The Man Within My Head: Book summary and reviews of The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer

The Man Within My Head

by Pico Iyer

The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer X
The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2012
    256 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

We all carry people inside our heads - actors, leaders, writers, people out of history or fiction, met or unmet, who sometimes seem closer to us than people we know.
 
In The Man Within My Head, Pico Iyer sets out to unravel the mysterious closeness he has always felt with the English writer Graham Greene; he examines Greene’s obsessions, his elusiveness, his penchant for mystery. Iyer follows Greene’s trail from his first novel, The Man Within, to such later classics as The Quiet American and begins to unpack all he has in common with Greene: an English public school education, a lifelong restlessness and refusal to make a home anywhere, a fascination with the complications of faith. The deeper Iyer plunges into their haunted kinship, the more he begins to wonder whether the man within his head is not Greene but his own father, or perhaps some more shadowy aspect of himself.

Drawing upon experiences across the globe, from Cuba to Bhutan, and moving, as Greene would, from Sri Lanka in war to intimate moments of introspection; trying to make sense of his own past, commuting between the cloisters of a fifteenth-century boarding school and California in the 1960s, one of our most resourceful explorers of crossing cultures gives us his most personal and revelatory book.

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Media Reviews

"Resonates deeply…In the hands of a lesser writer, the dueling father figures would dissolve into melodrama, but Iyer weaves them brilliantly." - Publishers Weekly

"The author is a wonderful wordsmith, and he provides engaging stories...[However] those unfamiliar with the writings of either Greene or Iyer may have trouble following the thread of this memoir." - Kirkus Reviews

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