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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Apt 3W [Paperback]

Gabriel Brownstein

RRP: 6.99
Price: 6.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Jan 2004
Five stories are set in one New York apartment building where young Davey watches his neighbours' lives unfold, and are inspired by classic stories by Kafka, Fitzgerald, Auden, Singer and Hawthorne. Gathered under one roof are weird and wonderful characters such as Benjamin Button, the mysterious misfit who is born a grizzled old man and grows younger, fading away towards infancy, and Wakefield who abandons his family to move over the road and spy on them through binoculars for twenty years. And upstairs in the penthouse, the proctologist with a wire-brush moustache and movie villain's limp plays Icarus and Daedalus with his misfit son. In this brilliantly inventive collection, Gabriel Brownstein brings alive the human tragedies that lurk beneath the bizarre.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (5 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747568057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747568056
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,124,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Brownstein has brought these stories hauntingly to life, setting them free with the city's magical, comic and harrowing oddities' -- Observer

'Brownstein's voice is syncopated, funny and macabre, and springs into life as New York gets his remarkable trick-or-treatment' -- Guardian

'So ordered, plotted and interweaved as to give the weight and feel of a novel ... delivered with accomplishment' -- Arena

'What it successfully captures is a quintessentially urban air of mystery and strangeness, a willingness to exploit and manipulate' -- The Times

About the Author

Gabriel Brownstein lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is his first book.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.co.uk.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depends on How You Want to Judge It 11 Mar 2005
By S. Kim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Some people might find the stories in this book difficult to digest in terms of plot, but that does not diminish its literary value in terms of the writing. Gabriel Brownstein's writing style is unique and thoroughly enjoyable. He writes with a very sharp wit that the reader would find both humorous and thought-provoking.

I was not completely taken in by the stories themselves, but I would be willing to read more of Brownstein's writings. Undoubtedly, he has a tremendous amount of talent, but it just was not displayed well in this book. In sum, there are better stories to be told than the ones in this book, but his writing makes the book worth a glance.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written meditations on Manhattan in the 70s 22 Jan 2005
By Anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A very well written book that keeps one interested and leaves one thinking. The other Amazon "Reviewers" who disparage this book serve as a warning to me about trusting reviews on Amazon-- I agree with the professional literary reviews that acclaimed this book. If you are not familiar with 70s Manhattan, this book may introduce you to a new (or simply different) world.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating stories with an interesting twist 31 Aug 2005
By Fran Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I loved Brownstein's take on some classics--they were fresh and imaginative.
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Place to Visit, Wouldn't Want to Live There... 29 Oct 2003
By Mark Rigney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
New York for Gabriel Brownstein is full of some very odd characters, and he renders each of them awfully well, but I'm very glad that I don't have to live with his particular cast and crew. Too creepy! Too bizarre. But the writing sings, it jumps, it keeps you reading, and what more can you ask from that hardest of forms, the short story cycle? "The Bachelor Party" is chilling, and "A Penal Colony All His Own, 11E" does a masterful job taking on the impossibility of certain kinds of friendship. But that sounds pedantic...who cares what I thought it was about? The question is, what will you, gentle reader, make of these magical, unfettered tales?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I could only take two stories with me. 19 Feb 2007
By J. Carroll - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I finished this collection, only two of the stories stayed with me. The title story, a man who lives his life in reverse, is an affecting and fascinating examination of an unreal situation presented realistically with all the pains and emotions that such an existence would have in the "real" world. "A Penal Colony, All His Own 11E" about visiting a friend, who is slowly slipping away into schizophrenia, also possesses an emotional resonance that hits with a force only the best short fiction can supply. The other stories tend to meander through a series of events that smack of pretense and lack the power of these two tales. A collection like this will always be a risk for the reader; the short story is limited to accomplishing its goals in a limited time. This collection was a little lacking in value for me, although when taken separately the two stories I enjoyed have merit, I can't wholeheartedly recommend this one.
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