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Loved it!

In the book “The Truman Show: It’s True, Man!” author Stephen Davis encourages readers to question beliefs and behaviors from an alternate perspective. This is a book for deep thinkers who enjoy exploring alternative avenues of thought abutted by philosophic principles and quantum physics. 

Throughout the chapters Davis seeks to expand upon the nature of existence, focusing on scientific research. Are we living in a hologram? Are our experiences real, or are they merely an expression of the great myriad of possibilities available on this plane in this field of existence? 

Initially, quantum physics drew me in, and the reference to the 90s film Wunderkid-turned-cultural staple, The Truman Show, solidified the choice. This book explores the movie’s themes and the rationality of such a world. 

I enjoyed the plentiful physics diagrams throughout the book and found them beneficial in making abstract concepts more concrete. The section on the holographic brain model was particularly interesting, and I found myself looking up more data for curiosity’s sake. Really, do our brains know what will happen before conscious thought occurs? 

I recommend this book to readers with an interest in quantum physics, alternate theories, and philosophy. Also, if you enjoyed the movie The Truman Show and are interested in its broader simulated reality themes, this book provides a judicial exploration of what “reality” really means.

Rating: 4/5 stars

~ Aurora Eliam, for Reedsy Discovery

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The Truman Show: It’s True, Man!, by Stephen Davis, is a thought-provoking journey into the intricacies of our perceived reality, intertwined with the thematic backdrop of The Truman Show. This book elegantly melds quantum physics, neuroscience, and philosophy to challenge our conventional understanding of the world and our actions within it.

Drawing inspiration from renowned physicists such as David Bohm, Leonard Susskind, Amit Goswami, and Jacob D. Bekenstein, the narrative opens with a profound question: Are we living in a hologram? The author carefully constructs a foundation for this concept, suggesting that our reality is an illusion, much like the constructed world of Truman Burbank. By paralleling these theories with the cult classic film, Davis skillfully encourages readers to rethink their lives within the context of a carefully orchestrated stage.

At its core, the book articulates the idea that our perceptions shape our reality, leading to a powerful hypothesis that our brains project the world “out there” for us to experience. The parallels to The Truman Show are striking, as Truman’s actions are controlled and influenced by those observing him. Davis’s work invites readers to scrutinize the authenticity of their daily lives and confront the possibility of there being no “out there” at all. It challenges our perception of reality and the agency we have over our actions, raising intriguing questions about the extent to which external observers may be orchestrating our lives, much like Truman’s creators did in the movie.

Overall, The Truman Show: It’s True, Man! is an engaging book in which readers are asked to question some fundamental understandings of the world around us. This book blurs the line between reality and illusion and compels us to revisit our beliefs about the world, the nature of our actions, and the extent to which external influences may shape our lives. I highly recommend The Truman Show: It’s True, Man! for anyone who likes books that feel ‘trippy’ and make you think about the world around you.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

April Pulliam, Assistant Editor, Literary Titan

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The Truman Show: It’s True, Man! by Stephen Davis is a thought-provoking exploration of the nature of reality, drawing on concepts from quantum physics and philosophy…. In his book, Stephen gives vivid examples, theories, and scientific research as reasons for his description of the world as a hologram. I liked how this book introduced me to fascinating and mind-bending ideas about the nature of reality, holography, and the role of perception in the world today. It encouraged me to think deeply while contemplating philosophical exploration.

I liked the fact that Stephen uses the popular movie “The Truman Show” to help readers grasp complex concepts. This approach makes the content more engaging; it also shows readers a vivid example of the concept he is trying to explain in his book. Also, this book’s exploration of quantum physics and its implications for our understanding of reality aligns with contemporary scientific and philosophical discussions, meaning it is not just based on head knowledge….

I recommend this book to readers who have an interest in philosophy, particularly those intrigued by metaphysical questions about reality. They will find this book engaging and thought-provoking. Also, if you enjoyed the movie “The Truman Show” and are curious about its deeper philosophical themes, this book provides an insightful analysis and extension of those themes.

Rating: 4/5 stars

~ Thera reads, OnlineBookClub

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This was a compelling and thought-provoking read. The concepts the author had brought into this book were subjects I myself had been fascinated with for years. From the simulation theory that the author touches upon to the matrix theory that has seen some mind-blowing videos and evidence that makes us all feel like life is a simulation fascinating. The author wrote this book in a way that felt relatable and challenged the reader to delve deep within themselves to question their relationship to reality itself.

The use of a film such as the Truman Show was a great vehicle to delve into this topic. The great point that was made in this book was that this film was the true definition of reality TV, as most reality TV in our own culture has the people aware of their situation and thus the shows feel scripted at times, whereas this film showcases the reality of a man unaware of his simulated life. This speaks to us all, with the way life becomes out of control, and oftentimes feels like it is targeting us specifically really playing into this theory perfectly.

Memorable, captivating, and engaging, author Stephen Davis’s “The Truman Show: It’s True, Man!”, is a must-read nonfiction book on philosophy and metaphysical theories that cannot be missed. The honest expression of ideas and concepts the author explores from an everyday lens and the compelling story these theories bring to life make this a thoughtful read to get lost in.

Rating: 10/10 stars

~ Anthony Avina, Author/Writer/Blogger

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Stephen Davis’s The Truman Show: It’s True, Man! explores the intriguing parallels between fiction and reality. Drawing inspiration from the iconic film The Truman Show, Davis delves into the concept that our daily lives might mirror Truman Burbank’s meticulously orchestrated world. 

In the film, the protagonist unknowingly lives his life in front of a global audience, suggesting the bold hypothesis that our existence may be a holographic spectacle where everything within it is manipulated outside of our control. Or, as they say on The Truman Show: “Nothing you see on the show is fake. It’s merely controlled.” 

Through Davis’s bold—at times, audacious—lens, the boundaries between scripted reality and our personal experiences blur, prompting a reevaluation of the nature of our reality. The holographic reality he proposes is straightforward: like Truman, we are Players in an artificial world where we have no control over the events that occur. Instead, these events are orchestrated by a Demiurge, a neutral entity likely more technologically advanced than mankind. As the Demiurge exists outside of the hologram, they are the only ones truly in control, and as Players, we have the sole ability to decide how we react and respond to the events in our lives. 

Describing himself as an “investigative reporter,” Davis supports his claims with evidence from an array of notable scholars and philosophers, ranging from Plato to Dr. Pribram, Libet, Radin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Dalai Lama, and even Mozart. Despite numerous quotes and citations, Davis excels at breaking down complex concepts into simple terms that anyone can understand, supplemented at times by helpful drawings and links to scholarly articles and documentaries that allow readers to explore specific topics further (like Dr. Libet’s stimulus experiments on the brain, and the CT scan experiments shown in BBC’s documentary, Neuroscience and Free Will). 

Another positive aspect of Davis’s work is his honest and straightforward personality. Throughout the book, he fearlessly draws examples from his personal life, challenging traditional philosophies, particularly those surrounding the purpose of suffering for enlightenment or mercy and its application to his traumatic childhood. Davis’s compassion for those who have suffered, especially children, is evident and commendable.

However, at times, it becomes challenging to separate Davis’s personality from the theories he discusses. If his persona doesn’t resonate with the reader, they may find it difficult to open their mind to his proposals—a significant drawback if one is opposed to him. Davis occasionally uses strong language and unapologetically challenges cherished values and beliefs. In fact, Davis advises that to truly comprehend the nature of our reality, we must be willing to abandon the values and beliefs that we hold dear, or we will be unable to see past the restrictions of our reality. And to some, Davis may have an excellent point. 

Some religious readers may struggle with Davis’s work as he questions many religious beliefs, including a foundation of Christianity: the Crucifixion. His handling of the subject could offend some, while others may find it innovative and intriguing. Davis is clearly dedicated to exploring the question of our reality, even when it comes to addressing sensitive topics. 

Davis does not shy away from admitting when he lacks answers. While he outlines conclusions in his work, such as the existence of a Demiurge, he also acknowledges uncertainties. Questions linger, such as whether there is one Demiurge or many, whether every person has a Demiurge, or if a Demiurge controls a group of humans. Another pressing uncertainty is the purpose of our existence: do we truly have one, or is it our ego that desires one? Could the Demiurge have a purpose for us – do we need to assist them, or are we mere amusement for them? Perhaps, are we nothing more than toys?

Amid these lingering uncertainties, Davis steadfastly champions the certainty of free will, emphasizing our innate ability to navigate and respond to the unfolding events in our lives. He passionately asserts that regardless of our roles as Players within this hypothetical holographic reality, the power lies within us to shape our reactions and how we respond to events: do we fall apart, or act with gratitude and grace? Davis is enthusiastic instead of despairing as he provides a direct and pragmatic blueprint for grappling with the profound questions raised by his exploration. His call to action is clear: seize the reins of our individual agency, embrace the uncertainties with an open mind, and make of life within the Hologram as we wish, just like Truman did.

~ Lauren Hayataka, Independent Book Review

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“I really enjoyed reading this book, and I must admit that “The Truman Show” was NOT one of my favorite movies.

“Stephen Davis is a brilliant writer in my opinion. I like “outside the mainstream box” thinking, books that can challenge me to think. If my memory serves me, his writing is usually about a controversial subject and/or an important social issue that needs to be addressed in our society.

“For many years I thought I had life figured out. Our beliefs are adopted in all kinds of ways. And some of us carry them for a lifetime, without ever examining them, testing them to see if they are still serving us.

“Stephen has been able to poke a hole into my belief about who actually is in control of my life. He poses questions (and answers that make sense) and opened my mind to other possibilities I have not considered. He gives us new ideas/concepts and then supports us to explore them.

“I highly recommend this book by Stephen Davis.”

~Sheri Goddard, Wilmington, NC