“Sometimes I just wished life could be different”
4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace
From the get-go, this is way more than four, five stars all the way and normally I don’t start with a rating but this is truly an awesome read. Now I’ve read Johan Twiss’s work before and to be honest I felt somewhat pressured to rank him somewhat high but with this work, I would give the guy more stars if I could, talk about having only seen the tip of the iceberg and I wish more books could be like this, just amazingly wow.
I’m not even sure what to call this genre since the first book of his I read “I AM SLEEPLESS: Sim 299 (Volume 1)” was clearly a sci-fi but with “4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace” if I must compare it to anything it would be Andrew Davidson’s “The Gargoyle” just tuned for a younger demographic but don’t get me wrong, being an adult this book is amazing. Now the author sent me a free copy for an honest review and with my last review, I thought the sci-fi wording was somewhat wonky and while this is clearly a different sort of book, Johan clearly did his research. He even goes into detail about his research which means he is clearly hoping his fans might get him… message received Mr. Twiss and well done.
Usually, I’m one to talk about cliché and not to toot my own horn but I read plenty, I’m no critic but anybody who’s anybody will tell you I know my references but this story is quite unique and original. The rare form of “meningitis” for example, I’m sure most people would have gone straight for comatose but Aaron is quite active for someone that can’t move at all. As he is drawn into his Mind Palace we are drawn into him and as far as moving, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough really.
Is it too soon to mention Solomon the great, Solomon the amazing, how about Solomon the wise, I’m sure the author mentioned King Solomon. Most can only hope for such a life, keeping in mind the joy and pain, sunshine and rain… something from my own memory/mind palace and that’s another thing the music, I swear I can hear it.
“People do this to me all the time. For some reason, they feel compelled to share their life problems and hidden secrets with me. Probably because I’m like a pet dog that can’t talk back. All I can do is sit and listen, even if I don’t want to”
― from Johan Twiss, 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace
You’ll find no, stop me if you’ve heard this from me today, at least not story wise, again I’ve somewhat seen the concept in The Gargoyle, Forrest Gump, and probably a hospital drama here and there but the story is an original and between you and me it beats interesting, truth be told I hate when people call my work interesting. Aaron Greenburg deserves so much more along with Solomon and most of the other characters, some were only bits but you felt for all of them, even Dr. Idiot.
So if you’re still listening how exactly would I sum this up, not that you shouldn’t already be looking this up for yourself… Aaron Greensburg has meningitis which prevents him from moving and speaking, his only respite being his mind palace until he meets Solomon who has the ability to hear Aaron’s mind and opens him up to his own history, from boxing to jazz, to World War II and if you want a trip to Disneyland or should I say Wonderland this is the book for you. My third favorite character has to be Solomon’s granddaughter Sarah, not trying to spoil anything yet but I would like to read more of Aaron’s future, immediate future while the ending itself is awesome.
As for the other characters, there was no waste, each character if only for a few pages was developed and felt so real; unique, original, leaving not a single doubt in my mind. Speaking of the mind, I sort of see Aaron’s mind palace as a video game or at best VR but when he began experiencing Solomon’s dreams and dementia, that was a whole new way to fly, Matrix parallel could be. The story brought out so much in me, can’t say I was much into jazz but my aunt would play her classics on the radio and tell stories here and there about her life sometimes.
Also while the author is being so creative, I like how he puts a bit of himself I mean his own experiences in this and he doesn’t sugarcoat any of it. Well, I take that back but I wished for just a moment to be sixteen again, did I mention how much I adored Aaron and Sarah throughout the story.
“Nothing hurts a man’s ego like hearing a pretty girl talk about all the cute guys she likes. Guys who are not him, that is”
― Johan Twiss, 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace
If you think I’ve oversold this book or you think I just talk too much, five stars and go out and get it because I’ll have to buy a physical copy myself and I’m about to spoil some of it. Is there anything that I don’t like about this book… *crickets chirp*, *tumbleweed drifts by* ahem okay so I’ll save that for the end huh.
The book has several Forrest Gump moments, as Aaron is inserted into pivotal moments in Solomon’s past and it comes out when both JJ and Big Tom compare Aaron to the person that helped Solomon and them as well, mind blown. There are grown women that need to be more like Sarah, I mean come on, a guy that always listens, thinks you’re the most beautiful thing ever, and is willing to do anything, even learn how to talk; a friend of mine and I agree that guys will literally do anything for a pretty girl which makes the ending even more spectacular. There are too many moments between Solomon and Aaron that I enjoyed so maybe another great scene I’ll leave with is the Valentine’s Day dance, so sweet.
Okay, I’m slightly annoyed that now I’m going to have to look up some jazz on Youtube, Blue In Green or how about that Jack Dempsey fight? The idea that I read the first book and was wondering how I was going to spend this title and now I’m stopping myself from typing awesome about a thousand times like doing a term paper in school. Speaking of school, perhaps that’s the only flaw, that ever so slightly I felt like I was reading some historical narrative I suppose but only really comes out at the end as Johan Twiss attempts to explain himself, like telling a joke but then having to explain it, I get it and there is so much he is trying to say and didn’t want to tick off the history buffs.
Five stars anyway but now the bar has been set, the first book he sent was a solid three but I went one higher because… anyway if I become a fan of Johan Twiss, two points is a line, three points a pattern, usually singers have to get me to like five songs, an author has to get five stars but shall I dare call myself a fan? This book hooked me, from start to finish and what higher praise is there that I want a physical copy for my traditional library, anyway I didn’t want Aaron to be stuck like that forever but really Four More Years, Days, Pages.
“Kid, some things in life just are what they are because God allows it to be so. Maybe we’re not meant to know all the answers. Maybe we’re not ready for them yet. Knowing them now won’t change a thing, and trying to figure it out will just take up our time and leave us with more questions. I’m old, and I don’t have much time to waste. I prefer to live life as it comes, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get the answers to my questions after I die”
― Johan Twiss, 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace