"A towering landmark of postwar Realism. . . . A sustained work of prose so lucid and fine it seems less written than carved." — David Foster Wallace
Otto and Sophie Bentwood live in a changing neighborhood in Brooklyn. Their stainless-steel kitchen is newly installed, and their Mercedes is parked curbside. After Sophie is bitten on the hand while trying to feed a stray, perhaps rabies-infected cat, a series of small and ominous disasters begin to plague the Bentwoods' lives, revealing the fault lines and fractures in a marriage—and a society—wrenching itself apart.
First published in 1970 to wide acclaim, Desperate Characters stands as one of the most dazzling and rigorous examples of the storyteller's craft in postwar American literature — a novel that, according to Irving Howe, ranks with "Billy Budd, The Great Gatsby, Miss Lonelyhearts, and Seize the Day."
About Paula FoxSee more books from this Author
Fox enacts the internal and external pressures bearing down on the Bentwoods, peeling away their false protections little by little until they are left quivering and exposed. The dissection is so expert and ultimately so brutal that reading it, I have the urge to turn away, And yet, I can't.Read Full Review of Desperate Characters: A Novel... | See more reviews from NPR
This is a book that makes me sit up and say "Yes! That's exactly it!" at the very moment when whatever "it" is, that truth that feels suddenly immediate and palpable, evaporates in front of my eyes.Read Full Review of Desperate Characters: A Novel... | See more reviews from NPR
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