Cover image for Siamese
Title:
Siamese
Author:
Sæterbakken, Stig, 1966-2012.
Uniform Title:
Siamesisk. English
Publication Information:
Champaign : Dalkey Archive Press, [2010]

©2010
Physical Description:
164 pages ; 21 cm.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781564783257
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

A brutally comic portrait of marriage, taken to extremes reminiscent of the work of Samuel Beckett and Thomas Bernhard.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

A tenderly contentious marriage of many decades forms the tragic-comic snarl in this lively novel. Edwin and Erna Mortens have grown so familiar and repugnant to each other that death would be a blessed release. The novel is told in alternate first-person chapters-first wife, then husband-and each voice is wonderfully energetic and emotionally charged. Edwin is a former director of a retirement home (his job was to "oversee the process of death") whose gradual loss of sight robbed him of his job and his sense of self-worth; powerless to do anything without his wife's help (he calls her "Sweetie" and his "prison warden"), and deteriorating rapidly, Edwin rails against his imminent death and Erna's perceived duplicity. Erna, meanwhile, is losing her hearing, and though dutiful and long-suffering, she is also mischievous, offering Edwin's old room to their building's young super. Saeterbakken skillfully creates a delightful, solipsistic tension between the querulous old couple. Their kinship is a lovely, bitter riot. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved