"Meet the Wife"
This book is a favourite
Reading history and reviews
Finished on 14th April 2010I decided to re-read this on a whim after finishing Nielsen's book on software usability - I'd originally read "Meet the Wife" in 2003 and while I didn't remember much of the story, I did remember it being a lot of fun to read (I also remain fascinated by the Theda Bara-esque photo on the cover of my copy).
In fact the book is made up of two stories, which appear to share various thematic elements, and I think re-reading it gave me the same feelings as I'd had before: I enjoyed the various references to classical mythology (Odysseus appears in the first story and Pluto, god of the Underworld, in the second), and the mixing of modern settings, historical details and fantastical elements. Overall it felt almost like a lurid dream.
Now as before I can't help feeling though that I've missed something, some connection between the two stories or between them and the source material. I used to feel the same way about T.S. Eliot's poetry, and I'd wonder if I'd missed the point. But maybe not - maybe it's enough just to enjoy the mad fantasy and also Clive Sinclair's writing (I imagine if he rewrote the phone book I would still find it a joy to read). In fact thinking about it now I'm reminded a little of Angela Carter's Infernal Desire Machines of Dr Hoffman, and I think that like Carter's book this is now one of my favourites, and one that I look forward to reading again one day.