<B>Now you see it, now you don't</B>Thomas Moran, a former investigative journalist who now focuses on writing fiction, received critical acclaim for his first three novels. In particular, he has been praised for his ability to create memorable and effective characters. With his latest novel, Moran triumphs once again, giving readers a host of likable personalities and focusing on a problem that everyone faces: the need to put things in perspective.
<B>What Harry Saw</B> is set in Sydney, Australia, and its title character is a child delinquent-turned-newspaperman who considers himself emotionally scarred from various past experiences including losing his mother at an early age, dealing with an alcoholic father and suffering serious wounds in Vietnam. Harry struggles to come to terms with being left by his longtime girlfriend, Lucy, at the same time he faces caring for a father whose health is rapidly declining. An inherently selfish but incredibly likable man's man," Harry loses Lucy mainly because of his inability to express his true emotions. Moran expertly exposes Harry's shortcomings without making the narrator himself aware of them. Harry has his good qualities, but he also has two kinds of flaws: those he recognizes and those he doesn't.
<B>What Harry Saw</B> is all about the differences between reality and our view of it. The book begins with a hard-hitting rant about blindness. If you were blind, Harry questions, Could you ever be truly sure you were anywhere real at all?" After getting to know the character, the reader is led to wonder how much Harry and the rest of us really use the sight with which we have been blessed. Harry, almost completely unable to see perspectives other than his own, misses out on much that life offers.
In Harry, Moran has created an anti-hero whose easy-going outward personality clashes with the inner turmoil he experiences. Well written and cohesive themes of sight, memory and lack thereof run throughout the novel <B>What Harry Saw</B> is another winner for Thomas Moran and a treat for any book lover. <I>Emily Zibart is a student at Columbia University, where Thomas Moran earned his master's degree in journalism.</I>