In this brilliantly inventive collection that play on famous stories and myths, Gabriel Brownstein brings alive the human tragedies that lurk beneath the bizarre and the Kafkaesque. Five stories are set in one apartment building, where young Davey Birnbaum watches his neighbours' 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 towards infancy. In apartment 7E, a lawyer named Zauberman reenacts the life of Hawthorne's Wakefield, abandoning his family so that he can spy on them. And upstairs in the penthouse, the proctologist with a wire-brush moustache and movie villain's limp plays Icarus and Daedalus with his misfit son. Clever, stylish, sad and ironic, this is the debut of a talented, highly original young writer.
Gabriel Brownstein lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is his first book.