The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W by Gabriel Brownstein

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Synopsis

This Brilliantly Inventive first collection captures the disparate lives 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, " whose hero is born as an old man and ages in reverse; Brownstein's Button lives on the third floor, fading away toward infancy. In apartment 7E, a lawyer named Zauberman reenacts the life of Hawthorne's Wakefield: he abandons his family so that he can spy on them. Meanwhile, 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 what they see by thinking about the stories they know best.

 

About Gabriel Brownstein

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Gabriel Brownstein won the Pen/Hemingway Award for his collection The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published September 30, 2002 by W. W. Norton & Company. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W

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An elegant if somewhat mannered collection of nine stories, mostly set within the confines of a single apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

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