Thursday, October 4, 2007
This book was a public library book club choice. The protagonist David Zimmer is a college professor whose wife and two sons die in a plane crash. Struggling to find something to help him reconnect to the world the living, he spots a silent film clip on late night tv. Surprised to find himself actually laughing he seeks out information on the clip's actor and learns he is Hector Mann a silent film star who disappeared completely just as sound entered movies. Zimmer seeks out prints of his movies which have been appearing anonymously in the mail in various film archives and writes a book about Mann's art. Zimmer is shocked by first letters and then a late night visitor who claim Mann is still alive. He travels to New Mexico and learns the story of Mann's disappearance. The book takes a turn for the strange at several points but serves as an interesting study of how survivor's guilt can manifest itself.