Cover image for My wife and my dead wife
My wife and my dead wife
Kun, Michael.
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Publication Information:
San Francisco : MacAdam/Cage Pub., [2004]

Physical Description:
xi, 355 pages ; 21 cm
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The love life of an Atlanta tailor is complicated by the memory of his ex-wfie, the legacy of a childhood prank gone tragically wrong, and his girlfriend's delusion of marriage and countrywestern stardom.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Typical sophomore slump issues plague Kun's muddled second novel, an underplotted affair that chronicles a man's breakup with his flighty girlfriend. Hamilton Ashe is the sweet but befuddled narrator, a tailor's assistant in Decatur, Ga., whose domestic life takes a sudden turn for the worse when his girlfriend, Ren?e-who has been with Ashe for so long that she refers to herself as his wife-loses her hospital job. A period of reassessment follows for Ren?e, who begins learning the guitar and tries to fulfill her heretofore hidden dream of becoming a country music star. It's funny to watch Ashe panic as he goes from erstwhile "husband" to soon-to-be ex-boyfriend, all the while recalling his similarly ill-fated former marriage. Kun captures the couple's changing dynamic in a series of sweet, winning scenes and paints a comic portrait of the dysfunctional tailor's shop where Ashe works. But aside from the impending breakup, the absence of plot movement becomes increasingly noticeable as the story progresses, and the novel ends on a sour note when Kun builds his climax around a confusing, underdeveloped murder subplot involving Ashe's ex-wife. Kun shows much of the same comic flair and solid character writing that made The Locklear Letters a surprise winner last year, but he'll need to significantly upgrade his storytelling next time to get back on track. Agent, Sandra Bond. (June 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In his third novel (after A Thousand Benjamins and The Locklear Letters), Kun tells a relationship story from a divorced man's perspective. Though frustratingly passive and unambitious, Hamilton "Ham" Ashe is a likable and witty protagonist. When his live-in girlfriend, Renee, begins claiming that they are married, Ham declares emphatically and repeatedly that they are not. However, he supports her ambitions to be a country singer, despite her lack of talent and income. The book loses momentum when Ham's passive-aggressive musings on the financial burden of Renee's ambitions, as well as his discomfort with her new friends and interests, go on too long. And a subplot involving Ham's crush on a former co-worker could have been dropped to make this bittersweet romantic comedy more compact. There is an emotional payoff at the end-including a "dark secret"-but it takes too long to get there. Still, many readers will enjoy Kun's clever prose and running gags (e.g., using euphemisms for profanity) and be drawn to the characters, particularly Ham. For larger collections.-Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.