first by the large number of grammatical, punctuation and typographical errors. But these are more than offset by the humour and underlying honesty of the work. That's what I mean by accepting imperfection: there is much to enjoy in this book. I found myself smiling, even laughing several times; but more often, I found myself recognizing the characters as people I had met in my own life.
Some of it is absurd, sure. But it's all grounded in Daswani's ability to see what people are really doing, and analyzing so accurately the often twisted thought process behind those actions. Ultimately, it makes us question how logical or straightforward our own thought processes and actions are. Do I do those things? Do I stare at inanimate objects for inspiration while writing about something completely different, like the author in the first vignette?
Grammatical problems aside, Daswani's book is enjoyable and interesting. You cannot stop reading it once you stop. So maybe the best description is subversive and addictive.
No. It's a positive force in the world. Just buy it, read it and let the rest of the world know what you think.
None of the stories are very long, which allows you to either read through them rather quickly, or spread them out as treats for yourself when you need to take a quick break.
Daswani has a gift for creating believable situations in his stories, and giving them a twist so that you aren't quite sure how the story is going to turn out. His plots move along well and some of them reminded me of episodes from Twilight Zone where you know something is off but don't know what until the story is complete.
Even if you are not a fan of the short story format, you might like this book. The stories are unusual and varied. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from this author!
It made me insane.
Overall, I think this book has one humongous mistake. A very huge irredeemable mistake.
We are fooled thinking that this book is about how insanity evolved. "Do not judge the book by its title", that is more aptly appropriate than the original quotation. We expect to read about insanity and maybe read what author has to say about it and about all its possible forms and appearances throughout time, of how it grows and instills itself to one, of what it does and what it is capable of becoming.
This book has made a very unforgivable mistake...
Instead of the "Evolution of Insanity," this book should be correctly titled as "The Evolution of Genius!"
I love it. I loved it the first time I read it and I know I will love it the next time I will read it. I love the complexity of the book. Some stories may be somewhat shallow, some are deeply profound, some are lamentable, some are funny, some are spicy and ironic, some are mundane, some are exceptional but most of all, every story is a jewel. This book is a veritable treasure box. I have never read such a powerful short story collection.
This book transcends every genre I ever loved and known. It can be described closest as post-modern, but then there are elements of magical realism, of fantasy, of horror, of realism, of parodies and of excitingly innovative ideas. i cannot put this book in the shelf of fiction or non-fiction. I rather put copies of this in a pedestal behind the bookstore's window for all to see if I were a shop owner. This book is definitely beyond any classification. Haresh Daswani speaks of truth, and lies, and creatively made up half-truths and half-lies but most of all, it shows you how diverse the universe is.
This book commits the totality of the cosmos with its myriad instances, its plenty characters, the multiple emotions that it shows and make us readers feel - the love, the terror, the hatred, the disgust, the outrageousness, and many more.
I cannot help but surmise how can a writer this good have escaped me for years. I love weird books, strange literature that goes beyond normal mainstream and popular plots. I love innovation and postmodernism. Some writers I love are Jeanette Winterson, John Fowles, Haruki Murakami, Julian Barnes and now, I am a big fan of Haresh Daswani for sure. He can be ranked with this great writers because the scope of this book is exceptional and beyond comprehension.
Before reading this, I must advise that the reader must be open-minded and wise enough, and prepare himself for anything. I admit there are some parts which I did not get immediately, there are parts which reveal themselves upon the first glance and there are even ones which are harder to decipher. But nevertheless, I will struggle to see all the secrets of this books. The author has many things to tell us and I would be a willing ear to all of it. This book may be as complicated as House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski but this one is more readable and enjoyable. A lot better!
You will be totally mad and stupid if you miss the chance to read this. This is not the evolution of insanity as it states, rather it is the story of the evolution of a great writer's mind. The stories are representative of his skill as a storyteller, or a liar, or a religious figure of truth, whatever he may be in your eyes after you put this book down. You will surely not stop thinking of this long after you finish this.
I am excited just thinking of rereading this again. But this time, I want to relish the magnificence of each story. I will read it in a non-chronological manner, the way Aesop's fables must be read. This book must be read for enjoyment. It also must be read to learn things. I also must be read to discover the universe with new eyes.
This book changed me. It made me want to be a better writer who could make something even one-fourth of this. I am sure as a reader or a fellow author, this book would surely leave an impact to you. It will always leave a place in your heart and your mind, and of course, irrevocably it will make vibrations on your soul that will forever resonate with the whole creation.
So put me now in a strait jacket or inject me with tranquilizers. I have to somehow stop raving about this book!