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9780679781271

Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer

Millhauser, Steven Author

9780679781271: Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer

Young Martin Dressler begins his career as an industrious helper in his father's cigar store.  In the course of his restless young manhood, he makes a swift and eventful rise to the top, accompanied  by two sisters--one a dreamlike shadow, the other a worldly business partner. As the eponymous Martin's vision becomes bolder and bolder he walks a haunted line between fantasy and reality, madness and ambition, art and industry, a  sense of doom builds piece-by-hypnotic piece until this mesmerizing journey into the heart of an American dreamer reaches its bitter-sweet conclusion.

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Martin Dressler is a turn-of-the-century New York City entrepreneur who begins in his father's cigar store but dreams of a bigger empire. That dream shapes into a series of large hotels. At first, Dressler's seems the archetypal American success story, but he does not quite grasp the future. The Manhattan of fabled skyline is about to take shape just over the horizon, but Dressler cannot see it. So the story becomes another kind of fable, as Dressler contemplates having "dreamed the wrong dream."

From the Publisher:

"A Chronicle of obsession, self-indulgence, and, in a curious way, moral growth, expertly poised between realistic narrative and allegorical fable.... A fascinating and provocative portrayal of turn-of-the-century America that hums with energy and wit."
-- Kirkus Reviews

"Literature's romance with building-as-metaphor earns new energy through Millhauser's latest novel...which quietly chronicles the life of an entrepreneur whose career peaks when he builds a fabulous hotel.... Taking its place alongside other fine tales of architectural symbology, from Poe to Ayn Rand, this enticing novel becomes at once a tale of life, a marriage and a creative imagination in crisis."
-- Publishers Weekly

"The novel is told as a fable, with prose both lush and dreamlike. The characters are intentionally rather shadowy, while the period details- of building construction, interior design, dress styles, street scenes--have a sensuality so palpable you can practically chew on them."
- - The Wall Street Journal

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Book Description Vintage, 1997. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Young Martin Dressler begins his career as an industrious helper in his father's cigar store. In the course of his restless young manhood, he makes a swift and eventful rise to the top, accompanied by two sisters--one a dreamlike shadow, the other a worldly business partner. As the eponymous Martin's vision becomes bolder and bolder he walks a haunted line between fantasy and reality, madness and ambition, art and industry, a sense of doom builds piece-by-hypnotic piece until this mesmerizing journey into the heart of an American dreamer reaches its bitter-sweet conclusion. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0679781277

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Young Martin Dressler begins his career as a helper in his father s cigar store. In the course of his restless young manhood, he makes a swift and eventful rise to the top. His visions grow more and more fantastical as he plans his ultimate creation: the Grand Cosmo, in which he attempts to capture the entire world and its dreams. Accompanied on this journey by two sisters - one a dreamlike shadow, the other a wordly business partner - Martin walks a haunted line between fantasy and reality, madness and ambition, art and industry. The Grand Cosmo is his triumph and his undoing, the bold conclusion to this biography of the twentieth-century notion of progress, this mesmerizing journey to the heart of the American dream. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780679781271

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Young Martin Dressler begins his career as a helper in his father s cigar store. In the course of his restless young manhood, he makes a swift and eventful rise to the top. His visions grow more and more fantastical as he plans his ultimate creation: the Grand Cosmo, in which he attempts to capture the entire world and its dreams. Accompanied on this journey by two sisters - one a dreamlike shadow, the other a wordly business partner - Martin walks a haunted line between fantasy and reality, madness and ambition, art and industry. The Grand Cosmo is his triumph and his undoing, the bold conclusion to this biography of the twentieth-century notion of progress, this mesmerizing journey to the heart of the American dream. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780679781271

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