The Little Book by Selden Edwards

Dilly Burden was a legend and a hero. He excelled at his Boston boys’ school and at Harvard, was a star baseball player and gave his life in World War II when he was tortured and killed by the Gestapo in France. His only son, Wheeler, has no memory of his Dad but has spent his life living up to the legend.

Where Dilly was an icon, Wheeler is more eccentric. He followed in his father’s footsteps to the Boston boys’ school and despite guidance from a much beloved teacher, the Haze, (who had also taught his father), he was an average student. He did show talent in baseball but his real love was music. He found great success in his life and was quite a music star in the late 1980s but never stuck to anything, or anyone, for any great length of time. He was always looking for something he couldn’t put his finger on.

But that’s not where the story begins…

Suddenly one day Wheeler is walking along and begins to realize that he is somewhere he does not recognize. He soon discovers that he is in 1897 Vienna, in his modern clothes and with all of his memories intact. He doesn’t know how he got there or how long this visit will last. But as one day stretches to two, he realizes that he is going to need some help. Thanks to the Haze, Wheeler speaks German well and knows a bit about this part of European history. After much consideration he approaches Sigmund Freud, a little known figure at the time, for help. Their discussions and the journal Wheeler starts to keep help him to begin to understand this amazing thing that has happened to him.

During his stay in Vienna, Wheeler discovers his past in a way that is entirely surprising and leaves you hoping that Selden Edwards has somehow really figured out the way the universe works.

There are many well developed characters that appear in the story. The reader gets to know them all and will realize that this book isn’t just about Wheeler or even most importantly about Wheeler but about his loved ones and the patterns that life weaves.

This is an absolutely wonderful book. It has layers of meaning and an interconnectedness that make it a breath-taking read. It’s a history lesson and a love story, a mystery and a psychology lesson. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The Little Book will be published in August, 2008 by Dutton.

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “The Little Book by Selden Edwards

  1. Pingback: SPOTLIGHT: Books of August 2008 « Fantasy Book Critic

  2. I’m in the middle of this book and it is wonderful. I cruising around the net to see who has discovered it so far. Not many, but the people who have are raving about it.

  3. andrea aulenbach

    Yes, it’s great… so well written with beautifully drawn characters. Edwards’ command of the language is excellent — quite uncommon these days. The story is elegant and intriguing, and stretches one’s imagination in ways I’m still pondering. My criticism is that the love story becomes a little tedious. I found Wheeler’s love interest (can’t say whom, it’s a spoiler) as a young woman ended up as a somewhat silly character — sort of a cop-out on Edwards’ part — she could have been stronger and more interesting with a bit of effort. But I highly recommend it…

  4. CJ

    Excellent book! Complicated. intriguing. Insightful. Although I admit It took me awhile to get into it and at times it tended to ramble, I am so glad I stuck with it. A hauntingly beautiful love story with a lot of depth and dimension. But the best part to me was at the end … beyond the end. I always read the Acknowledgements and if I may quote Mr. Edwards’s final two sentences, II have to say they moved me more than anything else in the entire book:

    “And for her encouragement, inspiration, support and unconditional love, I wish to express my boundless indebtedness to my wife, Gaby. This book, the fulfillment of life aspirations too complicated and numerous to describe here, satisfies at least one very simple and expressible goal: the enduring fifty-year dream of dedicating a novel, my own ‘something of significance,’ to her.”



  5. Naysayer

    If you don’t care for male-centered romance novels, don’t bother.

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