From the Realm of Morpheus: A Mesmerizing Tour of the Human Imagination by Steven Millhauser, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
From the Realm of Morpheus: A Mesmerizing Tour of the Human Imagination

From the Realm of Morpheus: A Mesmerizing Tour of the Human Imagination

by Steven Millhauser

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The dream-world suggested in the title begins with an image of a remembered life in an unspecified time and place. During a baseball game on a sun-stunned day, Carl Hausman, the narrator-observer, enters a magical landscape in search of a lost baseball and descends into the fabulous kingdom of Morpheus. The bibulous, Falstaffian Morph, self-portrayed as a ``rolypoly dimpled dumpling of a sweethearted cherub,'' conducts his visitor on a guided tour of this very curious wonderland. Here, Emma Bovary chats amiably with Leopold Bloom, and figures from history, literature, legend, myth and fable disport themselves in settings that are transfigured versions of Olympus, Camelot, Dante's Inferno, Atlantis, Lewis Carroll's and T. H. White's fantastic universes. A carnival atmosphere prevails: special effects done by mirrors and sleight of hand, and staged in a mock-Elizabethan lingo that is generally amusing but sometimes misfires; at times, too, the elaborate enterprise is excessive to a fault. But the festival air is disarming, and the ebullient author/impresario, whose previous works were the well-received Edwin Mullhouse and In the Penny Arcade, is equal to the formidable task he has set himself. (September 18)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Narrator Carl Hausman stumbles through an opening to the underworld, where he meets its master, Morpheus. With these two life-loving picaros, we tour a strange realm, experiencing much of the action through the further remove of various interpolated tales. A portrait-figure steps out of his painting to live a Wertherean life. Mirrors and shadows discourse on the nature of love. Morpheus recounts his own longing for a mermaid, while the narrator has a Brobdignagian romantic adventure and descends to Atlantis, a monument to artifice surpassing even Byzantium. In a work whose language, structure, and vein of fancy recall the 18th century, love and aesthetics are recurring themes. Admirers of Borges, Hoffman, or Wilde will enjoy the tour de force writing, witty wordplay, and clever invention found here.Patricia Dooley, formerly with Drexel Univ., Philadelphia

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HarperCollins Publishers
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