Can civilization save us from ourselves? A series of six letters written during dark nights of the soul. Working from his own experience, Daniels considers how far books and learning and psychoanalysis can get us, and how much we're stuck within.
You wore your underwear until you felt you were no longer a member of the human race. Then you turned it inside out and wore it some more.
....I chased the preacher's daughter through the cornfield after Sunday evening services until I caught her.
That's the sort of humour you find in this 126-page long book which was sent to me by the Paris Review. It was sitting on my shelf for a while but now I finally had the chance to dive into it. Oh my, four hours later, I've closed it. I literally finished reading this book in a day. It's definitely a page-turner if that's what you're looking for.
The moment Daniels speaks about Numerology and Saturn, he really spoke to my heart. Until then, I thought this would be sophisticated humour. I didn't mind that giggly feeling within, it warmed my heart. He was speaking with such wit and depth that I felt completely captivated.
I had always thought of Saturn as vicious, as power-mad. I had never realized how frightened he was, compelled to commit and experience horror against his will. I began to cry. I felt sorry for Saturn. He didn't want to eat anymore. His stomach hurt. He wasn't even hungry.
Later on, we learn how Daniels understands human's darkness.
His aim was to protect me from the darkness all around us, using the darkness inside himself. All that darkness had to be good for something, didn't it?
It never takes long and you will find yourself smiling again.
I had just finished working out at the YMCA and was still sweating, pushing my cart full of blackberries...
He really is a genius in the way he can communicate a certain depth by touching the surface. He speaks of Indiana, the heart of the American bible belt, and his framing adds various dimensions all at once.
He crossed over the Ohio River into southern Indiana. There was nothing to stop him from throwing it out the window: his old life through a figurative window, his phone through an actual van window, everything. What would Jesus do, Jesus didn't have a cell phone.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Author: J.D. Daniels
What do you think, can civilization save us from ourselves?