Out of My Head by Didier Van Cauwelaert

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"Simply thrilling. Its surprising denouement works a retrospective magic."
- New York Times Book Review

"Van Cauwelaert has assembled his plot perfectly, like an intricate timepiece, and we are amazed by the precise ticking that sounds at every twist in the tale. The book reads like a close cousin of Philip K. Dick, the acknowledged master of doubting what's real."
- Olivier Delcroix

"A devilishly well-oiled plot, which grabs the reader with both hands, drags him along, and twists him around."
- Le Spectacle du Monde

Martin Harris returns home after a short absence to find that his wife doesn't know him, another man is living in his house under his name, and the neighbors think he's a raving lunatic. Worse, not a single person—family, colleague, or doctor—can vouch for him. Worse still, the impostor shares all of Martin's memories, experiences, and knowledge, down to the last detail. He is, in fact, a more convincing Martin than Martin himself. Is it a conspiracy? Amnesia? Is Martin the victim of an elaborate hoax, or of his own paranoid delusion?

In his high-powered new novel, Didier van Cauwelaert, the award-winning author of One-Way, explores the illusory nature of identity and the instability of the things we take for granted. Dispossessed of his job, his family, his name, and his very past, Martin Harris is an Everyman caught in an absurd and yet disturbingly convincing nightmare, one that seems to have no exit and that resists every explanation. Part moral fable, part Robert Ludlum-style thriller, Out of My Head is a fast-paced tale of one man's desperate attempt to reclaim his existence—even at the cost of his own life.

About Didier Van Cauwelaert

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Didier van CauwelaertDidier van Cauwelaert is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Poisson d'Amour, La Vie Interdite, and Rencontre Sous X (forthcoming in English from Other Press). He wrote a libretto that was featured in the recent off-Broadway musical, Amour. He lives in Paris.
Published November 17, 2004 by Other Press. 168 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Out of My Head

Kirkus Reviews

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tells Martin: “You don’t exist.” Martin’s hope now turns to the cab driver from the accident, Muriel Carderet, who comes to believe Martin is the genuine item.

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The New York Times

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An altercation takes place, during which it quickly becomes clear that Martin's wife -- and his neighbor, and his concierge -- all believe that Martin Harris is the man inside Martin Harris's apartment wearing Martin Harris's nightwear.

Jan 23 2005 | Read Full Review of Out of My Head

Publishers Weekly

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What has been a spirited exploration of identity and memory abruptly turns into a somewhat flimsy thriller in its final pages, but Martin's mighty struggle with self-doubt, paranoia and the disorienting freedom of losing his place in the world makes the ride well worth it.

Oct 04 2004 | Read Full Review of Out of My Head

Entertainment Weekly

No sooner does Martin Harris arrive in Paris, on leave from Yale to study botanical genetics at a French institute, than he gets into an auto accident that puts him in a coma for several days.

Dec 13 2004 | Read Full Review of Out of My Head

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