A Key to Treehouse Living.

Author:Nola, Meg
Position:Book review

Elliot Reed; A KEY TO TREEHOUSE LIVING; Tin House Books (Fiction: Literary) 19.95 ISBN: 9781947793040

Byline: Meg Nola

In Elliot Reed's captivatingA A Key to Treehouse Living, William Tyce narratesA the unusual and personalized glossary of hisA troubledA young life. William was abandoned by his parents and transferred to the custody of an eccentric uncle when he was young. When his uncle's behavior turns criminal and sends him to prison, William, now in his teens, again finds himself abandonedA andA left to navigate the sometimes wondrous, sometimes unsavory world at large.

Reed deftly advances William's story along with the alphabetical list, such as the earlier BABY MEMORIES, which ironically "don't exist" even though "everything was a game and all you needed was air and milk," to the XYLOPHONE, HOMEMADE that William sees another prisoner solemnly playing when he visits his uncle in jail. In between are various other brief, impressionistic entries, each clarifying a new element of William's unsettled existence.

William's voice is appealingly and alternately streetwise, poetic, comic, melancholy, and confused. He encounters the crazily...

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