Smack Books (2018)
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (1/19)
“From Behind: A Peculiar Perspective of People and Places,” by David Jerome is definitely one of the most unique story-telling perspectives I have ever encountered. The author, a writer and photographer, presents to his audience a collection of pictures of people and places all taken from behind. From funny remarks on T-shirts to a naked person, this book reflects a broad variety of people, lifestyles, physical images, hair-dos, and personalities as the reader looks at the pictures from the photographer’s point a view. These pictures are as colorful as the subject and place of each photo.
Each page contains a different picture. There is no specification or detail on the pages, basically the photo does the talking for the author. The formatting of the book is such that it lacks an introduction and chapters. However, after 249 pages of photos, the reader will find a witty line index of some of the pictures, followed by the photo index of the pictures contained in this book.
David Jerome is an accomplished photographer with a keen eye for finding characters with stories that can somehow come through without writing one word. I enjoyed imagining who they were, and what kind of life they lived by their picture from behind. It is amazing how much I could come up with in my mind without looking at their faces, and I wonder how much of what I imagined could be true. I loved this perspective and had a lot of fun with it. But I also found it to have a deeper message than what I expected as I wondered what others could come up with about me by one moment in time on any given space judging with this ‘from behind’ angle.
Having said that, I did wish that the author would have invested in a hard-cover, larger format when publishing this project, as I think the smaller paperback book took away from his concept and did not give justice to the photos. I also would like to have seen more structure to guide the reader from one place to another, from one character to another to give some flow to the eclectic randomness of the pictures. Finally, I was glad the author included the comments and photo index, but if they would have been included next to or underneath each picture, it would have been a better experience for the reader as they did complement each picture.
Overall, I loved the concept of David Jerome’s, “From Behind: A Peculiar Perspective of People and Places,” and truly enjoyed it. I definitely recommend it as a unique and eclectic conversation piece!