Thursday, February 20, 2014

We by Michael Landweber

Author: Michael Landweber
Publisher: Coffeetown Press
Date of publication.September 2013

After an accident, forty-year-old Ben Arnold regains consciousness in the kitchen of the house he grew up in. Only he feels different, lighter somehow. Something is horribly wrong. Ben is swept into the arms of his mother, who he hasn’t seen in twenty years. She calls him by his childhood nickname, Binky. He sees a younger, unbroken version of his father. His estranged brother is there, reverted back to his awkward teenage self. Finally, adding horror to his confusion, he glimpses his older sister Sara as she runs out the door to meet her boyfriend.

Sara, whose absence he has felt every day since her death. Ben is a mere hitchhiker, a parasite in the brain of seven-year-old Binky, and his younger self is not happy to have him there. It is three days before his sister will be attacked. Ben knows he has to save Sara but first he must gain Binky’s trust. Even if he can get Binky to say the right words, to do the right thing, who will believe that a young boy can foretell the future?

The story begins with Ben having suffered a head injury and he wakes up in his 7 year old body back in the past.  Once he realizes where and when he is, he tries to convince Binky (his 7 YO self) to save his sister from being gang raped in 3 days.  You see, when he wakes up in Binky's body, Binky's mind is still there. So they spend a lot of time talking to each other, although Binky doesn't really understand what is going on.  That made two of us.

I did like the idea of going back and getting a chance to redo things in the past.  It was interesting how Ben sees things differently as he looked at those long ago events through his adult eyes.  One thing did bother me though and maybe it's the mom in me.  I was a bit disturbed at details that Ben tells Binky about sex and things related to the subject.  I know he is really talking to himself, but I'm not sure I would want to tell my 7 year old self all of that detail.  That is a bit young to know those things in my opinion.  

I have to be honest, I'm still on the fence about my feelings about We.  It is definitely not what I expected.  I thought I was getting a sci-fi-ish story.  Instead the book was more psychological.  There were parts about the id, ego and superego that I really didn't get.  I will admit to being confused at times and in the end, I'm not sure if I totally understood what the author was trying to accomplish.  The ending left me perplexed as to what really happened.  Was it all a dream or did he change the course of history? After sitting on the book for a few days, I'm not sure I can answer that one.  In the end,  I have to say that this was just an OK read for me.  I liked the concept, but not the execution.
About the author:

Michael Landweber is the author of the novel, We, which won a ForeWord First award for best debut novel.  His short stories have appeared in a variety of places, including Gargoyle, Fourteen Hills, Fugue, American Literary Review, Barrelhouse and Ardor, and have been listed as Notable in The Best American Nonrequired Reading anthology.  He is an Associate Editor at the Potomac Review, and writes TV and movie reviews for Pop Matters.  Landweber has also worked at The Japan Times, the U.S. State Department and the Associated Press.  He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two children.

Connect with Michael at his website,, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Michael Landweber’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, February 3rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, February 5th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, February 6th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, February. 11th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, February 12th: Happy. Pretty. Sweet.
Monday, February 17th: Melody & Words
Wednesday, February 19th: The Book Wheel
Thursday, February 20th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, February 21st: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Monday, February 24th: Suko’s Notebook
Wednesday, February 26th: Simply Stacie

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.