Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Best Book Review Ever?

Lobster, by Guillaume Lecasble, translated by Polly McLean (Dedalus, £6.99) This is part of a new series from Dedalus, the publisher of odd stuff, called Euro Shorts, which the publisher defines as "short European fiction which can be read from cover to cover on Euro-star or on a short flight." Well, if you are going to start with Lobster, you are going to have an interesting journey.

As you will not believe me if I summarise the book's plot myself, permit me to quote the first paragraph of the blurb. I assure you this is not idleness; it is to establish maximum veracity. "Aboard the Titanic, Lobster watches Angelina devour his father, before being plucked out of the aquarium himself. Just as he is put in the boiling pot, the ship hits the iceberg and the pot is thrown to the floor. Lobster survives, with some changes; he finds himself sexually attracted not only to a human, but to the very human who ate his father. He gives her one life-changing orgasm before their tragic separation, following an ugly incident in one of the lifeboats."

You are now probably saying one of two things. "You have got to be kidding," or, more urbanely, "French, is it?" No and yes. I am not kidding, and, yes, it is indeed French. It could be nothing else. Moreover, all the events described above have taken place by page 24; we have not even got to the frankly appalling incident on page 32 when Angelina makes an ill-fated attempt to reproduce Lobster's amatory prowess with another, less gifted crustacean.

[Full article here]