A picture of a Kindle with the book cover of 'Dying Inside' on display.
Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg (Photo by me)

Rating: 🌕🌕🌕🌖🌑

David Selig is a lonely man. He has the ability to see into other people’s minds; to hear their every thought. He keeps a low profile, and makes his living by writing term papers for students. As he gets older, he begins to lose his gift—or is it a curse? He’s not sure. Either way, it’s his entire identity.

Written in first-person, this is an intimate read. David is painfully honest, and lets the reader crawl deep into his disturbed mind. There is no climax to this story. It’s downhill from page 1. In many ways, it’s about the struggle of being human. It’s about feeling out of place; about loneliness, insecurity, and failure.

I wasn’t sure how to rate this. It isn’t the most exciting book to read, but it does drag you in, and at the end of it David feels like someone you know and deeply care for. If you’re looking for action or adventure, don’t read this. It’ll bore you to death. Otherwise, David, pitying himself, says hello :)


Wouldn’t you like to know the story of how that happened? Anybody’s first time has an irresistible fascination. Well, fuck you: I don’t feel like discussing it.

That isn’t intended as a grab for your pity, just as a simple statement of fact, objective and cool. The nature of my condition diminishes my capacity to love and be loved. A man in my circumstances, wide open to everyone’s innermost thoughts, really isn’t going to experience a great deal of love. He is poor at giving love because he doesn’t much trust his fellow human beings: he knows too many of their dirty little secrets, and that kills his feelings for them. Unable to give, he cannot get. His soul, hardened by isolation and ungivingness, becomes inaccessible, and so it is not easy for others to love him. The loop closes upon itself and he is trapped within.

He was, I realized, already dead, although in fact his heart would beat for another decade. He had stopped responding. The world had defeated him.

Hey, God? God? Are you listening, God? I don’t think you are. I don’t think you give a crap. God, I think you’ve been fucking me. Dee-dah-de-doo-dah-dee-da. The music is ending.

Every sound shall end in silence, but the silence never dies.” [Samuel Miller Hageman]