The Nevermind of Brian Hildebrand, along with the rest of him, is run down by his own car. He is in a coma and cannot move. But he can think.
One day a 12-year-old girl, Millie, appears in his head. She is from Sedona, Arizona. She disappears as quickly as she arrived. Brian next sees a window washer who portends some connection between Brian and Millie. Brian can see illness in the people around him but has no way to warn them, of course. When a lobotomized fellow patient can hear his thoughts, Brian decides to use him to communicate to the outside world. Unfortunately, the other patient dies first of the illness Brian diagnosed.
Told entirely in the first person voice of a man in a persistent vegetative state, the Nevermind of Brian Hildebrand is completely original. If you read as much as I do (about a book a day), it is easy to get jaded and feel that there are no more original plots. How many different lies can husbands tell in romantic suspense? How many ways are there to resolve a locked room mystery? Have all the best plots already been written? This book is a powerful antidote for that feeling. Stunningly original but built on the real feelings of all with loved ones in comas (i.e., maybe they can use their blinks to send yes or no answers to questions, can they hear what we are saying). It’s a great read. However, it would have been even better with some editing of Brian’s seemingly random stream of consciousness ramblings. Still for plot alone, 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Crowsnest Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.