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by by Michael Cunningham
Binding: Paperback, 2nd edition, 352 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Dimension: H: 0.75 x L: 8 x W: 0.75 inches
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SPECIMEN DAYS was the title of Walt Whitman's autobiography, written in 1882. Michael Cunningham's work of fiction, bearing the same title, consists of three novellas set in Whitman's New York City, all of which evoke the poet in some way. 'In the Machine,' which takes place during Whitman's time, is about a boy named Lucas who is obsessed with both his dead brother's girlfriend and Whitman's poetry. 'The Children's Crusade' is a contemporary thriller involving a group of suicide bombers one of whom is named Luke who are terrorizing Manhattan. 'Like Beauty' is a sci fi story about an alien and a teenage visionary (Luke again) who live in a post apocalyptic New York plagued by reptilian alien refugees from another planet. Like his phenomenally successful THE HOURS, Cunningham's novel tells three very different but interconnected stories.
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