Gone with the Mind / Mark Leyner

This autobiographical novel takes the form of a public “reading” of the book itself at the food court of a suburban mall.  The author and his mother are there for the reading; two others present are food court employees on a break.  The mother introduces the reading giving some background on the author’s life, then the author tells about his preparation for creating the autobiography (which originally was planned as a Mussolini video game instead), in advance of the promised reading.  He is helped by his Imaginary Intern, an alter ego first observed in cracks in a bathroom tile floor.   The novel can be pretty creepy and weird, but the writing is amazingly heartfelt and funny at the same time.  Leyner experiments with structure and covers unlimited territory in what some critics have considered a work of genius.     Elaine 1/6/2017

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