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The King in the Tree

I would read his laundry list. Millhauser has some of those excellent qualities you hope you find in a writer whose work you really enjoy: recurring themes, likable characters, and fresh material. After reading Martin Dressler, I was a little worried that all of Millhauser’s books would include a whimsical multi-layered and yet ultimately hopeless theme park. This book -- which is actually a collection of three novellas only loosely thematically linked -- revisits that theme but in a completely new way, bringing in some of the automaton history that I was delighted with in some of Kurzweil’s works.

All of Millhauser’s plots contain very straighforward and easily stated plots: jilted wife shows house to dead husband’s lover, Don Juan actually falls in love, King suspects and does not suspect Queen of cheating, over and over. This leaves him more time for description, which is his forte, and subtlety, which is his secret skill. All these novellas stand alone equally well and yet gain a certain amount of depth by being juxtaposed with one another. If you have been waiting for this nwe book, you will not be disappointed.