01/40: The Little Book (by Selden Edwards)


The Little Book

by Selden Edwards

Published 08/14/2008 by Dutton/Penguin Group (USA)

WHO: Frank Standish Burden, III a.k.a. “Wheeler” Burden a.k.a. Harry Truman: Student at St. Gregory’s prep school, Harvard drop-out, Noted athlete, rock star, author/editor…

WHAT: Finds himself having traveled back in time…

WHERE: From an entryway at an apartment building in San Francisco to  the Ringstrasse in Vienna where he meets luminaries of Fin de Siecle thought and practice as well as certain ancestors…

WHEN: From 1988  to 1897… 

WHY: “We’ve had a chance to see what each of us is like”…  “We… thought we could change the world around us”… “We thought we were omnipotent.”

HOW: Speculatively, the shift in time/space was a matter of strong self-will; perhaps one of pre-determination; perhaps no more than a sub-conscious impulse made manifest as a coping mechanism or to make sense of things.

+ Tightly constructed novel on both a basic narrative level and on an allegorical level: The story is well crafted to tether moments, relationships and things from the past with those in the future; The psychological allegory along Freudian lines is masterful.

+ Descriptive passages are rich with detail that tantalize the reader into wishing s/he were there (interesting sort of uber meta experience in itself) 

– Impossible to describe and do the novel justice

OTHER: Purchased hardback edition from Elliot Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post. 

I have challenged myself to read forty books this summer. Many books will be backlist titles as I’m trying to clear the stacks; but I have no doubt that new releases will make their way in too! 😉


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