Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Review: Being Written

Summary: Daniel Fischer has a secret. He knows he's a character in a book that's being written. He's the only one who knows, the only one who's aware of the author's presence—but what good does it do Daniel? He's just a minor character. The author seems much more interested in other people's lives. Now Daniel is determined to win a bigger part, and he'll do whatever it takes to get the author's attention and make this story his own.

Suspenseful, subversive, and hilarious, Being Written is an audaciously inventive literary turn that gleefully calls into question who we trust, what we believe, and how the stories of our lives are created. -- Harper Perennial

When William Conescu, author of the new novel BEING WRITTEN, contacted me about reading his book, I jumped at the chance. I read the summary and a few bits of praise surrounding the book, and I knew I just had to read it. I thought the premise behind this novel -- that a guy can hear "scribbling sounds" and know that someone is writing a book with him as a character -- sounded so unique. While I was interested in the storyline, I have to admit that part of the reason I wanted to read this book was because I wasn't sure how the author was going to pull off this concept.

Well, guess what? Mr. Conescu did pull off this very unique idea for a story, and I thought BEING WRITTEN was absolutely brilliant!!! It was one of those rare books that had me saying "WOW" when I finished it. I couldn't put the book down and read it in (almost) one sitting. The book is not very long (a little under 200 pages), but it does pack a very powerful punch.

This novel is most definitely a dark comedy; but I think even if you're not a big fan of those types of stories, you will still appreciate BEING WRITTEN. In addition to the story of Daniel and his desire to become a main character in a novel, this book is also about a group of 20+ somethings who are trying to find themselves. In a way, it's kind of a self-discovery, coming-of-age type of novel. However, the real beauty for me was the story of Daniel.

Daniel was one of the most original, unique characters that I've ever "met" through a novel. I'm not sure what to make of him because I do think he was crazy (or at least unstable), but I have to say that I still liked him. He lies and manipulates his way through life to become a character in someone's novel; and he eventually becomes so caught up in his quest to be a major role that he loses grip on his own reality. This novel gives the reader a fascinating look into the Daniel's mind, and you just feel so lucky to be along for the ride!

BEING WRITTEN is Mr. Conescu's first novel (he has written many short stories), and it's a very impressive debut. I was blown away by not only the plot but his ability to tell the story too. I absolutely love that each chapter is written from a different characters' point of view -- it allowed me to really get to know each one of them. What makes this book special is that all of the characters, except Daniel, are written in third person. Daniel's chapters are written in second person, and I thought this technique is what make this book so incredibly well written. By having Daniel referring to himself as you, the author allows the reader to feel as if they are part of the action. It also gave Daniel's chapters a level of intensity that set them apart from the rest of the book.

BEING WRITTEN is an excellent book to discuss. In fact after I finished, I immediately wanted to talk about it with someone. I couldn't get over the Daniel character, and I was just dying to talk about the novel's ending! It has been days since I've finished BEING WRITTEN, and I still can't stop thinking about it -- to me, that's a sign of a really good book. What's even better is that the more I think about this novel, the deeper I realize it is. This book is just so good on so many different levels. There is a reading guide available which should definitely encourage conversation and help to keep your discussion on track.

Make sure you come back tomorrow because Mr. Conescu will be answering a few of my questions. In addition, he might have a little surprise for you!

Also reviewed at:
Age 30+...A Lifetime in Books

6 comments:

bermudaonion said...

That does sound good. Glad to see he was able to pull it off.

Serena said...

I've seen this book in a couple of places and it reminds me of that movie...stranger than fiction.

I would love to read this one...I have to check if its on the tbr list on good reads.

Cheryl said...

WOw this sounds like a good book. I will have to check it out

Scobberlotcher said...

I am intrigued! I am going to Amazon to check this book out now. Thanks!

Wanda said...

Sounds quirky and interesting.
A thinking book. I like that.

Heather J. said...

Thanks for leaving me your link. I really enjoyed this book - it came at just the right time as I was in a reading funk. :)