Thursday, December 4, 2008

Inkwell Michelle's 30 Second Book Review

Doctor Olaf van Schuler’s Brain
by Kirsten Menger-Anderson

This fantastic debut by Kirsten Menger-Anderson is the best book I’ve read in the past few months. In addition to using language to potent effect, the author plays with an unusual format of linked short stories: each chapter delves into the life of a different member of the Steenwyck family tree starting in the 1600s and progressing to the modern day. By pursuing the medical profession, each generation carries on the legacy of the original patriarch, the doomed doctor Olaf van Schuler. Odd lore from the history of medicine (from phrenology to spontaneous combustion) adds to the rich story of the family’s madness and passion. thirty seconds up yet?