Nov 23, 2009

The Little Book by Selden Edwards

The Little Book

The Little Book - Selden Edwards

From Goodreads-

The Little Book is the extraordinary tale of Wheeler Burden, California-exiled heir of the famous Boston banking Burdens, philosopher, student of history, legend’s son, rock idol, writer, lover of women, recluse, half-Jew, and Harvard baseball hero. In 1988 he is forty-seven, living in San Francisco. Suddenly he is—still his modern self—wandering in a city and time he knows mysteriously well: fin de si├Ęcle Vienna. It is 1897, precisely ninety-one years before his last memory and a half-century before his birth.

It’s not long before Wheeler has acquired appropriate clothes, money, lodging, a group of young Viennese intellectuals as friends, a mentor in Sigmund Freud, a bitter rival, a powerful crush on a luminous young American woman, a passing acquaintance with local celebrity Mark Twain, and an incredible and surprising insight into the dashing young war-hero father he never knew.

But the truth at the center of Wheeler’s dislocation in time remains a stubborn mystery that will take months of exploration and a lifetime of memories to unravel and that will, in the end, reveal nothing short of the eccentric Burden family’s unrivaled impact on the very course of the coming century. The Little Book is a masterpiece of unequaled storytelling that announces Selden Edwards as one of the most dazzling, original, entertaining, and inventive novelists of our time.

I had really high hopes for The Little Book, and what I actually got was a book that was trying to hard.

I immediately fell in love with the description of the book thinking you can't get better than a time travel book with the setting of  beautiful Vienna, but I think the author tried too hard to make this profound.  It was so slow moving, and would drag on and on. In the beginning I got a feeling Wheeler was a sophisticated version of Forrest Gump, and I was liking the way it was going.  As the story goes along though I notice I was not invested in the character of  Wheeler, and there was nothing really endearing about him.   Wheeler fell flat, and my interest in the book waned.

I was also disappointed that the time travel wasn't explored enough.  We never really understand what's behind it.  What a huge letdown.  Though the historical points in The Little Book  were interesting.  I learned quite a bit about Sigmund Freud, and the war against Hitler. 

I do have to give recognition to main character of The Little Book, Vienna.  Selden Edwards did bring Vienna in the 1800's to life for me.  The descriptions of the place and time were beautiful, and you can tell the author did alot of research.  

The Little Book took me awhile to get through, it's not a book I would recommend, though if you're interested in reading about old Vienna, then I would say give it a try.

Rating: 2/5


  1. Don't you just hate it when a great premise doesn't follow through? It sounded exciting from the synopsis.

  2. Hi Melissa,
    Sorry to hear your book wasn't as good as you thought! Don't you just hate that. Have yourself all set for a good book and lets you down. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!

    A View of My Life

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