Saturday, October 1, 2016

Review: Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer

Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is such a dreamy cleverness about this rorschach blot of a story.

Martin Dressler, the dreamweaver, is not sure why he does what he does. He is a visionary. A builder. He starts quite young. A tireless worker, he naturally meets with early success. If he has imagined something - anything at all - then he moves forward with it as a project that needs to be completed, in accordance with his dream. Even if it doesn't make sense to anyone else and even if it has limited practical use - he creates outlandish spaces for the use of others.

One is left with so many questions about Martin. I don't know if Steven Millhauser meant to shine a light on the idea of innovation for the mere sake of innovation. Is he nodding in the direction of that nagging worry that some "advances in technology" turn out to do no one a lick of good. Maybe.

And the women.
His fragmentary love life and lack of judgment. He never really knows what it is he wants from other people. All he has is this ability to make buildings and businesses grow. So that is what he does.

Does Martin build simply because he can? Well, that is my take-away, but you really should read the book.

It seems that all of the events in this story are rorschach blots and we, the reader, get to make it be what we want. Sort of like Martin. See what I mean? Such a clever author.

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