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The Barnum Museum: Stories
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About the Author

Steven Millhauser is the author of numerous works of fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Martin Dressler, and In the Penny Arcade. His work has been translated into fifteen languages, and his story "Eisenheim the Illusionist" was the basis of the 2006 film The Illusionist. He teaches at Skidmore College and lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Reviews

Among these 10 stories are ``A Game of Clue'' based on the famous board game and its characters, and ``Klassic Komix #1'' starring Eliot's J. Alfred Prufrock. The tales ``smartly conform to the dictates of literary fashion,'' said PW. ``Alone, any of these pieces might seem novel or stimulating, but collectively they become repetitious, oppressively belletristic.'' (Nov.)

Imagine a funhouse gallery of fictive techniques and ideas, and you'll have some sense of these stories. ``A Game of Clue'' delineates the line between strategy and chance in a board game while plotting the relationships among the players. ``Klassik Komix #1'' is a riotous pop comic version of ``The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock.'' Other stories recast classic tales in a counterpoint of scholarly satire and nostalgic reverence; one is a melancholy monolog in the manner of Poe. The gimcrackery and excess of the title piece echo in the fin de siecle charm and foreboding of ``Eisenheim the Illusionist.'' Both stories are about crossing the boundaries between art and life, appearance and reality. In this concern for the role of the artist as iconographer, artificer, conjurer, the author's work invites comparison with that of Robertson Davies. Millhauser's distinctive mix of stylistic dazzle and erudite wonder will intrigue admirers of his Edwin Mullhouse ( LJ 8/72), In the Penny Arcade ( LJ 1/86), and From the Realm of Morpheus ( LJ 9/1/86).-- Mary Soete, San Diego P.L., Cal.

Steven Millhauser's stories are as dense with minute realistic detail as a 15th-century Flemish painting, but they never fail to take a sharp turn into fantasy. Imagination is his favorite subject as well as his precision instrument. His fiction is about virtuosity, especially his own. But it's also about the way imagination takes possession of the world and the imaginer. Entertainment Weekly Imagine a funhouse gallery of fictive techniques and ideas, and you'll have some sense of these stories... 'A Game of Clue' delineates the line between strategy and chance in a board game while plotting the relationships among the players. 'Klassik Komix #1' is a riotous pop comic version of 'The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock.'.. Millhauser's distinctive mix of stylistic dazzle and erudite wonder will intrigue admirers of his Edwin Mullhouse, In the Penny Arcade, and From the Realm of Morpheus. Library Journal

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