A Hysterical if Perverse Playground: Nelly Reifler’s ‘Elect H. Mouse State Judge’


Nelly Reifler’s joyride of a first novel, Elect H. Mouse State Judge (Faber and Faber; 103 pages), joins the pantheon of morality tales centered on rodents—Aesop’s Fables, Maus, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. Her slim volume sets itself apart from the pack with a riveting detective story that remixes Dashiell Hammett and Toy Story, along with a freakish sense of humor. This kooky playground disturbs all the more for its seeming innocence. As it turns out, our childhood toys are fallible, sinful, and even slutty. Far from cartoonish, the mice and dolls that people Reifler’s novel transcend their plastic […]

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