Sunday, January 11, 2009

"Losing Everything"

David Lozell Martin's novels include Our American King (2007), the international bestsellers Lie to Me and Tap, and the critically acclaimed The Crying Heart Tattoo, The Beginning of Sorrows, and Crazy Love. Of Facing Rushmore (2005), Martin's eleventh book, Elmore Leonard said, "What I like best about a David Martin suspense novel -- and it will grab you, I guarantee -- is that the man knows how to write."

He applied the Page 69 Test to Losing Everything, his latest title--and first book of nonfiction--and reported the following:
The primary dynamic between the two groups is that the External Reality Team considers the guys in the Back Row as illogical, ruled by their emotions, and crippled by tics, phobias, and hang-ups. The main charge that the Guys in the Back Row levy against External Reality Team members is that they simply do not get it. They’re in control, they blithely go through life one day after the next, but they aren’t in touch with what we really want, really need, what really makes us tick.

--from page 69 of Losing Everything

Page 69 of my memoir, Losing Everything, outlines the dynamic between ego and id, which I defined in my life as the External Reality Team and the Guys in the Back Row, two groups that I imagined in my head, vying for influence and control. This dynamic has been at the center of my life’s dramas—between passionately desiring to be a writer and logically needing to work at traditional jobs to support a family, between an inherited crippling shyness and the expansive bonhomie that came from gin, between the slide into insanity and the fear of becoming as insane as my mother was. So, yes, someone could read page 69 of Losing Everything and get a good sense of the entire book. Whether or not this page would encourage someone to read the whole book depends on what’s going on in that person’s own mind: have you been caught between the pulls of your passions and your obligations, between your impulses and your sense of control, between what you’ve always wanted to do with your life and how your life has in fact turned out? If you answer yes, Losing Everything might offer some helpful insights.
Learn more about Losing Everything at the publisher's website, and read Dwight Garner's review in the New York Times.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue