Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer, 1943-1954, by Jeffrey Cartwright

Overview

At the age of two, Edwin Mullhouse is reciting Shakespeare. At ten he has written a novel that critics will call 'a work of undoubted genius'. At eleven Edwin Mullhouse is mysteriously dead. Documenting every stage of his brief life is Jeffrey Cartwright, Edwin's best friend and biographer - and the narrator of this dazzling portrait of the artist as a young child.

Edwin Mullhouse plunges us back into the pleasures and terrors of childhood, even as it plays havoc with our ...

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Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954 by Jeffrey Cartwright

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Overview

At the age of two, Edwin Mullhouse is reciting Shakespeare. At ten he has written a novel that critics will call 'a work of undoubted genius'. At eleven Edwin Mullhouse is mysteriously dead. Documenting every stage of his brief life is Jeffrey Cartwright, Edwin's best friend and biographer - and the narrator of this dazzling portrait of the artist as a young child.

Edwin Mullhouse plunges us back into the pleasures and terrors of childhood, even as it plays havoc with our notions of genius and biography. Rapturous, funny, elegiac, Edwin Mullhouse has been considered a classic since original publication in 1972.

Edwin Mullhouse, a novelist at 10, is mysteriously dead at 11. As a memorial, Edwin's bestfriend, Jeffrey Cartwright, decides that the life of this great American writer must be told. He follows Edwin's development from his preverbal first noises through his love for comic books to the fulfillment of his literary genius in the remarkable novel, Cartoons.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
First published in 1972, Millhauser's cult novel is both a parody of literary biography and a heartfelt evocation of childhood. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This 1972 first novel was written in the form of a biography of a fictitious person by a fictitious author. The plot follows the life of Mullhouse, an "eccentric young show-off who fancied himself something of a literary wonder" LJ 8/15/72.
Robert Dunn
Steven Millhauser makes our world turn amazing! He continues to pursue fiction as a mysterious, magical, enlightening experience...we venture with him into the common corners of our ragged world, where the marvelous glows and true meanings breathe life. -- The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394480091
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/1972
  • Pages: 305

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2007

    Altogether Amazing

    I'm giving this one five stars because it is an outstanding book, but I think the reader should contemplate all meanings of outstanding before purchasing this book. This review notwithstanding, this is the sort of book that will stand out in your mind long after you finish reading. On the surface, the ending leaves perhaps the most lasting impression. It is definitely worth a read, and perhaps a re-read. Mr. Millhauser has a genius for detail. I believed every word. And, when it came down to those last few months in 1954, I read with such a maniac frenzy, with such foreboding, I'm sorry to say it ruined the rest of my day. But for sheer artistry alone, to see what can be done with our language, the reader owes this book more than a passing glance. Throw yourself in, and let it spit you out on the other side.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2002

    You'll read it again and again

    The perfect picture of childhood; two friends, one a bit older than the other, observes the life of the title character from birth to death with an eye for minutae that will on the one hand have you in stitches and on the other hand have you shaking your head in amazement at Millhauser's ability to recollect things. Left off most 'Top 100: books of the 20th century lists, 'Edwin Mullhouse' ranks as my third favorite book of all times, behind 'A Separate Peace' and anything by P.G. Wodehouse.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2012

    Not the best from Millhuser

    After being impressed with Martin Dressler, I was looking forward to this book. However, in comparison with that fine book, this one was disappointing. I think it is a satire, but I could not figure out whether Edwin actually wrote a masterpiece, or the author is making fun of a kid that is nothing but a little brat. I really enjoyed parts of the book; descriptions of toys and cartoons that reminded me of my own childhood, but to end with a suicide in such a light-hearted matter left me cold.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2002

    Edwin Mullhouse

    Edwin Mullhouse is one of my favorite novels of all time. Steven Millhauser captivates his audience with vivid descriptions and every word he uses is absolutely perfect. This novel is funny, very touching and sad and I would recommend it to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2011

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