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Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser
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Jan 09, 09

bookshelves: fiction-short-stories
Read in January, 2009

Millhauser, Steven. DANGEROUS LAUGHTER. (2008). ****. This is a collection of thirteen short stories by this Pulitzer Prize winning author. He has arranged them into three categories, along with an opening “cartoon.” The cartoon is a short story about a cat and a mouse – a la Tom and Jerry. The cat is always chasing the mouse, while the mouse successfully eludes him. The story then devolves into a closer examination by both characters as to what is the real meaning of their lifes. How should they handle this symbiotic relationship? The simple cartoon situation turns into much more than originally meets the eye. The three divisions of short stories are: Vanishing Acts, Impossible Architectures, and Heretical Histories. Four short stories are grouped into each category – mostly related to the title of the category. The worst that can be said about any of these stories is that it is well-crafted and well written. The best that can be said of two or three of them is that it is inspired. This is, without going into more detail than is necessary, an excellent collection of Millhauser’s stories, all of which have been previously published in various magazines. Recommended.
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