Jacob's Reviews > After Claude

After Claude by Iris Owens
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's review
Sep 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-and-literature, i-own, nyrb, 2014
Read from July 06 to 08, 2014

Well, that was interesting. After Claude is about a slovenly messed-up lunatic who makes Humpty Dumpty seem well-put-together, yet is a joy to read, at least until that last act that takes a sharp turn into what-the-eff territory. Having recently arrived home from a long European stay that ended in crisis, then kicked out of friend Rhoda-Regina's apartment for being too difficult, Harriet has now overstayed her welcome in boyfriend Claude's bed by about six months and is facing eviction. Which she resists, heroically, before leaving in a huff and on her own stubborn terms, though nearly under police escort. And it's off to the Chelsea for a well-earned breakdown and victimization by a druggie hippie sex cult. Wait, what?

I'm absolutely terrible at making literary comparisons, but I can't help thinking of this as the weird hazy bastard spawn of Catcher in the Rye and trainwreck stepsister of The Fan Man, although I don't recall Holden ever getting an erotic massage from a new-age cult guru on a hotel room floor. Not that Mr. Antolini wasn't up to it, I bet.
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Reading Progress

07/06/2014 marked as: currently-reading 4 comments
07/07/2014 page 46
19.0% "Maxine, Jewish mother and wife, was fighting off an airtight pair of white shantung hip huggers. Above that carnage, through the transparency of a fishnet polo shirt, you could see a kosher delicatessen.
"Oh, really." She switched to a throaty laugh. Maxine had more accents than Peter Ustinov, but unless you punched her in the stomach, you never heard the real one."
07/07/2014 page 94
40.0% "A waiter, inconspicuous in a bright-red cutaway, led us to our table, dropped cement napkins into our laps, and handed us gigantic menus designed for a race of glandular freaks. Rather than stand on my chair in order to open the unmanageable billboard, I turned to Charles and said, "Well, Charles, what do you suggest we send back tonight?""
07/08/2014 page 153
65.0% ""Roger is exceptionally lucky to have you do his listening and talking," I complimented her. "You're like a seeing-eye mouth.""
07/08/2014 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Emma (last edited Jul 09, 2014 03:45AM) (new) - added it

Emma Oh I'm intrigued! I've never read any Iris Murdoch and have always been intimidated by her. I assumed she was dry; why? I know nothing about her work, except for that bit in that English 90s indie film where there's a comical love interest who can only get it up by having the novels of Iris Murdoch read aloud.

Jacob This is Iris Owens, not Murdoch. Although last Sunday while agonizing over which book to read next, I nearly started reading The Good Apprentice before choosing this instead. I'll try it again later this summer, probably.

message 3: by Emma (new) - added it

what an idiot.
that will teach me to look at things only on my phone.
I shall revert to my original Murdoch preconceptions.

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