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Einstein's Shutter (Large Print Edition) Paperback – Large Print, April 28, 2016
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On the introspective side, I found the author to be overly sentimental with his relationships and with the attempt to find himself. If one can not find his heart through friends, books, and a city like New York, maybe it is time to move on....which he does.
This may sound cold to some of you, but I found growing up in New York, the perfect environment for finding about who you are and where you want to go. There is very little room for pity parties. You tend to go with the flow and if you need to, you quickly pick yourself up by the boot straps and start over. If you don't ... you get swallowed.
With that said the book is a pleasant and quick read, and for new Yorkers will articulate some of the reasons we continue to live or leave there.
At one point, the author submitted this manuscript and was rejected because it was a memoir and according to the publisher, memoirs "don't sell".
Well it is a memoir and I am happy it is selling!
Vince Yanez could make the same claim about this novel/memoir.
Of course, "nothing" is shorthand for "nothing in particular", which is a synonym for "life."
Vince Yanez takes you into his world, and you see it through his eyes. It's a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there - any more than you'd want to have Cosmo Kramer living across the hall. That's the beauty of art, it makes the unbearable enjoyable. Yanez is obviously not having much fun living his life, but it's fun reading about it. His writing is lean, elegant, and witty. Vince Yanez has achieved the ultimate in style: invisibility.
True, he does a lot of navel-gazing, moaning, and groaning, but there's no B.S. That's what gives this bizarre book its charm - the author is brutally candid about his shortcomings. Actually, this autobiographical novel is closer to The Tropic of Capricorn than The Seinfeld Show. The author/hero isn't looking for the best soup in New York City, but the meaning of life.
Einstein's Shutter is not only a delightful read but semi-profound.
The surprise glimpses of a New Yorker facing periodic reminders of the 9/11 tragedy as he went about his daily life offer an inside perspective to those of us far away. Yet life went on. And personal dramas unfolded. Most of the book has nothing to do with 9/11. The timing just happens to overlap. The main character is very human, with plenty of weaknesses and strengths that emerge over time. I really hoped for everything to come out okay.
The chapters are very short, which made it very easy for me to keep reading one more chapter. And then another. The chapters do jump around in time, which I found disorienting in the very beginning, but each chapter contains enough basic information so you get a rough idea of the timeframe. Most of the incidents are from one man's life so the exact date doesn't matter; a general idea is sufficient. It's almost like putting together a 100 piece jigsaw puzzle by randomly pulling pieces out of the box, but someone has carefully sorted key pieces in advance. And 100 pieces isn't a very complex puzzle, so you quickly gain enough orientation.
Points I found distracting:
1. Nearly everything is present tense, which felt odd much of the time.
2. A pattern of minor errors (a similar error of my own above could have been "idea is idea sufficient") made me want to lend myself as proofreader, especially from the middle onward. I found myself re-reading small bits that were perfectly fine, but that I questioned because there had been enough small errors that I began to suspect the author instead of my reading. An important typo: first appearance of character named Ann misspells her name "Anne." I wouldn't have noticed except I thought I forgot where she popped in. A search for her name proved I didn't; she just appeared without background.
3. For some unknown reason, many blank lines begin to appear between paragraphs in the middle of the book. I thought at first that this might be for dramatic effect because it happens at a crucial point in the story, but it seems like more of a formatting error.
Adding together all of these distractions, I would take off half a star, but Amazon won't allow partial stars. Given the way I was riveted to the book all weekend, I chose to give the author the benefit of the doubt and subtract nothing. I highly recommend the book!
The best way I can describe the story is "quirky." The main character has lots of personality, good and bad, and a very unique way of looking at the world, which I loved. And now I understand why the author's bio says he spends his time building a Paper-Mache airplane. More power to him! I wish him luck and hope to see more from him.