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The Shadow Catcher by Marianne Wiggins

The Shadow Catcher

by Marianne Wiggins

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3261533,940 (3.79)27



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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I am going through this book much too quickly. In reading it, I have the strange sense that the author and I are friends in some parallel universe. Like her I am drawn to the west and to the native cultures that flourished there. Like her, I react in much the same way to our modern world. I like her humour. I like her offhand observations which are part of the book but more like asides to the reader as she takes a break from the narrative of her story, or stories. It is at once a biographyh of Edward Curtis, famous for his photographs of Native American Indians, and the story of hte narrator, who wrote a book about Curtis which is possibly going to be made into a movie. I am in the middle, where an odd case of mistaken identity is bringing an element of mystery to the book. What am I doing typing here when I'm dying to pick that book back up again? MOre later... ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
What a way to start a new year of reading—with a great book! I've never read anything by Wiggins and this book was a delight. She is very inventive and brought a lot to the table about Edward Curtis that was so new and fresh to me. It was great to read this excellent piece of fiction after having just read Timothy Egan's great book about Curtis, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher. I can only hope that her other titles are as good—because I'm sure to take some of them out for a spin in the future. ( )
  jphamilton | Jul 27, 2014 |
Hmmm, a difficult one to review. The story of Edward Curtis and the separate story of Marianne Wiggins were both very interesting concepts.

I loved the story of Edward Curtis but felt that the author did not go into enough detail for me. I was frustrated at the way she seemed to summarise a lot of it and gloss over a lot that, I felt, was important to this part of the story. This story should have been a book in itself and I would have loved to read it.

On the other side, the current story of Marianne Wiggins was over done. It had an interesting baseline, the loss of her father and the mistaken/stolen identity of her father. I thought she rambled on too much about what was going around in her mind which did not add anything to the story the book was trying to tell. I was also left with so many unanswered questions, why Curtis Edwards stole the identity, who was Clarita and how was she related to Edward Curtis and Clara and so many more.

Still a fairly interesting read and it will make a good book group discussion but not one that I would say everyone should rush out and read.

3 out of 5 for me. ( )
  Saucy1831 | Jun 18, 2013 |
This is my first Marianne Wiggins book and I was delighted. It was complex and nicely wove several stories together. Loved her use of language and descriptions of places and feelings. I'm on to Evidence of Things Unseen. ( )
  THEPRINCESS | Jan 9, 2011 |
Never would have read her except for my Salman Rushdie fetish, and what a satisfying novel this turned out to be. It was incredibly fast, sweeping, and impeccably crafted. I''m looking forward to reading more of her works, but right now this is the only title available for the Kindle. Boo. ( )
  andafiro | Nov 26, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
"Truth, image, and their disguises have long engaged Wiggins, and in this, her eighth novel, she takes as her subject the elusive Curtis, the Seattle-based chronicler of Native American life, who between 1907 and 1930 published twenty volumes of images in his “North American Indian” series, which was dedicated to documenting Indian folkways “before they disappeared.” The Shadow Catcher begins en abyme as the story of a novelist named Marianne Wiggins attempting to sell the film rights to a historical fiction she has written about Curtis. But in the nesting-doll telling of his story, it is not the Indians but Curtis who is always disappearing, first as a child, spending months away from his Minnesota home with his scheming father, and later as a husband and father himself. (“Those adventuring types,” one character says about the photographer, “I’ve always been suspicious. What are they running from?”) What Curtis is running from is never completely clear in The Shadow Catcher, even if it is the question at the heart of the character Marianne’s manuscript, but the person left behind is his bride, Clara."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743265203, Hardcover)

The Shadow Catcher is a journey through time, a story-within-a-story that seamlessly interweaves the nineteenth-century life of renowned photographer of the Native American peoples Edward S. Curtis with the present-day story of an unlikely father-daughter reunion from beyond the grave. Told in the first person by a fictional character named Marianne Wiggins, the novel begins in Los Angeles, where Hollywood is in pursuit of the manuscript for The Shadow Catcher, about the photographer's self-proclaimed mission to document a vanishing race. 'This is the perfect project', the film producers gush. 'It's got the outdoors. It's got adventure. It's got the do-good element.' This surface reading of Curtis's biography (the one popularly held today) sets in motion a journey into the American past, where his complex emotional life bore no resemblance to his esteemed public reputation as servant to his nation. In reality, the artist was an absent husband and disappearing father. This is where Marianne's father, John Wiggins, comes in.Fuelled by the great American passions for love and land and family, The Shadow Catcher chases the silhouettes of our collective history into the bright light of the present.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A series of tales about a photographer's developing relationship with the Native Americans he astonishes by showing them pictures of themselves is interspersed with parallel tales about an unsung soldier, a husband, and a father.

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