A magnificent collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author: stories from across three decades that showcase his indomitable imagination. Steven Millhauser's fiction has consistently, and to dazzling effect, dissolved the boundaries between reality and fantasy, waking life and dreams, the past and the future, darkness and light, love and lust. ...
A magnificent collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author: stories from across three decades that showcase his indomitable imagination. Steven Millhauser's fiction has consistently, and to dazzling effect, dissolved the boundaries between reality and fantasy, waking life and dreams, the past and the future, darkness and light, love and lust. The stories gathered here unfurl in settings as disparate as nineteenth-century Vienna, a contemporary Connecticut town, the corridors of a monstrous museum, and Thomas Edison's laboratory, and they are inhabited by a wide-ranging cast of characters, including a knife thrower and teenage boys, ghosts and a cartoon cat and mouse. But all of the stories are united in their unfailing power to surprise and enchant. From the earliest to the stunning, previously unpublished novella-length title story-in which a man who is dead, but not quite gone, reaches out to two lonely women-Millhauser "makes our world turn amazing" (The New York Times Book Review). With this collection, Steven Millhauser carves out ever more deeply his wondrous place in the American literary canon. Praise for Steven Millhauser's Dangerous Laughter "There is a ferocious restlessness in [these] stories, a mingling of desire and dread...mesmerizing" - Cathleen Medwick, O, The Oprah Magazine "Tales fuelled by curiosity and wonder, from a master...dazzling" - Jeff Turrentine, Washington Post Book World "Beautiful and profound...Millhauser's work is among the most thought-provoking I've ever encountered" - David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Review "Millhauser is a marvel...Dangerous Laughter shimmers with eccentric research, sinuous explorations of the mysteries of artistic creation, and his preternatural sensitivity to the inner lives of children and adolescents...an experience that leaves [us] dazzles, enchanted" - Daniel Dyer, Cleveland Plain Dealer "Absorbing, impeccably imagined...the best [stories] linger strangely, like ghostly taps on your shoulder" - Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly "Prose wizardry...of such melodic wit and finesse that it's more akin to musicmaking than story telling" - Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times "Millhauser's lifelong loves-of cartoons, magic, board games, mechanical marvels of the 19th century and the quiet moments of daily life-shine through, and his taste for language and grasp of storytelling are flawless. Truly amazing stories." - Stewart O'Nan
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-06-27 Millhauser's latest (after Dangerous Laughter), seven new stories and 14 taken from four previous collections, is an excellent primer for casual fans of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, whose dreamy tales of Old World phantoms, All-American menace, and childhood mysteries reveal that some obsessions last a lifetime. However, Millhauser followers may be frustrated by the organizing principle: stories were selected that "seized my attention as if they'd been written by someone whose work I had never seen before," the author states. Yet there is a particular pleasure in seeing a new story, like "Tales of Darkness and the Unknown," remix the mood of adolescent longing mined 13 years ago in "Clare De Lune," or in recognizing the summertime idyll of the new "Getting Closer" in "A Protest Against the Sun," first published in 1981. "The Slap" and "The Next Thing," both new, are obvious critiques of modern life, but a deeper reading illuminates a lasting obsession with our need to impart meaning to the meaningless. New work shows the author eschewing the creaky wonder of classics like "August Eschenberg," but achieving an icy perfection with his prose. A conundrum, then: a gift for newcomers and a likely disappointment for fans, as it is neither a complete "collected works" nor a fresh collection. But diehards who want to trace the author's artistic development over a third of a century will be thrilled. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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