November 14, 2012

I read "Moments Captured" with enormous pleasure. It is beautifully written from the first page forward. The “Flying Studio” is especially well-done. I loved the way you handled the tensions between technology and commerce—whether with Muybridge, Stanford, Edison, etc.—throughout the text. Your research and mastery of technical issues of photography, painting, engraving, railroad construction, and even capital punishment was also very impressive. I would have enjoyed seeing accompanying photographs—perhaps they will appear in another edition or sequel one day? But, of course, without them, the reader is forced to exercise much imagination.
The expanse and variety of subjects is matched by a magnificent geographical reach. The book moves from West to East to East to West, even touching on China. It was also a vocabulary lesson for me—sibilant, ectomorphic, and kouroi. By the way, the book jacket gives a pretty accurate description of the novel.

Congratulations on a great achievement. The book deserves to have much success.

Michael Seidman, Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

Selected Works

A review of Seidman's "Moments Captured" that appeared in "Curled Up with a Good Book" in early December 2012
There are indelible characters, both historical and fictional: the tireless experimenter Muybridge; the impassioned feminist Holly Hughes, a gifted dancer and strong-minded feminist; Denise Faveraux, Holly’s friend and sometime companion, a prostitute with a fast ironic mind and the hard-won knowledge of how to protect herself from the profession’s worst nightmare, disease; Leland Stanford, the master builder California ex-Governor whose transcontinental ambitions conflict with Holly’s commitment to female equality; Jacques Fauconier, the flamboyant self-assured French sometime lover of Holly; Samuel Montague, the ingenious chief engineer of the Central Pacific who provides Muybridge with the decisive element in his quest to capture the trotting horse; Collis Ward, Stanford’s sneaky snaky assistant; Thomas Alva Edison, the brilliant inventor/promoter who cleverly cashes in on Muybridge’s motion picture project. There are cameo appearances by historical/fictional individuals, including the photographer Matthew Brady, the painter Jean-Leon Gerome and Walt Whitman. A teeming, multitudinous canvas, as crammed with life and conflict as the Gilded Age itself.
"One Smart Indian is an astonishing act of empathy."
–John Leonard, New York Times
Positive reviews extolled the novel's ability to combine compelling mystery with a fascinating story about a young couple's relationship and class in America.
A timeless annotation of the greatest novel of the 20th century, James Joyce's Ulysses. Why read Joyce's great novel without this indispensable guide?

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