Daniel Pecan Cambridge, the narrator and main character in this novel, is a rather interesting person, walks a fine line between being a paranoid and a genius – a bit autistic with lots of idiosyncrasies, some mathematic talent and a very good heart.
The book chronicles the journey of a man going from a hopeless man not capable of going outside and dependent on an intern psychiatric help, to a fully functional man enjoying a good career and a lovely partner (wife). The journey involved his admiration for his intern psychologist and her child – Teddy. The breakthrough happened during his adventure with his psychologist and Teddy to Texas, his hometown, where his grandma passed on a great deal of money to him. After this adventure, he rediscovered that he was able to overcome the constraints he sets upon himself and took significant risk and courage, which won him the girl that he has been secretly admiring – all because of his good heart towards others and innocence.
This novel has so much of the “wild and crazy” guy – the pubic persona of Steve Martin, himself. What stood up for me is how purely and innocent he interpreted the world around him, like through the lens of a child. One cannot help feeling sorry for him when he was rejected by so many women (the psychologist, the real estate lady) and cheering for him when he finally became “normal” and won the heart of the woman who’s most deserving of his affection.