Dangerous Laughter
Dangerous Laughter
By Steven Millhauser
256 pages. Knopf.


There is a ferocious restlessness in Steven Millhauser's stories, a mingling of desire and dread. Among the showpieces in his mesmerizing new collection, Dangerous Laughter (Knopf): "Cat 'n' Mouse," which amazingly puts into words the familiar cartoon to bare the existential angst behind the familiar slapstick, and "A Change in Fashion," a tale of sartorial design gone mad that makes the emperor's new clothes look uninspired.

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