Asunder by Chloe Aridjis

83%

6 Critic Reviews

Dark and peculiar, simultaneously sinister and playful, Aridjis’ modern gothic vision will charm those prepared to linger in her cabinet of curiosities.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Marie's job as a guard at the National Gallery in London offers her the life she always wanted, one of invisibility and quiet contemplation. But amid the hushed corridors of the Gallery surge currents of history and violence, paintings whose power belies their own fragility. There also lingers the legacy of her great-grandfather Ted, the museum guard who slipped and fell moments before reaching the suffragette Mary Richardson as she took a blade to one of the gallery's masterpieces on the eve of the First World War.

After nine years there, Marie begins to feel the tug of restlessness. A decisive change comes in the form of a winter trip to Paris, where, with the arrival of an uninvited guest and an unexpected encounter, her carefully contained world is torn open.

Asunder is a rich, resonant novel of beguiling depths and beautiful strangeness, exploring the delicate balance between creation and destruction, control and surrender.

 

About Chloe Aridjis

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CHLOE ARIDJIS was born in New York and grew up in the Netherlands and Mexico. She received her PhD in nineteenth-century French poetry and magic shows from Oxford, then lived in Berlin for five years. Her first novel, Book of Clouds, won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger in 2009. She now lives in London.
 
Published September 17, 2013 by Mariner Books. 208 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Asunder
All: 6 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jul 30 2013

Dark and peculiar, simultaneously sinister and playful, Aridjis’ modern gothic vision will charm those prepared to linger in her cabinet of curiosities.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Maxwell Carter on Oct 25 2013

In Marie’s carefully observed solitude, there isn’t much collision, amicable or otherwise. The strident catalysts of “Asunder” disdain Shaftesbury’s humanizing, sidelong conflicts.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alexandra Harris on May 31 2013

Some of these chapters want to become short stories; you can almost see the wires by which they are unwillingly tethered in place. But Aridjis knows all this. Her novel thrills with energy because of it.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on May 13 2013

Aridjis’s intelligent prose makes this slight story into something dramatic and affecting, completely coherent and oddly irresistible. It is a brilliant book.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Carolyn Haley on Jan 06 2014

Ms. Aridjis presents Marie’s subtle changes through lucid yet sometimes dreamy writing. Her observations often have a startling zing. At the same time, she uses much shading and implication that encourage the reader to think between the lines.

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Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Tamzin Baker on May 31 2013

Given that Asunder lacks a conventional plot, the fact that it is such an absorbing and moving book says much about Aridjis’s skill as a writer.

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Reader Rating for Asunder
70%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 37 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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