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This Book Does Not Exist by [Schneider, Mike]
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This Book Does Not Exist Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Length: 250 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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 experienced. 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 out the manuscript. Publishers 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 loaded with references to social media and the Internet? 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. 

Sincerely,

Mike

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.

You can follow Mike on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat -- @onemikey

Product Details

  • File Size: 669 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: October 17, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ZUYPKS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,949 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded this book based on its Amazon description, and I was looking forward to a story about a character who is losing touch with reality, experiencing a mental breakdown, and can't differentiate fact from fiction. Instead, I ended up with a pretty straight-forward narrative about a young man battling a malevolent door. I guess it's not fair to judge a book for not living up to the expectations I'd imagined, but ultimately, I wish I'd read the book the author described in the description, as it sounds way more compelling than the book I'd read.

The story isn't bad or poorly written, but it is a bit straight-forward. The narrator's thought processes are incredibly linear, and the plot moves from one beat to the next perfunctorily. The book would have benefited greatly from side plots or other characters, as the extremely straight-forward-and-to-the-point narrative doesn't leave much room for interpretation, or for character development, which left me intellectually and emotionally disengaged.
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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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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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