This evening a package came in the post the size of a book. I thought to myself, “This must be a book.” I know: genius. A book? I didn’t order a book. I’m more of a television guy. Just ask my wife Katherine, she reads every night but can’t watch an episode of Firefly without falling asleep. Katherine! She must have ordered a book. That’s it. So why does the label read “Delivered Kindly to: gremmie”? There can’t be two gremmies in Brooklyn can there? If there are, prepare for a duel sir… or ma’am? Would I be hot as a girl? Lord knows I’m a pretty man. Wait. What am I talking about? I’m acting ridiculous. Shut up and open the package.

Inside was a copy of Picture in a Frame, a book by Jennifer Sando which threads a whimsical, patchwork narrative of one girl’s quest to shoot a portrait of Eddie Vedder. I’ll skip to the end: she gets to photograph Ed. But that’s not really the point of the book. The point is to take you through a black and white slideshow; one that illustrates what it’s like to by smacked by inspiration and the road you walk to sate it. In this regard the book doesn’t disappoint. The images on each page are crisp and thoughtful; pictures of people Jennifer met while searching for Ed, others of inanimate objects infused with a touch of Pearl Jam (like the strand of mostly eaten grapes, 7 left on the vine, each with a single letter spelling out “S-O-C-I-E-T-Y”). As with most photo books, it’s light on text (save for a few punctuate paragraphs), and the pictures don’t have a narrative thread. Meaning, if you rearranged all of the photos in the book, it wouldn’t make a difference to the reader. This is, of course, except for the end when she finally shoots Eddie.

The book’s finale, which spans several pages, are pictures of Eddie. The first of the lot, which acts as the book’s cover, is the best. This is particularly true when you discover that Eddie came to the shoot prepared with the “I’m Eddie Vedder” sign (see above image). It’s an honest picture of a man who genuinely cares about those who adore him. Also, fuck me sideways, I’d go gay for him.

So should you buy the book? It depends. As a Finance drone the cost/benefit analysis is important to me. At $28 for an unsigned copy ($50 for a signed one, wtf?), you shouldn’t buy it just because you’re a Pearl Jam collector. It’s not that kind of book. Pearl Jam fans won’t find inside information on the band like in 5 Against 1. And nor is it like Pearl Jam sanctioned photo books Place/Date or 5×1.  You buy “Picture in a Frame”it because Jennifer’s story inspires and you want to see how the painter moves the brush along the canvas, and what it looks like when it’s done.

thanks to Jennifer Sando from providing the dot net with a copy of the book to review.


      3 Responses to Book Review: Picture in a Frame by Jennifer Sando

      1. Cindy says:

        Can’t wait to get mine in the mail! Thanks for the review! 🙂

      2. Tessa says:

        Excellent review and an equally excellent summary of how special this journey is, to both the author and the reader. Judging from the photos, it meant something to Eddie, too.

      3. Thanks so much for taking the time to review the book, Gremmie. ; ) Glad you didn’t think it was a trojan parcel and decide to toss it. Cheers from Adelaide. x

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