The Anatomy of Blindness


There are some who say he bears a resemblance to Richard Nixon.  I don’t really see it, but I may be as blind to the perception as one who lives on the edge of prospopagnosia.


If there are similarities in David Cook and Richard Nixon’s personae, it may in the subtitle of the book, “A Man Divided”.  This could just as easily have been the subtitle of Dr. Cook’s paper back book, The Anatomy of Blindness.


I obtained the novel as soon as it came out two years ago, but put it aside until I had the time to properly savor it.  Knowing the author personally, I knew that I might find truth stranger than fiction, and needed to read it with a clear head.  I could just as easily have written this piece on my personal blog, as I did recently with a subject that crosses multiple lines.

Behavioral optometrist Dr. Gary Spindel is the not-so-ficitonal narrator of the novel who introduces each of its five parts with the subjects of blind spot, stereo blindness, central vs. peripheral vision, gaze blindness, and neglect.  A behavioral optometrist reading the book will be regaled by Dr. Cook’s many professional double entendres, ranging from doppleganger to diplopia.  Although careful not to mention the name of the group from which he ultimately extricated himself, the veil is thin as the novelist struggles to navigate the boundaries between sect and cult, and between churchology and scientism.  The tightrope that Dr. Cook/Spindel walks is set at staggering heights, and as a reader you may find yourself wondering whether the net will really find him as he falls.

There are no such things as safe sects, and Dr. Spindel deftly intertwines his personal and professional lives throughout this book.  There is love, there is drama, there is vision therapy, and there is everything anyone who knows David Cook will recognize.  I intend this not as a book review, but as a statement that if you enjoy behavioral optometry, philosophy, and heretics as much as hermeneutics, you will love this book.  In that sense, Dr. Cook’s book reminds me of Galileo’s Middle Finger, flipping the bird when appropriate to establishment and disestablishment alike.


6 thoughts on “The Anatomy of Blindness

  1. This is a wonderful read. One of the insights from this was the addictive nature of confession and how that was used by the cult to manipulate and separate the protagonist from his money. I find any excuse will do to have dinner with David, which is always a stimulating and thought provoking experience.

  2. Thanks, Len, for the review. Last quarter, my royalties on the book were ninety-nine cents. Your review could well boost me into one figure. And, by the way, I prefer Pinocchio or Grue to Richard Nixon. Thirty years ago, the vote was for Bob Hope, not that Jim Carrey’s name hasn’t come up on occasion.

  3. You’re welcome, David. Masterful job! Nixon came to mind because of the intellect – and because of the man divided, but Pinocchio has an interesting appeal. Hope and Carrey are certainly possibilities, but in the final analysis you may simply be Cook. As for me, I’ve devolved from Tom Selleck to Robert DeNiro to Dr Phil as I get on — so you’ll get no sympathy from me …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s