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Book Review: The Little Book: A Novel

October 18, 2009
I discovered The Little Book: A Novel by Selden Edwards at The Book Cellar in Chicago while I was there in August working, and visiting V. It took me longer to get to it then I thought it would, but it was worth the wait. I would have to say that historical fiction is in my top 2 favorite genres (Classics being the other favorite). I am especially interested in the Victorian era, the 1920s, and WWII. This book had elements of all of the above, and I absolutely loved the writing style. It takes place primarily in Vienna in 1897, although it starts out during the formative years of Wheeler Burden in California and Boston. There are so many intricate, interweaving details throughout the entire story, and I was extremely impressed by the plot. I feel like I need to go back and re-read it to catch all of the little things I overlooked the first time.
After growing up on a farm in California, finishing high school in Boston, and going to college at Harvard, Wheeler Burden becomes a famous musician. He is known for being a great athlete, as well as being somewhat eccentric throughout his life. One day in 1988 he is transported back in time to 1897 Vienna. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s done well. He just kind of wakes up and finds himself in Vienna. He is confused and has no memory of what actually brought him there. Wheeler arrives in a time of great changes that will affect both Europe and the rest of the world. He meets his young grandparents (who are not yet married) and his father. He makes friends with the famous Jung Wien of the turn-of-the-century, Viennese coffeehouses. He has sessions with Sigmund Freud regarding his circumstances, and even meets 8-year old Adolf Hitler. There are so many historical details in this story that at times I had to stop and wonder whether it actually happened the way it did in the book.
I enjoyed The Little Book very much. I will be reading it again, and I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. If you enjoy historical fiction, time-travel stories, and/or just like to read a beautifully written book, then I highly recommend this.
One Comment leave one →
  1. October 18, 2009 8:58 pm

    Ohhh, I forgot you got that book while here! I’m putting it on my to-read list for sure. Glad you liked it. We (meaning, me and the Book Cellar) miss you terribly.

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