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The Little Book

by

The Little Book Cover

ISBN13: 9780525950615
ISBN10: 0525950613
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An irresistible triumph of the imagination more than thirty years in the making, The Little Book is a breathtaking love story that spans generations, ranging from fin de siècle Vienna through the pivotal moments of the twentieth century.

The Little Book is the extraordinary tale of Wheeler Burden, California-exiled heir of the famous Boston banking Burdens, philosopher, student of history, legend's son, rock idol, writer, lover of women, recluse, half-Jew, and Harvard baseball hero. In 1988 he is forty-seven, living in San Francisco. Suddenly he is — still his modern self — wandering in a city and time he knows mysteriously well: fin de siècle Vienna. It is 1897, precisely ninety-one years before his last memory and a half-century before his birth.

It's not long before Wheeler has acquired appropriate clothes, money, lodging, a group of young Viennese intellectuals as friends, a mentor in Sigmund Freud, a bitter rival, a powerful crush on a luminous young American woman, a passing acquaintance with local celebrity Mark Twain, and an incredible and surprising insight into the dashing young war-hero father he never knew.

But the truth at the center of Wheeler's dislocation in time remains a stubborn mystery that will take months of exploration and a lifetime of memories to unravel and that will, in the end, reveal nothing short of the eccentric Burden family's unrivaled impact on the very course of the coming century. The Little Book is a masterpiece of unequaled storytelling that announces Selden Edwards as one of the most dazzling, original, entertaining, and inventive novelists of our time.

Review:

"The subtitle of Edwards's Twain-indebted debut, written over the course of 30 years, might be 'A California Yankee in Doctor Freud's Court.' Following a physical assault, Stan 'Wheeler' Burden is precipitated into the past — 1897 Vienna, to be exact — from 1988 San Francisco. Wheeler has been a teenage baseball star and famed rock 'n' roller, but he's dreamed of Vienna since his prep school days, where his teacher, Arnauld Esterhazy, instilled a love of the city's gilded paradoxes. Vienna of 1897 is indeed hopping: Freud is discovering the Oedipus complex, Mahler is conducting his symphonies, and the mayor, Karl Lueger, is inventing modern, populist anti-Semitism — which the young Hitler will soon internalize. Making this a true oedipal drama, Wheeler's father and grandparents come to town, too, all at different ages, and with very different agendas. Edwards has great fun with time travel paradoxes and anachronisms, but the real romance in this book is with the period, topped by nostalgia for the old-school American elite, as represented by the we-all-went-to-the-same-prep-school Burdens. This novel ends up a sweet, wistful elegy to the fantastic promise and failed hopes of the 20th century." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

What if you could travel back in time, strangle 8-year-old Hitler and avert the Holocaust?

What if you could travel back in time and bring your grandmother to her first orgasm?

Kind of makes you think, doesn't it? These are the bizarre questions Selden Edwards explores in his novel about a family caught in a history loop. When California rock legend Wheeler Burden... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] good and compelling read. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"The Little Book is presented with undeniable brio. Enthusiasts of Vienna and narratives of time travel are in for a thrilling adventure." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Readers may find the overabundance of coincidences maddening, but that won't keep them from reading on to the shocking climax and the thoroughly satisfying and elegant resolution. Myriad readers will enjoy this book..." Booklist

Review:

"Those who demand comprehension will be exasperated, but others willing to suspend disbelief might be enchanted." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Selden Edwards's impressive debut novel is richly inventive, woven tightly with incident, and fully engaging. It is also superbly humane and readable." Richard Ford

Review:

"Selden Edwards's The Little Book is a wonderful novel and I think it has a chance to become a famous one. I've never read a novel like it. And I felt like my life was changing forever as I savored its many delights and mysteries." Pat Conroy

Review:

"A work that feels effortless...Part mystery, part meditation on the marriage of past and present, part love letter to a bygone era, the novel moves fluidly through time and place, belying its three-decade creation." Playboy Magazine

Synopsis:

Unabridged CDs ? 12 CDs, 15 hours

An irresistible triumph of the imagination more than thirty years in the making, The Little Book is a breathtaking love story that spans generations, ranging from fin de sie?cle Vienna through the pivotal moments of the twentieth century.

Synopsis:

The Lost Prince can stand independently of The Little Book … but why deprive yourself of the pleasures of reading both?” —Booklist

Recently returned from fin de siècle Vienna, where she tragically lost the first great love of her life, Eleanor Burden settles into her expected place in Boston society, marries a suitable husband, and waits for life to come to her. Eleanor’s story is not unlike that of the other young women she grew up with in 1890’s Boston, except for one difference: Eleanor believes herself to have advance knowledge of every major historical event to come in her lifetime. But soon Eleanor’s script of events begins to unravel, and she must find the courage of her deepest convictions, discover the difference between predetermination and free will, find faith in her own sanity, and decide whether she will allow history to unfold come what may — or use her extraordinary gifts to bend history and deliver the life she is meant to have.

About the Author

Selden Edwards began writing The Little Book as a young English teacher in 1974, and continued to layer and refine the manuscript until its completion in 2007. It is his first novel. He spent his career as headmaster at several independent schools across the country, and for over forty years has been secretary of his Princeton class, where he also played basketball.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

michaelsean, May 7, 2009 (view all comments by michaelsean)
Do you ever see a book and just know that you are going to enjoy it? Well The Little Book by Selden Edwards was like that for me. I picked up the book as the cover looked intriguing to me (Yes! I was judging a book by its cover!). I knew I was probably in good hands when the two author endorsements were from Richard Ford and Pat Conroy. Both gentlemen are among my all time favorite writers. After quickly reading the inside of the dust jacket, I was sold. I was not to be disappointed.

The book is set during the turn of the 19th century in Vienna. Mr. Edwards weaves in some amazing cameos of people who play a role in the story (Sigmund Freud is a pivotal figure). Whilst I don't want to give the plot away, be ready to explore several time periods from 1897 to 1988. There are some shocking moments in the book that make sense, will still surprise you. The tome wraps up with a flourish that will leave you smiling.

If you have an interest in 19th century Europe, prep school, and larger than life heroes, this is the book for you. Although written over a period of 30 years, the prose and dialogue are seamless. Cheers to Selden Smith for a book well-done!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
Eva Miller, December 30, 2008 (view all comments by Eva Miller)
I'm sorry, but Mr. Edwards needs an editor. The book is rife with clunky dialogue and awkward prose. It's flavorless. He has no clear voice, no style.

It's obvious that the person who wrote this is a history junkie and academic. But he's not a writer. Thirty years of trying doesn't make it so.

I would have to conclude that most reviewers do not fully read the material they are reviewing. Or have low standards. This book simply does not deserve the praise that has been heaped on it.
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(5 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780525950615
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Edwards, Selden
Publisher:
Plume
Subject:
Rock musicians
Subject:
Time travel
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20090526
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 8
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.10x6.10x1.30 in. 1.30 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Little Book Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Dutton Books - English 9780525950615 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The subtitle of Edwards's Twain-indebted debut, written over the course of 30 years, might be 'A California Yankee in Doctor Freud's Court.' Following a physical assault, Stan 'Wheeler' Burden is precipitated into the past — 1897 Vienna, to be exact — from 1988 San Francisco. Wheeler has been a teenage baseball star and famed rock 'n' roller, but he's dreamed of Vienna since his prep school days, where his teacher, Arnauld Esterhazy, instilled a love of the city's gilded paradoxes. Vienna of 1897 is indeed hopping: Freud is discovering the Oedipus complex, Mahler is conducting his symphonies, and the mayor, Karl Lueger, is inventing modern, populist anti-Semitism — which the young Hitler will soon internalize. Making this a true oedipal drama, Wheeler's father and grandparents come to town, too, all at different ages, and with very different agendas. Edwards has great fun with time travel paradoxes and anachronisms, but the real romance in this book is with the period, topped by nostalgia for the old-school American elite, as represented by the we-all-went-to-the-same-prep-school Burdens. This novel ends up a sweet, wistful elegy to the fantastic promise and failed hopes of the 20th century." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] good and compelling read. Recommended."
"Review" by , "The Little Book is presented with undeniable brio. Enthusiasts of Vienna and narratives of time travel are in for a thrilling adventure."
"Review" by , "Readers may find the overabundance of coincidences maddening, but that won't keep them from reading on to the shocking climax and the thoroughly satisfying and elegant resolution. Myriad readers will enjoy this book..."
"Review" by , "Those who demand comprehension will be exasperated, but others willing to suspend disbelief might be enchanted."
"Review" by , "Selden Edwards's impressive debut novel is richly inventive, woven tightly with incident, and fully engaging. It is also superbly humane and readable."
"Review" by , "Selden Edwards's The Little Book is a wonderful novel and I think it has a chance to become a famous one. I've never read a novel like it. And I felt like my life was changing forever as I savored its many delights and mysteries."
"Review" by , "A work that feels effortless...Part mystery, part meditation on the marriage of past and present, part love letter to a bygone era, the novel moves fluidly through time and place, belying its three-decade creation."
"Synopsis" by ,
Unabridged CDs ? 12 CDs, 15 hours

An irresistible triumph of the imagination more than thirty years in the making, The Little Book is a breathtaking love story that spans generations, ranging from fin de sie?cle Vienna through the pivotal moments of the twentieth century.

"Synopsis" by ,
The Lost Prince can stand independently of The Little Book … but why deprive yourself of the pleasures of reading both?” —Booklist

Recently returned from fin de siècle Vienna, where she tragically lost the first great love of her life, Eleanor Burden settles into her expected place in Boston society, marries a suitable husband, and waits for life to come to her. Eleanor’s story is not unlike that of the other young women she grew up with in 1890’s Boston, except for one difference: Eleanor believes herself to have advance knowledge of every major historical event to come in her lifetime. But soon Eleanor’s script of events begins to unravel, and she must find the courage of her deepest convictions, discover the difference between predetermination and free will, find faith in her own sanity, and decide whether she will allow history to unfold come what may — or use her extraordinary gifts to bend history and deliver the life she is meant to have.

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