Jeff's Reviews > Alva & Irva: The Twins Who Saved a City

Alva & Irva by Edward Carey
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's review
Jan 23, 2010

really liked it

Having just finished (and loved!) his wife’s memoir (Elizabeth McCracken’s stunning “An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination”) I combed used bookstores until I found a copy Edward Carey’s (rather difficult to find) “Alva & Irva.” Carey’s first novel, “Observatory Mansions,” captivated me when I read it almost ten years ago, so I was doubly excited to dive into this book. Luckily, “Alva & Irva” did not disappoint!

“A & I” is a quirky, funny, grotesquerie of a book that also manages to be sweet and emotionally resonant. I adore Carey’s unique brand of storytelling which is kind of like the love child of Edward Gorey and Franz Kafka – fable-like, dreamy, and allegorical yet somehow truthful, honest, and strangely realistic. I will breathlessly wait for any new Carey book, because he transports and engages the reader in a way that is truly unique.
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