Martin Dressler is the son of cigar maker, born in late 19th century New York. As Martin approaches manhood, it is rapidly clear that his ambitions stretch far further than inheriting his father's shop, as he moves first to take a job in a hotel, then to open a restaurant, and rapidly ascends to become a builder of hotels of his own. He is a ...Read MoreMartin Dressler is the son of cigar maker, born in late 19th century New York. As Martin approaches manhood, it is rapidly clear that his ambitions stretch far further than inheriting his father's shop, as he moves first to take a job in a hotel, then to open a restaurant, and rapidly ascends to become a builder of hotels of his own. He is a classic entrepreneur, a young man who has the audacity to make his dreams ' and the American Dream ' come true on the grandest possible scale. But when Martin sets out to build the Grand Cosmos, a hotel that rivals Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast in its scale, and aims to rival the world itself in its scope, this mesmerising novel finally exposes the ambiguity of the American dream and the perils and wonder of human ambition and human imagination.Read Less
First edition of the author's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Octavo. Signed by the author on the title page. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Millhauser was best known for his 1972 debut novel, Edwin Mullhouse. This novel is seemingly autobiographical, and it's about a precocious writer whose career ends abruptly with his death at age eleven. Millhauser followed with a second novel, Portrait of a Romantic (1977) and his first collection of short stories In The Penny Arcade (1986). In 1997 he won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for Martin Dressler and, in 2012, the Story Prize for We Others.
Near Fine in Fine dust jacket. 8vo; [i-vi] vii-viii , 294 pages. 051770319X. A First Printing of the First Edition, small remainder dot to top edges, else in unread Fine condition in equally Fine dust-jacket, signed by author Stephen Millhauser directly on the title page; A captivating story about a young New York entrepreneur whose ambition to build the Grand Cosmo, a fabulous creation that houses the sum of human imagination itself, becomes both his triumph and his undoing. Pulitzer Prize winner in 1997; Remainder.
This book was absolutely wonderful--a great read for ages 13 and up (might be a little premature for 12 year olds, since it contains some sexual content.) Definitely worth your time. It is overall, an extremely well-written book.
Publishers Weekly, 1996-03-25 Literature's romance with the building-as-metaphor earns new energy through Millhauser's latest novel (after Little Kingdoms, 1993), which quietly chronicles the life of an entrepreneur whose career peaks when he builds a fabulous hotel in turn-of-the-century Manhattan. Beginning with his first jobs-in his father's cigar shop and as a bellhop-young Martin's rise is fueled by a happy blend of pragmatism and imagination. Both inform the design of the cafes and hotels he builds as an adult, though the latter seems to gain sway in the construction of his magnum opus, the Grand Cosmo. Within the rusticated walls of that grand hotel, one floor's elevators open onto "a densely wooded countryside" dotted with cottages; another floor simulates a rugged mountainside, featuring "caves" furnished with beds, plumbing and "refrigerated air." For recreation, guests can wander in the artificial moonlight of the Pleasure Park or visit the Temple of Poesy, where young women in Green tunics will recite poetry, 24 hours a day. Such amenities speak of Dressler's view of the hotel as "a world within the world, rivaling the world." In deliberate contrast stands Millhauser's cooler evocation of his protagonist's private life. The magnate's genial sister-in-law works for him, while the troubles of his neurasthenic wife-"his sister's sister, his tense, languous, floating, ungraspable bride"-reflect his increasingly manic, untethered imaginings. Millhauser's characteristic fascination with the material artifacts of the vanished past-and the startling deftness with which he can describe the street, the carnival, the hotel that never existed-marks him as a cultural historian as well as an idiosyncratic fabulist. Taking its place alongside other fine tales of architectural symbology, from Poe to Borges to Ayn Rand, this enticing novel becomes at once the tale of a life, a marriage and a creative imagination in crisis. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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