Monday, November 8, 2010

After Claude, Iris Owens

The end of this affair is an emotional bloodbath.

Hilariously brutal, a fair amount of your enjoyment of After Claude depends on ever having been or known a Harriet. If you are her, she is possibly a straight-shooting truth teller, looking for love in the absolute worst places. And if you only ever had her as a terrifying acquaintance in high school, then this serves as the barbed window into any savage, selfish relationship she ever went on to have. Either way, it quickly becomes an addictive, prickly pear of a read.

Harriet, in her idiosyncratic way, either drives the unworthy Claude away or leaves on her own, then cleaves to him as he tries to remove her from his life. In between alienating her equally terrible friends, she finds time to revisit the sequence of events that deposited her on Claude's doorstep in the first place. And that's all before going completely insane. Without giving too much away, this is the story of how Harriet outdoes herself, crashing not just in the same car but every car, over and over again.

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