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John Rockwell[Gross] dreams and muses, offering endless insights into the strange and archaic world of puppets, inanimate things breathed to life. This is a book of literary mysticism, rich with accrued culture yet never weighed down by it. It's a summation of what Gross calls the "vast literature" about puppets, yet never didactic or preachy. It makes arguments and tells stories about wildly diverse puppet traditions, but it can also be dipped into like a book of poetry, savored for its lapidary insights on every page.
—The New York Times Book Review