I Think You're Totally Wrong

I Think You're Totally Wrong

A Quarrel

By David Shields; Caleb Powell

Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780385351942, 272pp.

Publication Date: January 6, 2015


An impassioned, funny, probing, fiercely inconclusive, nearly-to-the-death debate about life and art--beers included.
Caleb Powell always wanted to become an artist, but he overcommitted to life (he's a stay-at-home dad to three young girls), whereas his former professor David Shields always wanted to become a human being, but he overcommitted to art (he has five books coming out in the next year and a half). Shields and Powell spend four days together at a cabin in the Cascade Mountains, playing chess, shooting hoops, hiking to lakes and an abandoned mine; they rewatch "My Dinner with AndrE "and" The Trip, "relax in a hot tub, and talk about everything they can think of in the name of exploring and debating their central question (life and/or art?): marriage, family, sports, sex, happiness, drugs, death, betrayal--and, of course, writers and writing.
The relationship--the balance of power--between Shields and Powell is in constant flux, as two egos try to undermine each other, two personalities overlap and collapse. This book seeks to deconstruct the Q&A format, which has roots as deep as Plato and Socrates and as wide as Laurel and Hardy, Beckett's Didi and Gogo, and "Car Talk"'s Magliozzi brothers. "I Think You're Totally""Wrong" also seeks to confound, as much as possible, the divisions between "reality" and "fiction," between "life" and "art." There are no teachers or students here, no interviewers or interviewees, no masters in the universe--only a chasm of uncertainty, in a dialogue that remains dazzlingly provocative and entertaining from start to finish.
"James Franco's adaptation of "I Think You're Totally Wrong "into a film, with Shields and Powell striving mightily to play themselves and Franco in a supporting role, will be released later this year.

About the Author
David Shields is the author of 11 previous books, including Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, named one of the best books of 2010 by more than 30 publications, and The Thing About Life Is That One Day You?ll Be Dead, a New York Times bestseller. His work has been translated into 15 languages.