Literary Nonfiction. In 2013, Daniel Nester's estranged father died penniless and alone in a small apartment in Tucson. The news brings back a flood of memories about Mike Nester, an enigmatic truck driver with a genius IQ, who influences Daniel's worldview with conspiracy theories, philosophy books, and something called "The Nester Curse." Told in short chapters, SHADER:Literary Nonfiction. In 2013, Daniel Nester's estranged father died penniless and alone in a small apartment in Tucson. The news brings back a flood of memories about Mike Nester, an enigmatic truck driver with a genius IQ, who influences Daniel's worldview with conspiracy theories, philosophy books, and something called "The Nester Curse." Told in short chapters, SHADER: 99 NOTES ON CAR WASHES, MAKING OUT IN CHURCH, GRIEF, AND OTHER UNLEARNABLE SUBJECTS is a semi-comic coming-of-age story of a music- obsessed Catholic boy who searches for a new identity outside of Maple Shade, N.J., a blue-collar town straight out of a Bruce Springsteen song and where Martin Luther King, Jr. was once thrown out of a bar at gunpoint. The town's rough-and- tumble inhabitants, called Shaders, don't suffer record nerds like Daniel gladly, and eventually punk rock and poetry saves his life. A story of redemption and working through grief, SHADER tells the story of what it means to leave a place that never leaves you."Nester takes us on the ride of his life, and we uncover pieces of ourselves along the way...an engaging read." Billy Squier, multi- platinum selling singer/songwriter "My God! What would we do without Daniel Nester's irreverence, obsessions and bizarre and wonderful charm. The book you hold in your hands is fantastic." Darcey Steinke, author of Sister Golden Hair and Easter Everywhere"SHADER is that rare book that manages to be hilarious, poetic, insightful, and compulsively readable all at the same time. Daniel Nester has the gifts to turn a time, a town, into both a dream and a place that feels like home, with some of the most potent characters I can think of in recent literature. I couldn't put it down." Paul Lisicky, author of The Narrow Door and Famous Builder"...
|Title||:||Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects|
|Number of Pages||:||316 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects Reviews
A very quick read I picked up because I live one town over from Maple Shade. I warmed to this book as I read it, annoyed, at first, by the structure of these small chapters that seemed to end just as they were beginning to get interesting. But Nester takes a very careful approach to his autobiography, balancing a raw depiction of his difficult childhood with a strident avoidance of self-pity all the while interspersing the tale with humorous coming-of-age anecdotes.Difficult to put down.
This unconventionally structured memoir is as funny as it is tender, and it’s plenty of both. The honest, frequently self-deprecating narrative spans the author’s entire life, focusing on his childhood and teen years and his complicated relationship with his late father. 80s nostalgists like this reader adored the frequent pit stops in that neon-tinged decade, and the short chapters, once one adjusts to the rhythm, allow for a unique, panoramic, mirrorball of insight into the anxieties of family and identity.
I've always loved Nester's sensibility—wry, curious, unflinching—and this book doesn't disappoint. It'll keep you up late, gobbling up just one more chapter, and then just one more. What a pleasure to spend a few days in the Shade in the company of the author. I miss it already.
An enjoyable read. It is a memoir of is youth in 80s New Jersey. A lot of it was funny and wise. A very fine book.
Author Daniel Nester latest book Shader is a memoir about growing up, over and over again, maybe in perpetuity. It’s about being a record-collecting nerd in the 1980s, and the destiny deciding dangers of lawnmowers and poets who work at carwashes and how sex is usually tragic and hilarious when you’re young. It’s also a really funny book about death, anger, and never feeling like you belong, ever, especially in the place and with the people who raised you. And the later realization that everyone feels that way too. …but seriously, funny book. It’ll also cut you close to the bone when you least expect it to. The event that triggers the author’s big look back is the recent death of his estranged father Mike Nester. Nester’s fascinating and frustrating father hangs over the entire book like some Col. Kurtz type of wraith, becoming even more strange and mythic in his absence. His presence pervades the work even after he abandons the author and his family halfway through the book. Mostly because the damaging impact of his fathering is felt in every misstep his son takes later when tasked with trying to raise himself.But again, this book is funny as hell. The humor here elevates what could otherwise devolve into a flat dirge of a rough coming of age peppered with justifiable anger at a failed patriarch. This never happens as you read Shader. Nester makes it a point to constantly keep himself in check, never wallowing and always looking at things through the eyes of others whenever possible. Even his father’s.The title Shader, (rendered in a very 80s, very opening for Dokken at the state fair font for the cover) refers to a self-applied handle that residents of the working class town of Maple Shade New Jersey have taken to using. Most of the story takes place here, with the author, learning about his ever shifting role in the grand cosmos by proxy in South Jersey. There are a few other locations in the book but none make more of an impression than Tucson Arizona. Seeing as Tucson is actually the place where I did a lot of my own growing up it intrigued me to see an East coaster’s take on it. Equally intriguing was my view of Nester as an east coaster at all, knowing that I spent the first 10 years of my life mostly in Pennsylvania.But that’s another thing that works with Shader, as much as it’s about the particular peculiarities and nuances of Nester’s hometown it’s also about the idea of the “home town.” Anyone who’s ever moved away from the region that they hail from knows the ambivalence you feel toward the spot that made you what you are. Hell, people who put down roots in their hometowns probably feel it even deeper. But Nester nails the odd sense, distinct to those who leave and come back occasionally, of obsession and perpetual mystery about the place you should already know more about than anywhere else. How can there always seem to be more to learn about where you grew up? Or the people you grew up with? Why is it endlessly imperative that we ask our relatives and old school friends about the same old incidents? Are we trying to learn something new? To study every inch of our personal Zapruder films in hopes to finally reach that aha moment that disproves the magic bullet theories which flimsily tried to explain the weirdness of our childhoods? Or do we just want to relive those old days because even when they were the worst of times, seeing as we had more life ahead of us than ever, fittingly, we never felt more alive?However, there’s one aspect of Shader which some readers might not be able to relate to directly and is one of its most powerful features; the real darkness and brokenness to Nester’s relationship with his father. The man was a truck driver with a genius IQ who encouraged free thinking and philosophical study in his children; he also may have harbored Nazi sympathies and definitely like many fathers of his or any time had some fucked up views on women that their sons would have to discard in order to avoid their father’s fates.What I liked most about all this is that despite the book revolving around the death of his admittedly damaged but charismatic father, there is a careful effort at making his mother and his sister and their views on all topics pertinent just as compelling and important as his or his father’s own. It’s a human flaw to always be more interested in what we don’t have, hence the popularity of stories revolving around problems with the father and/or absent fathers. But by the end of Shader Nester comes round to focusing instead on what he does have: a mother who loved him and raised him on her own as best she could; and a family of his own which represent a chance to be the father to his own children that he never had himself. The author seems to understand, on both counts, that not everyone can say the same.
Nester's Shader is a gorgeous, soul-searching, intimate book. I did miss my subway stop once and almost missed many times while re-living mullet memories and awkward music fantasies. I also had to stop reading many times because it's hard to read when you are shaking with tears of laughter in your eyes... references of Leo Buscaglia and Kajagoogoo are haunting me... Nester brings a full range of complicated emotions to the family, friends and lovers he recalls from South Jersey; and this upstate New York girl with teen years in the '80s relates deeply to Nester's humor, wild-child fever and charm. A journey, an anthem, a tribute band of his own life, Shader is a concise personal and historic diary of a not so mad man.
I really loved Shader. It brought back memories of Winesburg, Ohio. I was fascinated and impressed with the structure, and how Nester was able to paint such a vivid and full picture of an entire town and childhood in separate "notes". Truly worth reading; I'll enjoy coming back to this book.