Summary

"Young Martin Dressler begins his career as a helper in his father's cigar store. In the course of his restless young manhood, he makes a swift and eventful rise to the top. His visions grow more and more fantastical as he plans his ultimate creation: the Grand Cosmo, in which he attempts to capture the entire world and its dreams. Accompanied on this journey by two sisters - one a dreamlike shadow, the other a wordly business partner - Martin walks a haunted line between fantasy and reality, madness and ambition, art and industry. The Grand Cosmo is his triumph and his undoing, the bold conclusion to this biography of the twentieth-century notion of progress, this mesmerizing journey to the heart of the American dream."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Young Martin Dressler begins his career as an industrious helper in his father's cigar store.  In the course of his restless young manhood, he makes a swift and eventful rise to the top, accompanied  by two sisters--one a dreamlike shadow, the other a worldly business partner. As the eponymous Martin's vision becomes bolder and bolder he walks a haunted line between fantasy and reality, madness and ambition, art and industry, a  sense of doom builds piece-by-hypnotic piece until this mesmerizing journey into the heart of an American dreamer reaches its bitter-sweet conclusion.