The bleak landscape of midlife disillusionment and excess permeate this brooding novel about a husband and wife, a teenage girl, and the erotic and mundane details of daily existence. His masculinity charged and marred to a surreal extent, Jules finds vice and love equally helpful in distracting him from the quiet brutality of existence and the inevitability of death. In this world, beauty negotiates truth with pornography and antique revolvers—contrasting the nature of agency and choice with the magnitude of biology and great, cosmic loneliness. This poet's first novel speaks with burlesque joy and unflinching vividness about the terrifyingly static force of life.
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That the book works so well is testament both to Christie’s wonderfully alert writing and the way she maintains a perfectly balanced moral tone throughout.Read Full Review of The Bourgeois Empire: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts