Men of Action

Men of Action

Book - 2015
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Perseus Publishing
An essay on consciousness, patrimony, old crime films, and the desire to write.

WINNER OF THE 2016 CANADIAN JEWISH LITERARY AWARD FOR BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 TORONTO BOOK AWARDS

The problem of consciousness may just be a semantic one. The brain absorbs a sea of sensory input, the tiniest fraction of which reaches the shore of our awareness. We pay attention to what is most novel, most necessary at the time. At its most reductive, the word consciousness refers to the synchronized firing of neurons across multiple areas of the brain, the mental experience of attending.

But should consciousness be summed up simply by its subconscious mechanism? I would prefer a more imaginative answer.

After his father undergoes brain surgery and slips into a coma, Howard Akler begins to reflect on the complicated texture of consciousness. During the long months that follow, Akler confronts the unknowable nature of another person’s life, as well as the struggles within his own unpredictable mind. With echoes of Paul Auster’s The Invention of Solitude and Philip Roth’s Patrimony, Men of Action treads the line between memoir and meditation, and is at once elegiac, spare and profoundly intimate.




Publisher: Toronto : Coach House Books, c2015
ISBN: 9781552453179
Branch Call Number: 153 AKL
Characteristics: 123 p. :,ill. ;,20 cm.

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