Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

All inquiries should be addressed to the Larchmont Historical Society.

Comments closed

Review: Evidence of Things Unseen

(Feb. 5, 2009) There are many well-known historical events crammed into this complicated story told through the lives of a few radiant, Evidence of Things Unseen cover artstruggling Americans. The time period stretches from the First World War until after the atom bombs were unleashed on Japan. The descriptions of places and events sometimes rise to poetic levels and at other times made one wish that time would pass more quickly.

This is an unusual, multifaceted love story which unfolds against a background of the uneducated protagonist’s interest in science. He is fascinated by light and other rays and conducts simple experiments to try and confirm some of his strange ideas about physical phenomena involving, among other things, phosphorescence and shooting stars. The book’s characters are named accordingly, with references to light. He also has an early X-ray machine which he takes to county fairs to display the bones in the feet of the innocent fairgoers. Every one of us in the book club could remember those X-ray machines in shoe shops and the flippant and recurrent exposures we had as children when enjoying the marvels of modern science.

The books shows how the simpler comprehensible life before the stirrings of 20th century science was gradually being replaced by “progress”. But does this light of scientific discovery, including electrification through the Tennessee Valley Authority, lead to an improvement in the lot of man or to general moral decline and eventual disaster? Why is scientific discovery so often sponsored by the military and put to destructive ends?

As the story progresses there is a definite feeling of impending doom both for the book’s characters and also for the world. The effects of the unseen radiation and its moral and physical consequences, along with other moral issues related to the intense love of the partners for each other and their children, made for a lively discussion among our group members. Did we believe in love at first sight? Some of us did.

Each chapter begins with a quote from Moby Dick which is also featured within the story. We made a valiant attempt to understand the importance of whales and of Moby Dick in the story but did not come up with a very convincing explanation. We felt that some of the coincidences stretched our credibility and that the latter part of the novel seemed as though it were a separate book and was difficult to integrate with the rest. Dare we say that we felt more editing would have been a good idea?

Evidence of Things Unseen was a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist and the book is well worth reading. Overall it is a fascinating and unusual look at true love and recent American history.

PrintFriendlyTwitterGoogle GmailYahoo MailShare

Related Articles:

Sorry, comments are closed.