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By Michael Landweber
Publisher: Coffeetown Press
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This book counts for the following Reading Challenge:
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
Among the slew of books offered for review by authors to book bloggers, some do catch my attention, I felt like I had to answer YES to receive and read this one.
WE is first super confusing, and that’s the point: the author wants to recreate for you the confusion facing Ben, 42. He has had some type of accident, and he seems to be in the hospital, being on and off conscious it seems, we are not sure.
And there she was, my mother, kneeling down to my height, the features of her face so sharp that they cut my eyes. His eyes. Our eyes.
The source of the confusion is that he feels himself as Ben, 42 AND at the same time his younger self, Binky, 7. And they communicate between each other, in total confusion, especially as the older self has of course advanced knowledge about what is going to happen to his younger self. And even more so, what’s going to happen to his/their older sister Sara that he/they love very much. And the older self is going to try to reverse the events by urging the younger self to act to prevent this awful to happen to her. Will he succeed? How is he going to really explain to his younger self who he is, coming from his future?
I was inside Binky. Could it be that he was also inside me?
If you feel totally confused, that’s fine. Though I have to say I went through the first two chapters just because I had promised to read and review the book. But I’m glad I persevered. After that, I was totally hooked and devoured it in 2 sittings.
It is totally unlike anything I have read, as for the plot. Near the end, you think you got it, and then of course, you go through a few more surprises, and the ending is really unexpected. I had my wow moment when I closed the book.
The writing is tight and vibrant. The ambiance of confusion is very well recreated. In some passages, it felt as if the author had written under the influence of some chemicals on his brain, or very high fever! Seriously, how did he come up with so much imagery, like subliminal pictures and thoughts?
And sometimes it was super funny, for instance when Ben helps Binky with multiplication tables, or when he tells him secrets about sex to share with the younger kids at school.
So if you want to read something different and unusual, and are ready for a confusing adventure outside your comfort zone, you will enjoy WE. Trust me, persevere through the first two chapters, the book is really worth the trip.
The book is also about growing up, and about some important adult issues.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
After an accident, forty-year-old Ben Arnold regains consciousness in the kitchen of the house he grew up in. Only he feels different, lighter somehow. Something is horribly wrong. Ben is swept into the arms of his mother, who he hasn’t seen in twenty years. She calls him by his childhood nickname, Binky. He sees a younger, unbroken version of his father. His estranged brother is there, reverted back to his awkward teenage self. Finally, adding horror to his confusion, he glimpses his older sister Sara as she runs out the door to meet her boyfriend.
Sara, whose absence he has felt every day since her death.
Ben is a mere hitchhiker, a parasite in the brain of seven-year-old Binky, and his younger self is not happy to have him there.
It is three days before his sister will be attacked. Ben knows he has to save Sara but first he must gain Binky’s trust. Even if he can get Binky to say the right words, to do the right thing, who will believe that a young boy can foretell the future? [Goodreads]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I was born in Madison, WI.
I have sort of learned and mostly forgotten four languages: Hebrew, Spanish, Japanese and Thai.
I met my wife in Tokyo. I am allergic to cumin.
The pinnacle of my journalism career was following President Clinton around while he jogged.
My short stories have appeared in some really cool literary magazines online and in print (and you can see a full list of them at my website).
I have Masters degrees in Southeast Asian Studies and Public Policy.
I have a soft spot for movies about talking animals.
I am very unlikely to survive the zombie apocalypse. WE is my first novel. I write TV and movie reviews for Pop Matters.
I have worked for government bureaucracies, large and small. I mainly listen to alternative music, but my favorite song might be Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield. I live and write in Washington, DC
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