The Rules of the Tunnel

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Title: The Rules of the Tunnel
Subtitle: My Brief Period of Madness
Author: Ned Zeman
Publisher: Gotham Books (Penguin)
Pub. Date: August 4, 2011

The Rules of the Tunnel is a uniquely told memoir by a journalist who suffered from depression for years and eventually underwent ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) and lost two years of his memory. I sort of have two minds about this book because I didn't really feel it was for me, but I could see where some people would really enjoy the style.

I've gotten better with the non-traditional type of books. One of my favorite books of the year so far would be considered non-traditional. But it's still rocky territory for me. So as soon as I realized this book was written in second person, I'll admit I felt disappointed. And, of course, I got used to it but it's just not my favorite form of narration for sure. The author has a wittiness that I enjoyed at times, but it's subtle. I snickered now and then but didn't think the book, overall, was hilarious. I also found myself getting slightly bored with the stories I read about other people that Zeman, as a journalist, was writing about. There is a purpose to his including those stories, but I would have still rather focused solely on the author's experiences. And despite, at times, finding the book engaging, I found other parts sort of strange, and there was an overall self-deprecating, sad (well, duh, but still) sort of air to it that left me able to put it down and not pick it back up right away again.

So I went back and forth with it. And admittedly, I wasn't as attentive to the second half of the book because these peeves I had in the first half. Now all that being said.... I feel others might like this because truly, it is a memoir about the author's experiences with mental health problems and treatment and many will find that interesting. And second, the book does have a modern, fresh kind of style to it that many would find engaging. So take from this what you will. I do think the book was well done and put together well, but if you're typically into more traditional kinds of reads this may not be for you. Oh, and the cover, I like. It freaked me out, however, when I realized that the pile of puzzle pieces is more than just puzzle pieces.... take a look and tell me it's not just a little creepy!

Follow the tour here:

Monday, August 1st: Rundpinne
Tuesday, August 2nd: The Broke and the Bookish
Wednesday, August 3rd: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, August 4th: Chaotic Compendiums
Monday, August 8th: Acting Balanced
Tuesday, August 9th: Book Dilettante
Wednesday, August 10th: BookNAroun
Thursday, August 11th: In the Next Room
Monday, August 15th: A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, August 16th: Brain Candy Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 17th: Take Me Away
Thursday, August 18th: Bookshipper
Monday, August 22nd: Luxury Reading
Wednesday, August 24th: Melody & Words
Monday, August 29th: Life in Review
Tuesday, August 30th: Raging Bibliomania
Wednesday, August 31st: My Book Retreat


Sandy Nawrot said...

All books can't be all things to all people, and I for one appreciate your honesty. You've given us enough info though to make a decision on whether it would be a good match for us!

Zibilee said...

I am going to be reading this one soon, so your information was invaluable to me. I am not sure how I am going to feel about this one, but do have to admit that the subject intrigues. I also am not sure about the style of writing in second person, and usually I have a problem with that. It will be interesting to see what I think when I read this next week. It definitely promises a lot to think about!

softdrink said...

But I can't tell what the puzzle pieces are! Other than puzzle pieces, of course.

bermudaonion said...

I generally don't care for second person narration either, so I understand what you mean. It does sound like the author has an interesting story to tell, though.

heathertlc said...

Woah, that puzzle pile IS really creepy - I hadn't noticed it until you pointed it out. *shudder*

I'm sorry this one didn't turn out to be a favorite for you but I appreciate your honest review for the tour!

Carin Siegfried said...

Thanks for this review! I had this book on my radar but I don't think I'd like the style either. I'm still suggesting it for my boyfriend, though, who I think will like it.

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