Unknown: A Special Edition of Out of My Head

  • by Didier van Cauwelaert, Mark Polizzotti (translator)
  • Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
  • 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

“Simply thrilling. Its surprising denouement works a retrospective magic.” (New York Times Book Review)
“The idea driving Out of My Head is compelling….The terse prose is unpretentious and the plot full of captivating twists.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Van Cauwelaert’s convincing little nightmare, a Twilight Zone-ish yarn.” (Entertainment Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Utterly gripping

I normally prefer non-fiction, so was pleasantly surprised to find myself totally gripped by this audiobook. I've listened to the whole thing in just three days. The story is well read by Bronson Pinchot, who brings the characters to life, especially the lead, Martin. Waking from a coma, he finds himself in a world where no one believes he is the man he knows himself to be, not even his wife. The story continues at a great pace up until the end. Highly recommended.
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- Ian

Intriguing thriller with a perfunctory ending

Where does Unknown: A Special Edition of Out of My Head rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's fine – an intriguing thriller, rather than an ultra-tense one, but with a premise that's worth sticking with. However, it's comparitively short, and the ending feels rather perfunctory.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Unknown: A Special Edition of Out of My Head?

There are several confrontations between the protagonist, Martin, and the people who claim not to know who he is – or who are beginning to doubt him – where the character's evident frustrations are most keenly felt. Also, the burgeoning possibility of romance between Martin and the female taxi driver who hit him, putting him in hospital in the first place, is quite sweetly and tentatively played out.

What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

Bronson PInchot ensures that all the principal characters are clearly distinct from one another. In a story about identity, and what it means to be you, that's pretty important. And for a story set in France with a multinational array of characters, none of the accents feel out of place or mannered.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There's a scene between the hero, Martin, and the young son of the taxi driver that is incredibly sweet. It makes the inevitable twist that you know must be coming – because there's always a twist in these stories – that much more tantalising. You could just about swallow adults being betrayed – be it Martin's wife or his new lover, someon'e bound to get hurt. But a kid?...

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- S. Matthewman

Book Details

  • Release Date: 30-08-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.