Kate Ward
August 08, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Little Book

Current Status
In Season
Selden Edwards
Dutton Adult
Fiction, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B+

In 1988, the implausibly talented writer/music legend Wheeler Burden suddenly and mysteriously travels back in time to late-19th-century Vienna. There, he must take care not to change history, especially after running into his late father — who also inexplicably traveled back in time from WWII-era France — and a slew of famous faces, like Sigmund Freud and Mark Twain. Selden Edwards succeeds when delving into Wheeler’s eclectic past and time-traveling tactics (e.g., his attempt to reinvent the Frisbee to make cash), but he tends to get bogged down in Freudian theory. At 398 pages, The Little Book is not so little (not surprising, since Edwards has been writing the novel for 30 years). But it reads like Back to the Future for the intellectual set, without the two abysmal sequels. B+

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