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Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir Paperback – March 30, 2010
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About the Author
Ander Monson is the author of Neck Deep and Other Predicaments, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize; the novel Other Electricities; and the poetry collections Vacationland and The Available World. He lives in Arizona and edits the magazine Diagram.
Top Customer Reviews
Which isn't to say that he'll never be there. The voice is interesting and he goes for interesting angles, the biggest quirk (that NY Times apparently was all excited about) being how he uses daggers (those little plus signs) throughout the book, where, when the reader finds a dagger, s/he is supposed to go to the book's website and type in the word and is supposed to get an even more elaborate footnote that seems to add an extra dimension to the story. If employed properly, the dagger should introduce the novel to the internet. However, it seems more gimmicky. It would be more fitting or interesting if these daggers led to Youtube clips or mp3 files, but instead they just lead to more text. There is really no reason why the daggers could not have just been endnotes.
The book is a series of essays that are about one thing, but that take really long digressions into the nature of the memoir, theorizing on its importance, its appeal, its relevance to 21st century American life, which sounds interesting. And it is, except that the philosophizing never quite feels like it's getting anywhere. The meta-non-fictive element comes across too strong.Read more ›
Monson explores the concepts of self and the nature of truth, amongst a plethora of other subjects, in his book. These essays are more series of observations about the world more than anything else.
The element that most distinguishes this book from anything else is its print style. It is as much a visual work as it is a literary one. The presentation varies from chapter to chapter, creating a fluid and different look for each section, and the book in general. There are drawings, photos, graphs, snippets, graphics, and other visuals scattered throughout. No two chapters look the same. One has columns that resemble those in newspapers. Another has extremely thin margins, to the point that the text is slightly chopped on the sides, but still easily readable. I have never seen such techniques used deliberately in a work such as this. It certainly distinctive, grabs your attentions, and piques your curiosity.
One of the themes of this book is the nature of the self. If this book had a symbol, it would easily be the asterisk (*). Each chapter begins with one, and sections are separated by them. Here, it neither random nor meaningless.
Monson has an enjoyable writing style. Throughout the text, his sense of humor is easily apparent, and makes the book very readable. Funny asides and anecdotes abound. A very good and interesting read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ander Monson's book, Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir, is an awesome example of the genre of creative non-fiction. Read morePublished on April 13, 2011 by KSik
And that is what Ander Monson signed in my copy of his book Vanishing Point: Not A Memoir.
I'm pretty sure he wrote this exact same thing in several other people's... Read more
Ander Monson is correct in subtitling his book "Not a Memoir." To call it a memoir would be to conjure up images of chronological events (in neat prose) of the life of one person. Read morePublished on April 11, 2011 by L. Williams
Ander Monson's Vanishing Point is unlike any book I've ever read. Those who have read other books by Monson might be familiar with his experimental approach to writing, but this is... Read morePublished on March 30, 2011 by Schmetterling
I disappeared when I read this. I vanished. Or maybe I took a road trip like in the film of the same name in 1971 starring Cleavon Little, and maybe I made it to San Francisco. Read morePublished on November 11, 2010 by Money