Leah Lucci's Reviews > The Knife Thrower and Other Stories

The Knife Thrower and Other Stories by Steven Millhauser
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Mar 01, 12

Read from February 26 to March 01, 2012

As with all collections of short stories, it's a mix of hit and miss. I'm giving it four stars, just for the exceptional stories contained.

The theme of this collection is the thin line between fantasy, art, and reality.

Most of the stories are about magical worlds that people create and then fall into.

Two of the most notable stories feature a department store that begins selling replicas of things that are better than the originals, and an amusement park that the owner becomes obsessed with, and destroyed by.

Another story discusses the history of marionette theater, and a man who upends it by ditching his genius ability to mimic reality and begins to create purposely jerky, unreal marionettes.

The book ends with a creepy tale of mole-people and their underground tunnel system.

Those are a few favorites. The others are just... lackluster. It's like the author said to himself, "Here's a fantastical thing. Impressed? Me neither. But I have to round out a book."
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