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The Man Within My Head

Iyer, Pico (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Man Within My Head
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Random House, Inc.
We all carry people inside our heads—actors, leaders, writers, people out of history or fiction, met or unmet, who sometimes seem closer to us than people we know.

In The Man Within My Head, Pico Iyer sets out to unravel the mysterious closeness he has always felt with the English writer Graham Greene; he examines Greene’s obsessions, his elusiveness, his penchant for mystery. Iyer follows Greene’s trail from his first novel, The Man Within, to such later classics as The Quiet American and begins to unpack all he has in common with Greene: an English public school education, a lifelong restlessness and refusal to make a home anywhere, a fascination with the complications of faith. The deeper Iyer plunges into their haunted kinship, the more he begins to wonder whether the man within his head is not Greene but his own father, or perhaps some more shadowy aspect of himself.

Drawing upon experiences across the globe, from Cuba to Bhutan, and moving, as Greene would, from Sri Lanka in war to intimate moments of introspection; trying to make sense of his own past, commuting between the cloisters of a fifteenth-century boarding school and California in the 1960s, one of our most resourceful explorers of crossing cultures gives us his most personal and revelatory book.

Baker & Taylor
Recounts the author's life-long obsession with Graham Greene's writings on the experiences of being an outsider, which informed both the author's travels and his private explorations of his relationship with his elusive father.

Baker
& Taylor

Recounts the author's life-long obsession with Graham Greene's writings on the experiences of being an outsider, which informed both the author's travels and his private explorations of his relationship with his elusive father. By the author of Abandon.

Authors: Iyer, Pico
Statement of Responsibility: Pico Iyer
Title: The man within my head
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
Characteristics: 241 p. ; 22 cm.
Contents: Ghosts
Gods
Fathers
Subject Headings: Greene, Graham, 1904-1991 Influence Greene, Graham, 1904-1991 Criticism and interpretation Novelists, English 20th century Biography Iyer, Pico Family Fathers and sons Iyer, Pico Travel
Topical Term: Novelists, English
Fathers and sons
LCCN: 2011041285
ISBN: 9780307267610
030726761X
Branch Call Number: 823.912 I
Research Call Number: JFD 12-467
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Mar 22, 2014
  • beebee40 rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed his early work; not this one. He is self-absorbed, in the extreme and this? Perhaps the emperor who wore no clothes?

This is Pico's personal memoir, not a book of insights into the intriguing novelist Graham Greene. You can find the same information easily in this library (try GG's intro on memoir). Frequently Pico recalls his privileged upbringing and life : private school in England, home in the California hills, travel, high pay, writing, comfort. He repeats his significant life events several times in the half I read. When he refers to Greene's novels, he bursts as if those completed arcs of fiction will console. His father's life had dramatic trajectory, yet Pico doesn't give it enough space here (maybe elsewhere). Oldest of six, he studied in the one room family home, enrolled in Bombay, won a Rhodes scholarship, went to England, moved to California to teach at University.

Jun 06, 2012
  • patienceandfortitude rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

As a fan of Graham Greene, I did enjoy this book, but as is frequently the case, I enjoy reading the author directly more than reading about how others experience him.

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