Sunday, October 19, 2014

Book Review - Two Against One

Having read a fourth Frederick Barthelme novel recently, and with several more of his on the shelf, I kept the momentum going by reading Two Against One (Collier Books, 1988, 264 pages).

I could repeat what I said about the last one with regards to this, as this was like it, only more so. To quote one of the review blurbs on the back cover: "On Edward's fortieth birthday, his estranged wife, Elise, appears unannounced at the door, triggering a series of events that will involve the couple in a bizarre triangle and lay open the workings of a fifteen year marriage."

I guess that's one way of putting it. These people were unsympathetic and often downright bizarre, toiling through a plot that was...I don't even know what it was. I liked this less than the other books of Barthelme's that I have read (obviously). The saving grace was some salvageable commentary on expectations, relationships, love and sexuality. Unfortunately, as I couldn't help but keep thinking as I was working my way through this, the nice bits were buried in way too much not-so-good book. My opinion, anyway.

Only 2.5 stars out of 5. Don't bother with this one, as there are better Barthelme books out there. Like maybe all of them.

This gets me to 14 books and 2 partial story collections on the year, totaling a shade under 4,300 pages. Best book of the year so far is still The Painter.

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