Format: ARC PDF (Netgalley)
Release Date: September 17, 2012
Publisher: Pangea Books
Buy soundtrack here:
Synopsis from publisher:
Gripping action-adventure, travel fiction at its most alluring, the high-insight chronicle
of a rootless spirit’s search for grounding thru the minefield of terror that is the Postmillennium:
Kent Evans’ A CRASH COURSE ON THE ANATOMY OF ROBOTS marks
the arrival of a novelist whose impressive literary gifts are matched only by his mainstream
Damien Wood's path to adulthood in the last decade of the 20th century is marked with effortless success - creative, financial, sexual. Yet, his half-Asian lineage with its inherent cultural clashes is coupled with the inability to be touched by feelings or the people around him. Damien's efforts to reach his inner self take him from place to place and one hollow relationship to another, but he remains stuck outside of his experiences, a robot convincingly playing the role of daredevil artist and globetrotter.
Then, the century turns. As Damien's mother dies after a long and agonizing illness, and 9/11 inaugurates a reign of fear and terror, his emotions, from desire to despair, begin to emerge unbidden. These birth pangs of humanity send Damien on a mordantly comic, darkly suspenseful quest from the Americas through Southeast Asia in the company of an expatriate colony with too little to lose - including values - until violence comes to claim him as one of its own. No longer a robot, Damien has become a wanted man...
The original soundtrack for A Crash Course On the Anatomy of Robots was written and recorded at On Studio in Guanajuato, Mexico. The album will be available on iTunes prior to the release of the novel and come free as a companion piece with the Kindle version.
Well given my knack for the paranormal, I have surprised myself with something a little different yet again. Now be warned, I have never read anything quite like this so reviewing it may seem a bit unusual. But as I have said, I just can't stick to one thing only, I need to expand my proverbial wings. And I am quite glad I did because I definitely want more.
I must admit, I did have a hard time starting this. Like I said, not my usual read. It starts off like a journal with some humor and philosophical views. Then we get some drama and some poetry. The book changes views constantly and it was strange at first, but you catch on. The more you read it, you find there really is a certain rhythm to the story that takes a life of its own. When I started it, I didn't really know what I was getting into or if this was my thing, but that quickly changed.
A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots is a confessional literature read. My very first one. It is a book about an artist named Damien and his struggle with living after his parents' deaths. We see the beginnings of his downward spiral in depression, but still somehow managing to put on a face for those around you. He is in this state where nothing or nobody seems to effect him. He just rolls with the punches and pretends for the most part. We see the way he is with his friends and the way he is in relationships. Damien has a more philosophical outlook on friendships/relationships. Throughout the whole book, I didn't get a true connection from him with others. Maybe one or two of the girlfriends specifically Maria. I think a lot of why Damien is the way he is (besides his parents deaths) was because of his relationship with Maria.
Now a couple months ago I did a review for a book called Sykosa. In that review, I talk about how it doesn't necessarily have a plot, not in a typical sense anyway. The characters are what moves the story, they tell us what they want us to know. So instead of having one plot (or subplots), we get a story told through Damien's eyes in certain places or at certain times that effect him specifically. I honestly don't think I would have liked this book as much if it were told a different way because Damien felt more real this way. We get to feel what he is feeling and why he is feeling it. I definitely like this fictional memoir and I intend on reading more.
This book is about feeling detached and like a robot. A book about a man putting a mask and going through the motions due to his tragedy. But I love that Damien still searches to find a center, a way to find himself. That is why Damien travels...a lot. There is a lot of traveling in this book and at first I thought it was Damien's way of escaping. But I love how he describes it. It is his way of finding balance. And this book does have a wonderful balance.
I enjoyed this book a lot. I love Evans use of poetry, philosophy, comedy, travel escapades, spoken word and surprisingly, suspense. This may have started slow for me, but it quickly became a book I couldn't put down especially the last few chapters. Wow, I did not expect this book to be The build up of the story was unexpected and even though Damien could be quite depressing, he was a great main character. Like I said, you will relate to him and his ups and downs (mostly downs). A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots is a unique, suspenseful, unpredictable, thought provoking, perceptive read that moves to its own beat.
*This book belongs to the following challenges*BCC's 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012