Lee's Reviews > Doctor Olaf van Schuler's Brain

Doctor Olaf van Schuler's Brain by Kirsten Menger-Anderson
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Apr 18, 10

Read from April 16 to 17, 2010

Doctor Olaf van Schuler's Brain is certainly a unique collection of related short stories; however, I feel that the foundational concept/idea is greater than the actually stories themselves. The book begins in 1664 and is set in NYC focusing on the eccentricities of the descendants of Doctor Olaf van Schuler. Basically, each chapter/short story focuses on a descendant of the van Schuler family from 1664-2006. The psychological representations of characters as well as topics ranging from psychosurgery, phrenology, animal magnetism, etc. were presented in an above average style by Kristen Menger-Anderson. For me, the main problem was being able to develop a mental picture of the different time periods in such brief stories. For most of the book I felt stuck in the 1850-1900 time range. Furthermore, I feel that the book could have been considered near excellent had the author written in the style used during the time period each short story took place in. Overall, the book kept my attention and is a nice, light, short read for individuals interested in the brain, psychology, development of science/pseudoscience, and the short story genre.
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