rating: 5 of 5 stars
Time-travel tales, as intricate as they are, require a special touch, a unique understanding of cause and effect. As such they are incredibly easy to write poorly and at the same time quite difficult to write well.
There is a long tradition to the cyclical nature of these tales, beginning, arguably with Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, The Flying Trunk and continued a century later with Richard Matheson's Somewhere in Time in the 1970s and most recently with Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife.
Over 30 years in the making, Selden Edwards The Little Book is a wonderful addition to the fine tradition of the well-written time-travel tale.
The book reads like a puzzle, the reader starts with a collection of pieces and characters-- The Haze, Dilly, Wheeler, Weezie, and Flora-- all of which with deep back stories that adds an extra dimension to the novel. Slowly but surely, little by little these pieces fall together to create a cohesive picture, the loose ends get tied up and a beautiful portrait of turn-of-the-century Vienna, Austria is created.
Edwards does an exceptional job-- not with merely the compelling characters he has created but with the lush portrait of Vienna at its cultural apex. In making the fiction feel so real and comfortable, Edwards is also able to create believable portrayals of historical figures like Buddy Holly, Sigmund Freud, and Gustav Mahler. And if you're now left wondering how Buddy Holly ties in to a time-travel tome set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, you'll just have to read the book.
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