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The King in the Tree is three novellas of love and unfaithfulness that have powerful aura of fairytales or, to be more precise, of postmodernistic fables.“When I first met Robert, when I was twenty-four and he was thirty, he used to come into the bookstore where I was working. He wore jeans and work boots and flannel shirts. He looked like a skinny lumberjack. I thought he was my age – a student, maybe. Even then he was an interesting man. A teacher who hated teachers, an intellectual who made f...
Love at an ImpasseThree novellas, at roughly 50, 80, and 100 pages each. All have to do with adultery. All three explore a curious state of stasis, where passion is undiminished, but no further move seems possible, a kind of amatory checkmate. The two longer stories, in addition, revisit operatic characters—from Mozart's Don Giovanni and Wagner's Tristan and Isolde—or rather the original myths on which those operas were based. While the first story is good, the other two are the real reason for
Revenge ★★★★★An Adventure of Don Juan ★★★✫✫The King in the Tree ★★★★✫
Steven Millhauser's King in the Tree is a collection of three novellas: Revenge, An Adventure of Don Juan, and the eponymous King in the Tree. Only the latter story felt like it deserved to be of novella length; the other two stories could have been edited down to short story-length to greater effect.I don't know exactly what to say regarding the stories in the collection. I am a fan of Millhauser's short fiction, having loved almost everything I've read by him. Two stories that come to mind are...
This is another book I've had a long time, at least 5 years. Millhauser has written 3 novellas about love and relationships. In 2 of them he pushes aside the veil obscuring legend or myth to reveal characters made round and human. It's here that we meet Don Juan in hell, more of a wounded Fisher King than aggressive seducer. "The King in the Tree" tells the foreground of the King Mark, Tristan and Ysolt legend, before the lovers flee the kingdom. The opening story is a pained monologue of a woma...
Here are three novellas from a master of the short form. Millhauser's first novella "Revenge," like many of his best imaginative collections, uses a space and builds a story around it's oddness. A humdrum walkthrough of a prospective house pulls us into a tale of revenge. The present-tense is a fascinating touch and the narrator's rich detailed monologue is eerie and compelling. "The King in the Tree" is a re-working of the Tristan and Isolde story. It is rich in setting and a bit of a tearjerke...
Ack, this came SO CLOSE to being a really great book, and just didn't quite make it. It's three novellas, the first of which is so jarringly different in tone and subject matter (though they're all ostensibly about deception - which is true, but that's still not enough to smooth over the gaps) that it really detracts from the work as a whole. The second story is probably the most solid of the three; the third is beautiful but unfortunately consists of so much betray-forgive-betray-forgive that p...
Finished the first story. Revenge. Incredible! Did not expect that. I give it 5 stars. Finished An adventure of Don Juan, the ending.. i saw it coming. But the story was entretaining and i liked the charecters. 3.5 stars. Finishedthe last story. The king in the tree. A story about Tristan and Ysolt from the point of view of Thomas, the king's advisor and King Marks perspective. Pretty good but full of people knowing that something is wrong and doing nothing about it which irritates me. 4 stars.
My seventh Millhauser, in my attempt to read all his stuff. This was a great collection of novellas, all three of them very enjoyable, with “An Adventure of Don Juan” as a particular favourite. If you want to give this author a try, start with the short story collection "Dangerous laughter", it's his best. Especially recommended for fans of Robert Aickman, Philip K. Dick or Borges.
3 superb novellas. mostly about love betrayal and revenge
The first novella in this volume was okay. Interesting narrative with a few unexpected twists and turns and a unique premise. The second novella was a tale about the legendary Don Juan's visit to England. Hard as it is to imagine, the author succeeded in making Don Juan boring. I started skimming after about 20 pages. The third novella was a retelling of the legend of Tristan and Ysolt, and, again, the author had me falling asleep within a few pages...so I gave up. Time is too precious.
The middle piece here - ‘An Adventure of Don Juan’ is one of the great stories I’ve ever read. I love its whimsy, its efficiency, and its sadness. I have re-read it at least a half dozen times since 2005. The other two stories also provide literary satisfaction and entertainment, but the Don Juan title is like nothing else for me.
I thought this would be one of those books that I gave three stars to, then donated, but because it has Tristan and Ysolt in it, I have to keep it. The writing is great, but I'm not thrilled with the devices. I also don't remember the middle story at all and I just read the book last week. However, the first and third novellas seem to be grappling with threesomes, and I'm interested in that.
The first story, while well-told, did not really hold my attention. The second story held it more. The final story, and the story which lends its title to the book, is by far the most intriguing and heart-wrenching of the three. It is for this story you should read this book.
The best story of these three is the titular one, in which the king really does get into a tree, along with his trusted Thomas, to spy on his wife and supposed lover, who seem to know they are being watched and put on an act. The king doesn't want to believe his wife isn't being faithful, but despite avowing her innocence, he is eaten alive by doubt and jealousy.The second story, "An Adventure of Don Juan," pics up where the original ends, with Don Juan feeling like an actor--his amours becoming...
Three stories about love, not as much magic and more realism than is usual with Steven Millhauser. Themes of dreamy moonlight walks and strange constructions do play a part though.
Three tales of love as told by three characters standing in its shadows: a betrayed wife, a thwarted Don Juan, and a tormented king. I'm becoming a Millhauser fan, I think. His work is unique in that any given story either comes from or arrives at an undeniable truth in the dark. The stories with their keenly imagined details and impeccably wrought narratives startle and stun.
Three novellas on the theme of the tragic love triangle. The first, "Revenge," is Millhauser at his most emotionally effective. Despite the artifice in Millhauser's writing, he still manages to lure the reader into connecting with his lovesick characters. I'd compare it to how Wes Anderson's films have sympathetic characters despite the dollhouse-like settings.
The first novella, Revenge, was told in an interesting style and had a compelling storyline. The second, about a Don Juan character, was good but I didn't feel its power until the very end. The third was poetic and tragic, but it felt like reading about my best friend's tribulations with her on-and-off boyfriend.
I liked: the first novella, really got my attention with a tour of the house and all.Would I recommend it: Yes, it has quite a lot to tell on disappointments, betrayals and memory- quite a read if you have time like a weekend or so.The good side of it: 3 Novellas in one. I love novellas.Award: 3 stars, one for each novella for sharing a character's world in their own way.
I'm a big Millhauser fan, but this book is severely disappointing. It is drippy and sentimental and seems like a cheap imitation of his usually fantastic writing. Its mediocrity actually made me angry. What happened, Steve?
Just upgraded my rating because I can't stop thinking about this book. It has three stories each of which are memorable. I don't know what to say about it, other than I haven't started another book so as not to erase the memory of this one.
This collection of 3 novellas was recommended by a friend and I loved every page of it. Exceptional writing and story-telling, especially his interpretations of Don Juan and Tristan and Isolde. Seriously, read the title story and you'll forget that the James Franco movie ever happened!
Steven Millhauser is a genius. I quote a lit professor of mine when I say, ever word does work in Millhauser's writing. Nothing is wasted. I got a little bogged down in the middle novella about Don Juan, but the other two completely engaged me. Loved it.
I imagine more people are familiar with the Edward Norton movie "The Illusionist" than the novella it was based on (not in this collection). But for those rare souls still willing to give the novella form a try, here is a master.
Three short stories...go read them right now!
So far nothing else I've read of his has held a candle to the first 90% of his amazing novel _Martin Dressler_.
This left an overall impression of languid passivity.
While certainly not his most engaging work (personally), Millhauser's writing and style are still top-notch.
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11012190