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Book Review of Witness to Myself a Seymour Shubin Novel

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A Review of
Seymour Shubin's Witness to Myself
by David Michael Jackson

A moment, a single tiny moment in one's life. There are so many of these moments in our lives. It is a moment in Seymour Shubin's Witness to Myself that determines a man's life, his consciousness and the great moral questions in any life.
Shubin would be called a "Mystery Writer" and craft a tale he does. This story is told in the person of the murderer himself and in the first person, a mystery author, the brother in law. It is this duality of "person" that holds me. It's very much like a true story when a main character seems to be the author and a character at the same time.

Shubin grabs you with the first line,  "I should have known how tormented he was."

The first chapter is a classic mystery start. It creates so many questions that you have to continue. A man thinks he committed a murder. It happened when he was a child or almost a child. He thinks he may have murdered a child. Years have passed and we are drawn into the story.

We are taken into this man's mind and we are privy to his thoughts, Thoughts of extreme guilt and suicide, thoughts of fear, of moral anguish, of being found out.
It is the moral nature of a good man who has done bad things to have these thoughts. Witness to Myself is a book of questions, the questions in both of these character's minds, the questions within your own. Am I rooting for this man? What conclusion can this have?

We travel inside his head in this wonderful book and learn something about our own guilts and think about larger subjects than a simple mystery. That is the element of good literature. Years later we may not remember the details but we always remember the feelings we had after the art.
That's good writing Mr Shubin. It's a mystery writer who spins a story. It's  a man of literature who leads us to, as Eliot called it, an overwhelming question.

Witness to Myself copyright 2006 by Seymour Shubin is available at Barnes and Noble

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