By Gregory Kirschling
Updated February 08, 2008 at 05:00 AM EST
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Dangerous Laughter

type
  • Book

Steven Millhauser, a Pulitzer winner for his ’96 novel Martin Dressler, is perhaps best known for the story that inspired the 2006 Edward Norton movie The Illusionist. In Dangerous Laughter, an absorbing, impeccably imagined collection, he plays illusionist himself, crafting beguiling alternate universes in which a miniaturist constructs a toy palace invisible to the naked eye, villagers spend generations building a tower that reaches to heaven, and a cartoon cat and mouse duke it out to the death. One or two stories in the last section feel repetitive, but the best linger strangely, like ghostly taps on your shoulder. B+

Dangerous Laughter

type
  • Book
genre
author
  • Steven Millhauser
publisher
  • Knopf

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