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By Joe Kraus on 03-26-13
It Builds a Great Foundation
What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He's one of the greats.
Any additional comments?
You should go into this knowing that it's a period piece. Millhouser is pushing against the Naturalistic strain of the literature of a century ago, and he infuses it with a sense of the fantastic. Martin's ambitions as a builder -- and his successes -- give this a haunting beauty, and there are absolutely parts of it to savor.
Just as Martin loses interest in his own creations, however, Millhouser seems to sour on his own novel. I recognize that's part of the beauty in the conception -- this America invites us to dream things larger than the world can accommodate, and it's high art to gauge the course of our best such dreamers -- but it's nevertheless disappointing to find as little retrospective insight as we do.
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