Friday, September 27, 2013


W.W. NORTON & COMPANY, INC. – @norton_fiction

WRITER/ARTIST: David Shrigley
ISBN: 978-0-393-24039-9; hardcover (September 23, 2013)
208pp, Color, $19.95 U.S., $26.50 CAN

British visual artist David Shrigley, B.A. (Hons) has worked as an author, cartoonist, illustrator, photographer, and sculptor.  He has also directed music videos, among them a video for “Good Song” by the musical act, Blur.

How Are You Feeling? At the Center of the Inside of the Human Brain’s Mind is a new book from David Shrigley the author.  It is not a graphic novel or prose novel.  How Are You Feeling? has elements of a diary, sketchbook, and chapbook as a hardcover book.  The book is composed of pictures with text, pages of text, or full page illustrations.  But what is How Are You Feeling? about, you ask?

How Are You Feeling? At the Center of the Inside of the Human Brain’s Mind is a mock self-help book and satirical advice book.  Shrigley takes his readers on a journey between the ears, offering readers his crazy and wacky notions and ideas on how the brain decides what is right and wrong.  Throughout the book, Shrigley offers advice that is shocking and funny, but is also ethically dubious in a “just joshing” sort of way.  Of course, readers who would take this peculiar advice to heart would find themselves living their lives disastrously, although others would find delight in that unpleasantness.

How Are You Feeling? can be a little difficult to explain.  It is simply a crazy advice book about the most vexing aspects of the mind and of the psyche.  The advice is so funny because it goes beyond mere crazy and into the deranged.  It is all deliberately wrong, but in a way that is infectious to one’s imagination.

For instance:  Shrigley’s advice about hearing voices in your head is to obey the voices for a short period and to continue if things work out.  On alcoholism, he writes, “it is terrific fun, of course, but there are problems with it.”  Playing neurologist, Shrigley offers this medical guidance:  “We all have internal wiring. Sometimes this wiring comes loose. . . . Check for loose wires and re-fasten them with glue.”  He even suggests waxing your brain for lasting, healthy-looking brain.

Readers on the lookout for anything that skewers self-help and mental health advice books must have How Are You Feeling? At the Center of the Inside of the Human Brain’s Mind.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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