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Little Kingdoms

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  323 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Cartoons that draw their creator into another world; demonic paintings that exert a sinister influence on our own. Fairy tales that express the secret losses and anxieties of their tellers. These are the elements that Steven Millhauser employs to such marvelous—and often disquieting—effect in Little Kingdoms, a collection whose three novellas suggest magical companion piec ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 3rd 1998 by Vintage (first published 1993)
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Hay escritores secretos, y Steven Millhauser es uno de ellos. Son de ese tipo de escritores que quieren pasar desapercibidos y no conceden entrevistas, aunque sin llegar a los extremos de Salinger o Pynchon. En cuanto a sus historias, residen en un territorio indefinido, entre lo real y lo fantástico. Millhauser crea, imagina personajes históricos que nunca existieron pero que podrían haber existido. Su bella, perfecta y pulcra prosa (he leído cuatro libros de Millhauser traducidos al castellano ...more
Beth Sniffs Books
I adore Steven Millhauser. He is one of my favorite authors. His themes are unlike anything else I have encountered. His writing style makes me swoon. Long descriptive sentences yet each word is important and chosen with deliberate care — you can’t even imagine an editor daring to suggest that Millhauser hurry up and get to the point because the point is in the details, the fascinating minutiae. His thorough writing style is all the more fantastic because it perfectly complements one the themes ...more
Camille Stein
Tres cuentos como tres soles. Historias dispares pero íntimamente relacionadas entre sí, porque todas las narraciones nacen de un único manantial común y ancestral en el que las partes se mezclan hasta la complejidad del infinito. Y Steven Millhauser conoce los secretos del alquimista.

Creador de pequeños reinos de meticulosa artesanía, de seductora fantasía, Steven Millhauser se acoge a una suerte de cadencia dulce y melancólica de observador, a la vez gozosa alegría de asistir al proceso minuc
Millhauser spins three haunting tales that exist on the very edge of reality in Little Kingdoms. A collection of three novellas, each has a dark charm of its own.

The first happens to be my favorite, dealing with a quiet cartoonist creating fanciful and scary images from his real life.

The second is a story of a castle, told by a bystander. Interestingly, it is the broken commentary of the teller throughout the story that adds a touch of suspicion throughout the tale.

The third is told through a de
Wonderful! My feelings toward Millhauser and a little like my feelings about Murakami: once I start reading him I never want to stop.
Reminded me of four of my favorite novelists:
first novella--Mark Helprin/Paul Auster
second--Italo Calvino
Conor Bateman
Millhauser's collection of three novellas was of varying interest and quality. The first story, The Little Kingdom of J. Franklin Payne was the clear standout; emotionally engaging and an imaginative look at both the concept of art as an extension of its creator as well as early animated cinema. The next two novellas, though, were significantly less interesting, both felt more like experiments in form rather than solid narratives.

The Princess, the Dwarf, and the Dungeon wasn't of any real inter
Oct 27, 2008 Nathanial rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: patient, patient people
Shelves: fiction
three novellas.

each has a different approach to voice and subtext. the narrator of the first is completely un-self-conscious, and presents description of suggestive details to suggest subplot developments that the POV protagonist may not follow, but we readers are obviously allowed to trace. after that, the self-aware narrator of the second novella directly and explicitly asks us, the readers, to consider questions of context and how that affects our ability to read into subtext. lastly, a pres
The novellas in this collection aren't necessarily what I'd call the most fun of reads, but the writing is really superb and I enjoyed the experimental structures of the last two stories. The last story was by far my favorite - at first it put me off because it is, literally, a catalogue of a series of paintings, but the way in which he used the descriptions of the paintings to tell the Usher/Dorian Gray-esque story was really cool. I almost felt guilty that he had to read my written the night b ...more
I thought that the first and last novellas were the strongest out of the three, perhaps because they resonated with my artist self. The structure of the central one I found interesting, and definitely worth exploring as a story structure, but the story itself just didn't hold enough for me.
I thought these stories had very unique concepts. Conceptually, I liked the novellas and would recommend them for their originality. In terms of the stories themselves, I was pretty unimpressed. The first one was the only one I liked much at all. The third had the best trick, but I can't stand it when writers try to do something unique with the narrative but don't stick with it (same reason I gave Amos Oz's Black Box low marks.
Errrrrmmmmm. I say: Vanilla ice cream. Like, "Yeah, okay, vanilla ice cream...?" It's sweet, it's reasonably tasty. I'm gonna take a bite of yours and be like, "Alright." And you're gonna be like "If you want you can--" and I'm gonna be like, "No, thanks," and give you back the spoon, and it's gonna melt before you can finish it all because, I mean, come on. It's vanilla.

Are you following me here?
Steven Millhauser continues to be a favorite author of mine--though I think, having read this one, thus far I can say I like the short stories over the novellas. Still, all three novellas are engaging, with twists, turns, and maybe a little bit of magic, too...well worth checking out.
Mark Victor Young
Great story of a guy who really gets immersed in his work, to the point of losing himself in his own creation. Great dreamlike quality and description of the comic strip world during the early part of the last century. A golden age, to be sure.
Reading Millhauser is like knowing there's a... presence just around the corner of the world. It's there, it isn't really doing anything, and it isn't malicious. Not for sure anyway. It's like faith... certainty without proof from the text.
David Dean
Beautifully written book comprising three novellas. Worth reading for the prose and language alone. Ultimately a little sad overall, but always quite moving. Full of insight and imagination.
Susan Messer
This book blew me away. At the same time, it made me feel as though I have never had an original thought in my entire life--at least compared to Millhauser.
Five stars just for "The Little Kingdom of J. Franklin Payne" alone. Just brilliant. I have learned so much from his style.
Judith Aaron
short stories/ animation/ exhibition caltalogue/ dwarf, dungeon and princess
Nahhhh. Self-absorbed and fastidious look at our foibles. Not for me.
More evidence that Steven Millhauser is tragically under-read.
My favorite collection of Millhauser's short fiction/novellas.
Wonderful writing, fun stories, but lacking in punch.
David Claughton
3 novellas: #1 5 stars, #2 4 stars, #3 3 stars
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“Franklin knew that the truth lay with the winter night: the world was silent and black-and-white.” 2 likes
“A story with a single ending seems to us a bare and diminished thing, like a tree with a single branch; and each ending seems to us an expression of something that is buried deep within the tale and can be brought to light in that way and no other.” 2 likes
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