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Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature
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Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  240 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Within the literature of madness, there has never been a memoir as wrenching and mordantly humorous as Jan Lars Jensen's Nervous System. A quiet librarian who struck publishing gold with his first novel, Jensen felt as if something had come unhinged in his mind. The rush of ideas and language felt like losing, willy-nilly, a chunk of his mental stability. But true madness ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published March 16th 2005 by Carroll & Graf (first published 2004)
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Librarian Jan Lars Jensen just sold his first novel - a science fiction story set in future India - to a publisher. Excellent news to any writer, but as he revised the story for his editor, he grew increasingly convinced that his novel - which featured the gods of Hindu mythology - will anger the Hindus, lead to the collapse of his life, and the destruction of the world. [return][return]While it's natural for most authors to be apprehensive about an upcoming release of a new novel, Jensen lost h ...more
Oct 05, 2007 Heather rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Adults
This book wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be.; It was cool that he was Canadian though. It was different that what I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be more about his mental illness and classic books, but instead it was about the publication of his book, which seemed a little self-centered.
All in all not a bad book at all, but the book has (for me) a very though and boring middle part where the author bores the reader with ongoing nagging about his book publication. When that's all set and done Jan Lars Jensen returns to analysing his sickness and his time in the ward and his way to getting sane again and the book turns out to be quite deep. At first I thought of only Jan as a deep character but in the last parts of the book you get a glimpse of Michelle's thoughts and behavior to ...more
Jul 02, 2007 Amanda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like memoirs
Another memoir - by a guy who had a complete break with reality and thought he would bring down the entire world civilization with his novel Shiva3000, and how he struggled to be able to read afterwards. Really, really fascinating.
Robert Windsor
I've added my review to Heather's because I disagree with it being 'self-centred.' It was a blessing 8 years ago but at the moment I wish it was in comic form!
Interesting narrative on an author's nervous breakdown spurred by the news of an upcoming publication of his latest novel. I enjoyed Jan Jensen's honest rebelling of his time spent on the hospital and especially his manic thoughts throughout his return home and back into the real world. Overall this book was a little dull and I put it down for a few days and almost forgot about it.
It's was a nice read, especially towards the middle of the book. Skip the last 40 pages or so, it's too much yada about his plans of publishing this book and comparisons with other books. Not highly recommended but worth reading when you're interested in the author's 'crazy' breakdown. Haven't read shiva 3000 though so maybe that is an important factor too.
I was intrigued at first, but then not so much anymore. I understand that it shows quite well how a person with a nervous breakdown thinks, but at a certain point I kept on thinking 'Calm down dude, this is so irrational' (which is the point I guess? but then again I couldn't really enjoy reading it anymore)
Jun 25, 2007 Marty rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2007
Sort of a strange memoir about a writer going crazy about the book he's written. Everything's all tangled up - he's writing about writing making him go crazy, making him sort of an unreliable narrator. I liked it okay but didn't love it enough to really recommend it.
well, the book was fresh. I admire the writer and his strength in writing about his lowest point in life. It really does gives us a better understanding to mental illness. I guess all of us will lose our minds at some point in our lives.
Scary-because-it's-true tour of a descent into mental illness with a paranoia tinge. Much more engaging than I had expected, this story stuck with me all day long during the week that I read it.
Ketan Shah
A disarmingly honest and well written account of the writer's descent into insanity,and his subsequent recovery.If you enjoyed this,you might enjoy the work of Chuck Pahlaniuk and Dave Sedaris.
Ryan McArthur
Super interseting, a really good insight into the authors mental condition. Funny, interesting and sad in turns.
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