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Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  43 reviews
It's the classic dilemma of the writer: Do you write what's in your heart or do you write what sells? In this modern age of publishing there is a huge chasm between the best selling authors that are rich beyond their dreams and... well, everybody else. All Daniel Waterstone ever wanted to do was write the great American novel and change the landscape of modern literature f ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 4th 2013 by Expression Unleased Publishing
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  233 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Angelica Bentley
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An unusual, compelling, satirical look at the dysfunctional world of writing and publishing. The madness in this book is so real and so possible, it is chilling in its accuracy. I found myself at times nodding in complete agreement, and at others laughing to the point of tears. In effortlessly engaging prose, Dermot Davis delivers a non-judgemental, impassioned discourse, condensing the human condition down to the twin universal truths: we go through life not knowing who we really are; and we ar ...more
Gisela Hausmann
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: funny
"Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World" was recommended to be by a book reviewer, who told me "you are an author, you should read it." Since I value this reviewer a lot I did. The book exceeded my expectations.

The story begins like many stories about starving authors begin, only the description is much funnier.

Daniel Waterstone has always known that he wanted to become an author, stepping directly into footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, et al. Right after grad
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World: Dermot Davis

Just what makes a best seller? Is it a good romance, mystery or thriller with a plot filled with murder, intrigue, hot and steamy sex? Aspiring writers hope that their novel will not only be on the Times best seller list but reach number one. Some might be naïve enough to think they might write the next great American Novel. Think again! Vampire’s books, self-help, murder, humor, satire which topic or genre would warrant being
Christoph Fischer
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World" by Dermot Davis is a hilarious and clever satire about the world of publishing, audience tastes and manipulation.
A very talented writer is unable to make a living on the strength of his high quality literary books, but when 'selling out' he lands a hit.
With sharp with and observational humour the book depicts not only the hype of marketing but also the gullible nature of readers and human beings.
Daniel/ Charles is a great character who h
Wendy Janes
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel is a published author, but no one wants to read his literary novels. Even his agent isn’t interested in his latest manuscript. In an act of desperation he pens a satirical work under a pseudonym, which his agent and publisher put out as a self-help book. Suddenly, he is a runaway commercial success, and then life becomes really complicated.

This book is a wonderful satire on modern publishing, and a clever exploration of degrees of sanity.

Although the early pages don’t seem to have the in
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes we forget how much effort, work and sacrifice goes into the creation of the books we enjoy, be they fiction, the great American novel, or a self-help guide. Brain The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World uses satire, some times tongue in cheek, sometimes just shy of absurd, to remind us what it really takes to give readers what we crave.

Dermot Davis offers us a well crafted, humorous story of a young idealist, Daniel Waterstone. Fresh from college, Daniel sets his sights on li
Marquita Herald
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World is the second book I've had the pleasure of reading by Award Winning Playwright Dermot Davis, his book Zen and Sex having been the first. I'm not sure which I appreciate more about this talented author, his unfailing, and at times quirky sense of humor, or the fact that he so effectively avoids writing variations on the same tired old themes. I see many other reviewers have introduced a few of the characters and shared parts of the storyli ...more
Nick Marsh
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I devoured Mr Davis’s other novel, Zen and Sex in forty-eight hours, so I was very pleased to discover a new release from him. Brain is a comedy about writing, and about the vagaries of the publishing business. It’s a comment on what sells and what doesn’t, and whether artists should aspire to be artists, or simply try to produce a work that they know will sell. It’s a satire about a man writing a satire, and it’s very, very funny.
The book starts out predictably (but amusingly) enough, but there
John Hoegaarden
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brain is a must read for all authors trying to make sense of the world of publishing.
It reminded me of Bonfire of the Vanities and Tom Sharpe's work.
Essentially a comedy and satire, Brain is a modern fable about the power of imagination and marketing with unforeseen consequences.
It also includes some great set pieces and observations about life which resonate with this reader.
I loved the story and I believe it would make a great comedy film in the right hands. Monty Python
would be a great touchs
Andrew Walker
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's funny, imaginative and captivating. I connected with the themes immediately, which kept me reading with vivid interest until the end. The characters are rich and the protagonist - Daniel - is someone that I looked forward to spend time with at each opportunity I had to continue reading. Dermot Davis' writing style flows like a river in the summer, it's easy to get along with and a joy to experience. This is a must read for anyone interested in writing or anything to do wi ...more
James Sillwood
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Daniel Waterstone wins a literary award at college. Ten years later he’s a published author having little success with his novels. Suzanne, his agent, is not impressed with his new manuscript and warns him that he may have to repay his advance. Things go from bad to worse and Daniel finds himself in a desperate situation. His phone and electricity are cut off and he is about to be thrown out of his apartment.
On his way home from the meeting with Suzanne, his old wreck of a car finally gives up.
D.L. Morrese
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel is an author of literary fiction, and his novels are award winners. Readers of classic literature love them, but these readers don’t represent a very large portion of the book-buying market. His agent is less than sympathetic with his plight. She agrees that his books are good, but she doesn’t need good books, she needs books that will sell, and she tells him his next two won’t. She won’t even try to find a publisher for them.

In order not to starve, he has to write something that will sel
Scott Spotson
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is doubtlessly an original work the likes of which I have not seen before.

It is wacky, satirical, and unexpected. You have no idea what will hit you... and the outrageous incidents keep coming on. Duck!

At first, when I started the book, I felt "oh no" and thought it would be a boring treatise on the difficulty of becoming a new author, who has serious intent but faces the normalcy of diminishing returns from a saturated market (except for the very few that make it). The beginning seems well
Heather Pioro
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dermot Davis has his finger on the pulse of human foibles and foolishness. His book, 'Brain', makes a clever showing of the eagerness of the population to believe in something- anything. The book within the book, 'You Have a Brain', as well as the character Randy, are stylized very well and fully display the ridiculous nature of the self-help genre and so-called gurus. My only critique is that, for me, the characters existed a bit on the surface. I know more about what they did, as opposed to wh ...more
Robert Cohen
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating is really 4.5.

This book sort of defies categorization. It's a satire within a satire. The main protagonist, Daniel, is a deeply neurotic but otherwise normal novelist. He is swimming in a sea of wackos and crazies that would make Carl Hiaasen blush. The plot is right out of the Marx Brothers.

Daniel's masterpieces are simply not selling. He is starving, quite literally. Then he writes something that changes his life, and a whole lot of lives around him. The plot centers around the chao
Henry Simpson
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is a satire about a satire (satire squared?). As all good satires must, this one has a plausible yet outrageous premise, namely, that the reading public would take seriously a book some smart guy wrote as satire, thus proving that (1) he was not as smart as he thought, and (2) the reading public was gullible or worse (stupid? delusional? capable of magical thinking?). The protagonist of this gem is a serious author named Daniel whose agent dumps him after two books that do not sell we ...more
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World by Dermot Davis was an absolute delight to read. I would like to thank the author for providing me with a review copy.

It is a book that is exciting, thrilling and very funny, all in just the right amounts. It follows Daniel Waterstone an author with very talented literally skills. However, there’s one major problem. Unfortunately, the books he writes do not sell.

Out of deep frustration, and after taking the brain power of a self-help guru
A satirical book about an unknown author suddenly transformed in a guru.

Daniel is an author who writes very well written books, that nobody wants to read. Running out of money, he decides to have a look at the work of some significant authors. And then, he writes a new book, which will make him into a guru.

It wasn't what I expected and, as the writing didn't work with me, it wasn't a pleasant read. The subject about a struggling author seemed interesting, but too quickly, the book became focuse
Linda S  Amstutz
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Waterstone, like so many of us, wanted to write the Great American Novel. Instead, again like so many of us, he wrote books – and sequels – that no one was really interested in. Daniel blamed his agent, his audience, and everyone but himself. Self-absorbed and self-centered, he didn’t understand why no one embraced his words or characters. At the end of his ropes, financially and emotionally, Daniel (using a pen name) spewed out a manuscript which he called a satire. His agent, and publis ...more
Dorothy Mercer
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Award winning playwright, Dermot Davis, has written an hilarious satire about a writer of commercially worthless "serious literature."
Nearing starvation, in desperation, Daniel Waterstone writes a pop satire, intending it to be an expose and outrageous parody on the popular genre "self-help" books. Instead, the great unwashed millions of the gullible book-buying public take it seriously, claiming to be transformed and enlightened by performing silly and ridiculously funny exercises, such as walk
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-to-review, 2014
I thought this book was quite humorous. I thought it was a good insight into what people will find "enlightening" and that what makes a best seller that everyone clamors to purchase. I like how Daniel came to realize that what this best seller for him became was not what he wanted. Sure the money was good, he has a conscious. Although he was rather uptight about writing only good literature. Mavis was correct that people read to escape for the most part and that is what makes a good book.
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I won this on Goodreads and must say I enjoyed this book immensely. the storyline is intriguing and I found myself laughing out loud at parts. the characters are amusing and easy to connect with. the pace is great and the climax is just hilarious. i would definitely recommend people read this book.
Mary Lee
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a serious problem with this book. It's too funny, too well written and too original. Who would possibly want to read a book that will entertain them from beginning to end? I'm awfully disappointed that I didn't fall asleep to this insanely creative book. If you're looking to spend your money on something boring and dull, don't buy this book.
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Charles Spectrum, writing under the nom de plume of "Daniel Waterstone" who in turn writes under the pen name of "Dermot Davis" has produced the self-help book to end all self-help books.

The romp (in the Merriam Webster sense of the word) begins with personna Daniel Waterstone, "the recipient of the prestigious Marcus and Imelda Rogerspoon award for the student showing the brightest promise for a future literary career." Then, instead of having the decorum to sit down and shut up, Daniel demonst
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, comedy
Quirky and absurd. Not too bad, as well as being a relatively fast read.
Scherry  at The Novel Lady
This book was laugh out loud funny! Ironic and chaotic... but in a humorous way! I absolutely loved it! If any of my author friends are reading this review... stop what you are doing and download this book today. You will love it too!

When you get to know various authors and begin to understand how the current publishing world works, you come to the realization that it doesn't really matter how good a novel is, it just matters if it is what the general population is buying at that point in time a
Sandra Lopez
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Daniel Waterstone has had aspirations to be a successful and famous writer, one that would follow the chains of Steinbeck and Faulkner. Fantasies about it often overwhelmed and clouded his head.

Although somewhat prideful and arrogant at his graduation, Daniel had a point. “Our literature has been in decline for decades. Loopy fads and fantasy genres, of questionable merit, now clog our once-great literary arteries.” (3) There was an “urgency” for a revival of great American literature.

Now, 10
Diana Febry
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend this book that fully deserves its string of awards.
Davis is a writer with something to say which he does in an entertaining and engaging way. There are numerous laugh out loud moments as events around Daniel/Charles and his book spiral into outlandish farce but as with all quality humour there is a serious message underneath.
For me the best part of the book was the character arc of Daniel. While the story concentrates on the powerful effect his book has on his readers Daniel's
T. Hodges
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The writer's guilty pleasure

I tend to be a sucker for cultural parody, so I may have enjoyed this more than most would. Arguably, the target audience of this book may be other authors who have all by now beaten their heads against the reality of 'what is currently marketable' in book publishing. I imagine them sitting in front of their computer screens thinking, "please don't force me to write a strong female heroine dystopian future with sparkling vampires, werewolf on werewolf love triangles,
H. Rose
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book (an #ARC that I got to read, luckily). I actually cried. It had a very good start and was engaging and then, about 70% of the way in, I fell in love with the book. There was this turning point, for me the reader, which was palpable. It's not out yet, so I won't share spoilers, but there was this energy experience that I felt during a romantic interlude between the protagonist and another character (and this isn't a romantic comedy, it's contemporary fiction with a romantic sub- ...more
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Dermot is an Irish writer who splits his time between Ireland and the US. His creative work encompasses varied genres and styles with a special focus on human themes and characters transformed by life experience. He is a Gold Medalist Winner in the 2015 READER'S FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD, a SOMERSET AWARDS FIRST PLACE WINNER 2013, a First Place Winner in the 2013 USA BEST BOOK AWARDS and a ...more
“People don’t read to enlighten themselves or seek to gain some valuable insight into their own psychology. People read to escape.” 19 likes
“Crazy people love their Kindles.” 12 likes
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