Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman (4/5)

The back says: A robber charges into a bank with a loaded gun, but instead of taking any money he steals as item of sentimental value from each person. Once he has made his escape, strange things start to happen to the victims.

A tattoo comes to life, a husband turns into a snowman, a baby starts to shit money. And Stacey Hinterland discovers that she's shrinking, a little every day, and there is seemingly nothing that she or her husband can do to reverse the process.

Can Stacey and the other victims find a solution before it is too late?

I say: Oh my, what a delightful little read this was. I picked it up because Scott Pack said it was great, and if Scott Pack says that something is great then… well, it’s great.

Almost always.

But enough about that and more about The Tiny Wife. As strange as the synopsis makes this out to be it doesn’t really capture how wonderfully quirky this is. I had no idea what to expect, and found that once I started reading I couldn’t get over trying to figure out the why’s and the how’s and the huh’s. I have a theory, but I’m still not sure that it’s correct and may have to read this again to make sure;

and I absolutely love that about this.

This isn’t really criticism as such, but it just sort of felt like the stories were a bit rushed. I wish it was longer – which is actually a good thing, me wanting more of the same – because Kaufman created such wonderfulness that I wanted to explore far more in depth. I obviously knew it was going to be short when I started reading, I just didn’t expect to want to dive into this world and stay lost in there for a while.

In a way it’s a love/hate thing: I love that we are only given these glimpses of what happened (the stories are being (re)told by Stacey Hinterland’s husband – who didn’t witness the robbery), but also hate that we’re not being told everything.

Aside: I’m actually really annoyed that my nieces don’t know enough English (and are maybe a tad too young) for me to be able to read this to them, because I just want to share the magic.

This is one of those fables that you can take from as much as you want - and I want a lot.

So yeah, a 4/5 because I wanted more – and I made the library buy this, so now I’ll have to go and get a copy for myself.

And I almost forgot to mention that there are several wonderful illustrations in here.

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