Eyes by James I Wasserman


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Post March 15, 2005, 01:12:03 AM

Eyes by James I Wasserman

“Eyes” started out great. Great hook. I was pulled in right away. Everything looked fine. The story was well written, and all the elements of a great story were there, as spelled out by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Imagery, sensory input, characterization, dialog, and all the other elements were there with bells on.<br><br>The beginning and middle of the story was super, keeping me turning the pages--in a manner of speaking. But the story bogged down toward the end. Upon reaching the last third of the story, it became evident to me that all was lost for Kaufman--he was doomed.<br><br>But the way in which he met his doom strained--and broke--my suspension of disbelief. Try as I might, I couldn’t figure out how the Nazis could be walking around hiding their identity from normal people since WWII, much less supposedly winning WWII and deceiving the world into thinking they'd lost. Holy Cow! That would take a heap of magic spells!! <br><br>IMO, a super, well written story was ruined by the totally unbelievable and depressing ending (and this coming from a guy who routinely has his suspension of disbelief running in high gear when reading about ESP, wizards, vampires, and FTL drives!) <br><br>Donald<br><br> <br>
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Post March 17, 2005, 01:50:58 PM

Re: Eyes by James I Wasserman

Yes...I concur....the story began to slow down around the funeral for me....I did like the start and middle pretty much as those areas kept me glued to the page.....<br><br>But like Donald, I too instantly saw that the hero had run outta luck...<br><br>On the whole tho, not bad. I surely liked the blind angle and how it affected his whole situation.....<br><br>Jim
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Post March 18, 2005, 12:30:50 PM

Re: Eyes by James I Wasserman

I think this tale was burdened by too much telling and too much telegraphing. And I agree with Don that the payoff was too farfetched. I suppose some plausible explanation as to how the Nazis pulled it off might've helped. <br><br>One thing that bothered me is why would they even suffer the existence of Dr Stein if he knew their secret? In Matrix, it was clear that those in the know were being actively hunted, but here Stein was allowed to live. <br><br>It's my feeling that for this story to work, the fundamental plausibility must be nearly bulletproof. <br><br>Dan E.<br><br>And what were the Nazis doing anyway? Why allow any Jews (or Gypsies or homosexuals, etc) remain alive? Wouldn't they have carried on with their Final Solution? I wasn't quite sure what benefits they were reaping after 60 years.
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Post March 22, 2005, 04:41:42 PM

Re: Eyes by James I Wasserman

I think with a little tweaking, the plot of this story could have worked. It's very Twilight Zone in its style. It definitely reminded me of the movie They (with Rowdy Roddy Piper).<br><br>I agree with the too much telling, not enough description comment. The pacing also seemed uneven, which I attribute to the lack of description. Kaufman appeared a bit shallow to me. Yes, he works a lot. Yes, he has family problems. But I couldn't get a handle on his inner self. What made Kaufman tick?<br><br>Also, I think his Jewish ancestry needed to be elaborated upon to magnify the impact of the ending. There was no build up to the climax. Suddenly, there were Nazis. No real foreshadowing to set the proper tone.<br><br>One other nitpick. I don't think they'll let you go right home to recover after having multiple exploratory surgeries. Someone with a medical background can correct me if I'm wrong.
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Post April 03, 2005, 03:18:54 PM

Re: Eyes by James I Wasserman

"They"--What a stinker of a movie that was. A shocking premise that showed promise, until you cast a wrestler as the lead.<br><br><br>In speculative fiction, authors extrapolate worlds based on our own. In an unwritten agreement, readers assume that everything is the same in our world unless told otherwise. <br><br>This story presented as if it were just a standard drama. Nothing "out there," just a plain, Jane ordinary day in the life of an unhappy salesman. <br><br>There was nothing I saw that hinted that an ending so extraordinary as this one was possible. There was no foreshadowing, even when I looked back, that supported this separation from reality. There has to be a precedent, even if it's exceptionally tiny, that plants the seed in the reader's mind that Nazis could still be around, or even that things were visually an illusion.<br><br>Without that foreshadowing, the conclusion is not logical to the universe as presented, and it's no wonder people had trouble suspending their disbelief.<br><br>Following this vein, Dan E. asked what benefits the Nazis would receive from following this plan. I second this question, as it is not logical. It is not explained in the story, and I cannot fathom why they would want to proceed with this plan as it was. The ultimate goal of the "Final Solution" was not to enslave the Jews and make them miserable, but to eliminate them. Why should Hank send Joseph home to see his family if he's their enemy, unless this was a hit. Why assassinate your own employee who's helping you to complete your goals, however nebulous they may be?<br><br>Furthermore, what doctor performs surgery by himself? Even though Stein did the operation off the record, he had to have nurses or assistants who would have known what happened during the procedure. Also, operating rooms are a prized commodity to those health care organizations who bill for their use and their supplies. One cannot simply "borrow" them for hours without someone knowing. The big secret would not have remained secret for long. (Nazi insurance companies--that would have been less of a stretch. :))<br><br>Stylistically, the majority of paragraphs were the one line, two-sentence variety. This paced the story very rapidly, perhaps too quick to give the description that was needed to pull off the ending. That is, in order to pull this off, I think you would have needed to make the world concrete, and almost immediately begin wearing it away in the fine details. For example, perhaps Joseph could have hated the company dress code. The outfits looked nice, but he felt uncomfortable in them, like they were scratchy and rough. Whittling away slowly, erode the world. You can't do that with a two-sentence paragraph.<br><br>To be honest, I pictured things from "They", because there was not enough here to push those images from my mind. If I hadn't seen that movie, I would not have been able to visualize any of this. Concrete detail, using all the senses. That's the ticket.<br><br>Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on April 03, 2005, 03:21:42 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post July 05, 2005, 12:02:10 PM

Re: Eyes by James I Wasserman

I've just learned on another site that this author died unexpectedly in May. He was only 30.<br><br>http://www.jamesiwasserman.com/index.html<br><br>
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