↠´ We Others: New and Selected Stories ↠´ Download by ☆ Steven Millhauser My first brush with Millhauser He writes with such exquisite precision, I almost have the sense that he holds each phrase up to the light, turning it back and forth to look at it from all directions, then wielding it to refashion even the most mundane tale into something fanciful, thought provoking, sympathetic, troubling He makes us remember what it felt like to think profound thoughts when we were still too young to understand them fully Then, through his mature eyes, he forces us to revisit our very adult feelings of confusion and puzzlement He weaves fantasy and reality into such an intricate brocade that we must sometimes stop and look closely at the weft to see where one thread ends and another begins This collection of stories was the perfect introduction to I never know what to expect when I read the short stories of an author for the first time Will they have twist endings Will they be bizarre Will nothing happen Millhauser was a pleasant surprise He writes with an imagined nostalgia, for things that never really existed, like magic carpets and intricately carved snow people Some of the stories are about the magic found in the mundane, like the time between when you get to the ocean and you first stick a toe in, and these were my favorite The least interesting to me were those about people who DO magic, like magicians and wizards, and I ended up skimming those One of my favorites was We Others, told from the perspective of a ghost It starts like this We others are not like you We are prickly, jittery, restless, reckle
Came back and upped this from 4 stars to 5 because I have never stopped thinking about it in all the months since I read it At the time, I was a bit put off by the slowness, but in retrospect it had the effect of burning every image and moment deep into my brain.
Favorites The Slap The White Glove The Next Thing We Others Eisenheim the Illusionist Cat n Mouse and especially The Wizard of West Orange What must the stones think of us This book started strong for me I liked the stories and they seemed to have interweaving themes But soon the themes seemed too much the same, like often Millhauser was telling the same story only changing the setting and elements By the end of the book too many of the stories seemed to follow similar molds Stories seem to start out with a fanciful idea magician, snowmen, knife throwing, etc The performance builds to the point of unrivaled extreme, then crashes Many of the stories fit this pattern Other reoccurring themes Millhauser seems to like how humanity allows imitations to mimic the real thing, that we accept cheap substitutes as placeholders The unknown is a mystery We can ponder endlessly the unknown because, well, we don t know it It is full of anything we want it to be Secrets are in all of us Everyon I m not sure how I missed Millhauser I feel like I should have heard of him or come across his work at some point in my lifeand I m kinda bummed I didn t because he s got tons of skill This collection of old and new work was my introduction to Millhauser so I m not too sure how it compares to his career, but this collection has some truly great stuff The first story in the book about a stranger who slaps random people was absolutely stunningworth reading just for the few paragraphs dissecting the craft of a slap alone There were a few duds, but they were scattered throughout a bunch of winners.
Here s something I admire Millhauser s singularity of purpose, thematically He has a few basic obsessions illusion v reality, the way words distort or mask perception, and the ways our identities can be disturbed by an uncanny element within the everyday and he explores them in a bunch of different ways Also, his writing is extremely evocative on a sensory level At his best, he is brilliant at his worst, he is working towards something new, but not quite there yet.
So yes, there is some sense of repetition when you read this volume start to finish But there are two exciting things there first, it is possible for even a Pulitzer winner to just keep getting better The Slap White Glove Next Thing are among the best he s done second, he has staked out an individual territory, a Millhauser land that nobody else really inhabits, and that I
Every Reader Knows Of Writers Who Are Like Secrets One Wants To Keep, And Whose books One Wants To Tell The World About Millhauser Is Mine David Rollow, Boston Sunday GlobeFrom The Pulitzer Prize Winning Author The Essential Stories Across Three Decades That Showcase His Indomitable ImaginationSteven 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 In This Magnificent Collection Carves Out Ever Deeply His Wondrous Place In The American Literary Canon A collection of short stories are so hard to rate, some you love, some you like, and some you don t as much It almost seems pointless to give it a rating, especially just in the middle So this rating says about me than the work.
Taken as a whole these stories are hard to get through Picking it up and reading one here and there is the way to go But I do like to sink my teeth into a story, read it cover to cover, indulgently I found that really hard in this collection.
The writing is wonderful, the way Millhauser builds suspense through the simplest string of words is amazing Individually anyone of these stories are great, so pick it up when you have a spare 30 minutes and you will probably enjoy it immensely than the whole.