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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W | [Gabriel Brownstein]

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W

These nine brilliantly inventive stories capture the eccentricities of the residents of Manhattan's West 89th Street. Five stories are set in one apartment building, where young Davie Birnbaum watches his neighbors' lives unfold. The title story reworks F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", with the hero fading away toward infancy on the third floor.
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Publisher's Summary

These nine brilliantly inventive stories capture the eccentricities of the residents of Manhattan's West 89th Street. Five stories are set in one apartment building, where young Davie Birnbaum watches his neighbors' lives unfold. The title story reworks F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", with the hero fading away toward infancy on the third floor. In apartment 7E, a lawyer named Zauberman reenacts the life of Hawthorne's Wakefield, abandoning his family so that he can spy on them. And the proctologist in the penthouse plays Icarus and Daedalus with his misfit son.

These are tales of literary voyeurism, as the narrators look in on other people's everyday victories and misfortunes, marriages, car accidents, love affairs, and adoptions, and make sense of it all by thinking about the stories they know best.

©2002 Gabriel Brownstein; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Marvelously smooth hybrid tales that prompt readers to think twice about the intersection of life and fiction." (Publishers Weekly)
"Brownstein combines humor, absurdity, and elegy to create linked stories that are strong enough to stand on their own....[He] demonstrates a talent for capturing innocence comparable to that of Salinger or Capote.(Library Journal)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Andrea Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada 12-30-08
    Andrea Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada 12-30-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    128
    ratings
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    25
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    Overall
    "Not very good"

    I have already listened to the original short story of Benjamin Button and thought this might be a longer, more detailed story of the same character but it is nothing like that. It jumps all over the place telling stories of people who, I guess, live in the same building as Benjamin Button happened to be for a time. It's confusing and makes little sense. Ridiculous that they would call it the Curious Case of Benjamin Button when he is only one little blip in the entire story. I'm halfway through the book and the Benjamin Button bit has already come and gone and we're on to people who ditch their families to spy on them from across the street?!?! If the characters were interesting, it would be different. They aren't interesting. And neither is this book. I'll keep slogging through as I paid good money fot this thing but it's such a waste that the writer spent all this time making up other characters and stories of their dull lives when they could have embellished such an interesting tale as Benjamin Button.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hh pdx United States 01-01-08
    hh pdx United States 01-01-08 Member Since 2015

    hh01

    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
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    117
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    Overall
    "Very overrated"

    Crude adolescent issues rehashed over and over. Can we grow up and move on already? Let's abolish writing schools that produce cookie cutter writers who wallow in adolescent drivel. There's a lot happening in the world beyond one's navel. It's definitely time for a new enlightenment.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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