Book Love: Martin Dressler


A few weeks ago, I finished Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser. The book follows the titular character from his childhood to adulthood, chronicling the way he puts his ideas and natural creative abilities to use as an entrepreneur. The story really captures the excitement of the turn of the century, when skyscrapers were getting taller every year and new innovations like electricity in buildings and the New York City subway were causing huge changes in people’s lives. I loved this novel not just for the subject, but also for the beautiful prose. Millhauser makes something as mundane as horse poop on the street sound poetic (not joking, and that’s only in the first chapter). And while the plot┬ámay seem predictable at some points, the ending is far from “happy,” and it makes you think about all the different factors that go into being successful. More than just having good business sense and a creative mind, you need to be able to tap into an ambiguous idea of what people will want in the future and what the next “it” thing will look like, in detail. Here are a few excerpts that I loved:



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