Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 04/2020
  • 1660970644 B086WWNVLN
  • 345 pages
  • $3.33
Paperback Details
  • 04/2020
  • 1660970644 B086WWNVLN
  • 345 pages
  • $11.22
Dave Cowen
Author
This Book Is the Longest Sentence Ever Written and Then Published
Dave Cowen, author

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

What makes a good writer? Publishing in The New Yorker? Selling a screenplay? Writing something that will be acknowledged for all time? In April of 2019, Dave Cowen wanted to prove he wasn't a failed writer. Even though he published humor in The New Yorker, they weren't buying any more of his work. Even though he wrote a screenplay that sought to help heal the country's divide on guns, Hollywood didn't want it. So he set out to write something that would be a success no matter what anyone thought of it. The ensuing quest to write the longest sentence ever published in the English language becomes a strange, all-consuming, life-changing odyssey. The stream-of-consciousness draws in James Joyce, Numerology, Copyright Law, Jeff Bezos, Instagram, The Enneagram, Kanye West, and portions written by an AI.But what begins as a comedic conceptual performance soon transforms into a poignant grappling with the suicide earlier that same spring of the writer's beloved father with whom he shared a bipolar disorder diagnosis. As the author pours out words through his year of mourning - without stopping to edit - right up until the anniversary of his father’s death, he’s unsure if he’s losing his sanity or if he’s awakening his consciousness, seeing mystical synchronicities in the texts he reads, the music he hears, and the external/internal interplay of life itself. Finding inspiration in his father's hero, Abraham Lincoln, and other father figures such as Lewis Hyde and David Shields, Carl Jung and James Hollis, Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, and Philip K. Dick and Jack Kerouac, the writer integrates personal memoir with literary criticism, original thought with collage remixing, depth psychology with freethinking spirituality. He comes out on the other side a wounded healer with much to offer his readers: comedy, candor, and catharsis. And the opportunity to add 250 words of their own to the sentence-book, whatever it inspires them to express, via a verified Amazon purchase review, so that all of us can be part of the longest sentence ever written and published!
Reviews
Taking on the entertaining and grueling task of breaking the record of the longest single sentence ever published, Cowen’s hefty endeavor offers remarkable vulnerability alongside a strain of self-effacing humor. Cowen kicks off the book with good-natured jokes at the absurdity of his record-breaking labor, trying to prove that he isn’t a failed writer by competing valiantly against the likes of William Faulkner’s 1,288 word sentence in Absalom, Absalom! and the compelling 3,687 words in James Joyce’s Ulysses, but the 111,111 words of his book-length sentence soon incorporate enneagrams and virtues, mental health treatments, Cowen’s father’s kidney failure, and his fascination with rapper Kanye West.

The purposeful rambling gives Cowen license to explore odd connections and digressions among his wildly divergent topics, hopping from his father’s death to The Lion King to Paul Auster and back in one recursive tangent. He uses diagrams, social media screen grabs, and web pages (which he counts as a single word) to illustrate his points about the problems with Instagram (“the invasive proliferation of autobiography, of the diary, of self-preoccupation as a genre in and of itself”) or to launch into discussions of copyright usage. His single and singular sentence is impressively seamless, even when occasionally frustrating the reader.

Though the lack of finishing punctuation or breaks sometimes makes the text difficult to decipher, the through-line narrative comes across as meditative and honest in an intentionally disarming way. Cowen’s humorous narration and collage storytelling give readers a raw, unguarded look into his mind. An ambitious experiment in form, Cowen’s unfiltered journey is a rewarding read for fans of avant-garde literature that blends confessional writing and criticism.

Takeaway: Readers undaunted by literary experiments will find wholesome vulnerability and contemplative humor in this self-consciously record-breaking novel.

Great for fans of Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport, W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: -
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 04/2020
  • 1660970644 B086WWNVLN
  • 345 pages
  • $3.33
Paperback Details
  • 04/2020
  • 1660970644 B086WWNVLN
  • 345 pages
  • $11.22

Loading...