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11 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
I adored this book from start to finish. In parts the prose is almost poetic and his characters have a depth which draws you in to the story. It didn't surprise me to find that it was 30 years in the making - it is a truly well crafted piece of literature and I can't recommend it enough. It is certainly a book which I would recommend and one that I will return to again...
Published on 19 Jan. 2013 by Aysgarth

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I would not recommend this.
This book looked very promising when I read what it was about, and I was looking forward to reading it. I very rarely give up on a book, but I had to give up on this one when I was nearly half-way through. There were some awfully long descriptions in minute detail of baseball games, which I have to say bored me rigid. I would imagine you would have to be a fan to enjoy...
Published on 19 Feb. 2010 by Pen pal


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, 19 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Little Book (Paperback)
I adored this book from start to finish. In parts the prose is almost poetic and his characters have a depth which draws you in to the story. It didn't surprise me to find that it was 30 years in the making - it is a truly well crafted piece of literature and I can't recommend it enough. It is certainly a book which I would recommend and one that I will return to again and again. Fantastic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, 21 Feb. 2011
By 
R. Senior "Smallfry" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Little Book (Paperback)
I love this book. It feels like a piece of magic. It's not the time traveller's wife, though, so if you want an easy, fast-paced read don't come here. This is a slow, rich read. Don't rush it. I love it (I say again :-)
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I would not recommend this., 19 Feb. 2010
By 
Pen pal "Topaz" (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Little Book (Paperback)
This book looked very promising when I read what it was about, and I was looking forward to reading it. I very rarely give up on a book, but I had to give up on this one when I was nearly half-way through. There were some awfully long descriptions in minute detail of baseball games, which I have to say bored me rigid. I would imagine you would have to be a fan to enjoy those. Perhaps one game would have been bearable, but there are quite a few of them that you have to 'read' through. None of the characters particularly interested me or even came across as very credible. Not for me.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No More Heroes, 14 Oct. 2008
By 
Keris Nine - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Little Book (Hardcover)
Over 30 years in the making, the care and detail lavished in Selden Edwards's debut novel is evident the love for which he depicts the splendour of turn-of-the-century Vienna, where the 'Jung Wien', the Secessionists, Mahler, Freud and the numerous important figures are about to modernise music art and philosophy and make an indelible mark on the twentieth century. That it sets about depicting this world through a time-travel adventure is intriguing and relevant to showing the tremendous impact this period would have on the world today, but it's also problematic.

In this Vienna of Freud, Wittgenstein and the Secessionists Edwards finds the essence of modern day thought, enlightenment, emancipation and the greatness that humanity can aspire to, the cultural apex that sets the foundation for the modern world to create all-American heroes, athletes and musicians, men of honour, discipline and learning. That much is entertainingly achieved, even if the heroic qualities of the male line of the legendary Boston-based Burden family becoming all-round war heroes, academic geniuses, sports superstars and rock gods makes them rather tediously too perfect, dryly characterised and irritatingly saddled with preppy names like Dilly and Wheeler.

How much of their superhuman qualities is inherent and how much of it comes with the conveniently unexplained time-slips back to fin-de-siècle Vienna is debatable, but it's also infuriatingly paradoxical in that typically time-travel way. It certainly seems that the legendary prowess of the men is less significant in the direction of world events than the "easy virtue" of the female members of the family, who have no qualms about upsetting the space/time continuum through making use of their insider knowledge of future business trends and conducting somewhat borderline incestuous liaisons and overly convenient and scarcely credible extra-marital affairs.

This aspect is likely to make or break the viewer's pleasure of the book, infuriatingly destabilising the integrity of the characterisation with its time travel paradoxes and playing free and loose with important historical figures and where they get their inspiration. On the other hand, the author's intricate interweaving of timelines, historical fact and fiction, his Back To The Future playing with several generations of the Burden family and their associates all converging in the same time period is often thrilling. If in the end it is somewhat over-elaborated, repetitive and rather too neatly wrapped-up, the time-travel aspect does convey some sense of the social and cultural benefits as well as the human cost and moral complexities of US foreign policy and the dangers of political and financial interventionism.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A highwayscribery Book Report, 24 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Little Book (Hardcover)
In "A Little Book," what comes round goes round and round and round...and comes back again.

Shelden Edward's novel is an exquisite time machine that feeds itself events which provide the impulse for later events, and earlier ones, too.

A case for the interrelatedness between persons and epochs alike.

The main trunk to this story, with significant secondary branches, follows '70s hippy rocker Wheeler Burden on a time travel trip through the fin de sciecle Vienna of Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Gustav Mahler.

Edwards brings to life the intellectual ferment that powered the Austrian capital's rise to prominence in the worlds of music, philosophy, painting, and psychiatry of the time, without being so smart as to turn off those who've come simply to savor a fine tale.

For texture and plot-thickening, the author takes advantage of his time-travel meme to visit the stuffy and WASPy world of a New England prep school, and the more open-aired environment of the Sacramento Valley.

While dabbling in matters both deep and cosmetic, mixing Frisbees with Austrian empresses, and '70s rock with the rise of anti-Semitic thought in Europe, this complex novel sustains a comfortable readability throughout.

The author is masterful in his handling of deep and important subjects in a most entertaining way.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 30 Jan. 2009
By 
This review is from: The Little Book (Paperback)
A truely lovely and unique story. I found this book completely by accident and I am so glad I did - loved every second and highly recommend it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Little Book With A Great Heart, 30 May 2009
By 
Mr. John Frank Herbert (Greenwich, London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Little Book (Paperback)
Don't be fooled by the title!
This is a big book in every way: a book that will tick all the boxes and cling to your memory from the moment you turn the last page.

Wheeler Burden suddenly finds himself displaced from 1988 San Francisco to 1897 Vienna, and the description of that city at that time simply takes your breath away.

Though not an out and out time travel tale it nevertheless brings together all the delights that you could wish for from that genre: Wheeler suddenly confronted by his much younger father and so on.
To say anymore would ruin the classic moments as they unfold, all nicely interwoven with the appearances of Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain, Gustav Mahler and Buddy Holly.

Beware: if you have a little of the sentimentalist about you, this book will tear at your heartstrings like no other. If you aren't a sentimentalist then I feel sorry for you - you are missing that warm feeling I have now whenever I recall this clever story.

It doesn't get any better than this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 Oct. 2014
By 
Sarah Ravenscroft (Crowborough, East Sussex, GB) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Little Book (Paperback)
Read it, it's fascinating.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, Educational Escapism, 18 Nov. 2009
By 
Amanda Denham (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Little Book (Paperback)
These are my favourite types of books, a truely exciting displacement in time! Something I wish I had the power to do.
I loved the development of the characters, I really grew to fall in love with Wheeler and Dilly Burden, admiring their own respective characteristics- but the fact that I felt so strongly is testiment to the writers skill in developing and building their characters.

I would HIGHLY recommend this to friends, and have indeed. It has also generated in me an interest in learning more about the secessionists and Vienna at the turn of the century. According to one venerable gentleman it was supposed to the dawn of modern thought and civilisation.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Suitable for the Little Room, 1 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The Little Book (Paperback)
Selden Edwards, apparently, took 35 years to write this dismal piece of drivel. He started writing at age 25, but I suspect that he conceived the idea at the age of 15. How else to explain the wholly un-ironic adoption of the puerile schoolboy nickname for the main character's guru - the Venerable Haze, a.k.a. the Haze - throughout the book?

On page 6, Mr Edwards employs the word 'momentarily' to mean 'in a moment' - when in fact it means 'for a moment'. I would say that if it is English teaching that he has recently retired from, then it is just as well that he has retired.

Time travel, I can (only just) live with, but the plot is contrived, and the story wholly devoid of humour, takes itself far too seriously, and employs tortured coincidences to allow the hero to make his way through life in 19th Century 'fin de siecle' (he loves that term!) Vienna. I managed 36 pages of this rubbish, and then gave up in disgust.

I trust that Mr Edwards, if he ever does write another novel, will again take 35 years to write it: by then I will not be in danger of reading it.
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