The Man Within My Head

The Man Within My Head

Book - 2012
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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 Gree≠ 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.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.
ISBN: 9780307267610
Characteristics: 241 pages ; 22 cm


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beebee40 Mar 22, 2014

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

Aug 28, 2012

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.

patienceandfortitude Jun 06, 2012

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.

Mar 13, 2012


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