Lanceheim

( 4 )

Overview

Famed composer Reuben Walrus is going deaf, even as he finishes up his greatest symphony. To stave off the encroaching silence, he embarks on an odyssey that will, hopefully, lead him to Maximilian, a fabled creature rumored to have miraculous healing powers. But exactly who—or what—is Maximilian? According to Wolf Diaz, Maximilian, unlike the other stuffed animals of Mollisan Town, did not arrive by green delivery truck. He cannot be identified as any particular species and is made from a material unlike any ...

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Lanceheim

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Overview

Famed composer Reuben Walrus is going deaf, even as he finishes up his greatest symphony. To stave off the encroaching silence, he embarks on an odyssey that will, hopefully, lead him to Maximilian, a fabled creature rumored to have miraculous healing powers. But exactly who—or what—is Maximilian? According to Wolf Diaz, Maximilian, unlike the other stuffed animals of Mollisan Town, did not arrive by green delivery truck. He cannot be identified as any particular species and is made from a material unlike any other with almost invisible seams. And, as he’s matured, he’s begun preaching odd parables, attracting a legion of followers hoping to learn from his teachings. But his acolytes aren’t the only plush figures paying attention. The dark forces currently ruling Mollisan Town are listening as well—which has sent Maximilian into hiding. Now time is running out if Reuben hopes to find him before the sounds of his world fade out forever.

Through the complex lives of the stuffed animals living in the world he brilliantly introduced in Amberville, Tim Davys explores the hopes and fears, strengths and weaknesses defining humanity.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the pseudonymous Davys's dithering second novel set in a world populated by stuffed animals (after Amberville), composer Reuben Walrus is weeks away from finishing his new symphonic opus when he discovers that his irreversible hearing loss will be total before he can complete the task. His only hope is to seek the aid of Maximilian, a parable-spouting sage whose growing cult of followers has so alarmed authorities and deacons of the world's orthodox church that they have driven him underground. Davys alternates between the trials and tribulations of Reuben as he copes with his affliction, and the life, times, and persecution of the enigmatic Maximilian, but the two narrative threads converge so belatedly that the plot never coheres. The stuffed animal conceit adds little to a story whose characters are so tritely human that readers may find themselves wondering why the author even bothered to cast it with fantasy surrogates. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Pseudonymous Swedish novelist Davys ups the ante in Mollisan Town, his world of dead-serious stuffed animals (Amberville, 2009), by introducing a stuffed messiah. Composer Reuben Walrus has been diagnosed with Drexler's syndrome, which means he's got three more weeks of hearing left. How will he ever finish his Symphony in A minor? There's only one way, he decides: He's got to track down the mysterious healer Maximilian, who's been credited with some truly miraculous cures. As Reuben gets closer to his hoped-for savior-hiring small-time private eye Philip Mouse, locating Maximilian's associates and beneficiaries of his healing, repeatedly getting the brush-off because his urgent pleas are so transparently selfish-Wolf Diaz, Maximilian's childhood friend and amanuensis, presents an interspersed back story relating his companion's early years. Set apart from the time he first arrived in Das Vorschutz and claimed by the childless Eva Whippoorwill and Sven Beaver, despite his lack of definite resemblance to any particular species of stuffed animal and his disquieting tendency to grow larger, Maximilian presents numerous parallels with the life of Christ. He impresses his elders with his fondness for obscure parables, befriends criminals, outrages civil authorities and lands in prison even as his fame is spread by a burgeoning number of followers. For a while it seems as if Reuben will never achieve the meeting he longs for, and when he finally does, courtesy of some unexpected twists and a magical final scene, it doesn't exactly go the way he planned. As in most modern animal fables since Orwell, Davys's stuffed citizens never seem to have a fully realized independent existence-despite a couple of touching asides, e.g., "The last thing to leave a stuffed animal is hope, it is often said"-yet they don't quite seem like people either. The combination of empathy and distance suits the form of the fable well, allowing Davys to meditate on the nature of sin and redemption from an appealingly fresh perspective.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061797446
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.82 (w) x 5.38 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Davys is a pseudonym. He is the author of Amberville, Lanceheim, and Tourquai, the first three books in the Mollisan Town quartet. He lives in Sweden.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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