"Edwin Mullhouse ... by Jeffrey Cartwright" by Steven Millhauser

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Warning: over-adverb alert!

"Edwin Mullhouse" is extraordinary on a number of levels. It is extrmely closely observed, appropriate in a narrative about young children. It transports the reader to a very, very odd place: to middle-class childhood in America in the middle of the twentieth century, but a childhood that is ended by the child's own hand on the occasion of his eleventh birthday.

"Mullhouse" is written as a biography done by the young fellow's friend, and the purport is that Mullhouse has written a stunning, moving novel (in comic book form) before dying. How Millhouser (can the similarity in names possibly be coincidental?) conjured this focus-straining, credibility-straining, infinite mirror of a construct, I will never comprehend.

This book took me utterly out of myself, and I challenge anyone to read it and resist its force. Startling, incredible, memorable, fascinating.
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