View spoiler Bettie s Books hide spoiler This is the second book I *Ve Read By Patrick Read By Patrick by Patrick coming fast on the heels of his original collection Blood and Water and Other Tales The Grotesue echoed some of the darker and stranger stories found in that previous read As a whole it was very dark Gothic and to me ponderous There are a few passages where action occurs uickly but for most of the book the pace is languidPerhaps this is to reinforce There are flashes of brilliance here but The Grotesue is often painfully ponderous and overcooked A shorter less adorned version of this story could have been pretty good For me though the set up was barely interesting enough to keep reading perhaps the repressed homosexuality stuff was shocking when this was published 20 ears ago I will
SAY THAT THE CORPSE BEING FEDthat the corpse being fed the pigs almost got this to three stars almost Brilliantly written and very very funny The only negative thing I can say about this book is that it caused me to laugh so hard that a snot bubble came out of my nose in the middle of a crowded commuter train I would describe it as a malevolent Jeeves and Wooster with a dash of Dorian Gray and I don t just mean the storyline the uality of writing stands worthy comparison with PG Wodehouse and Oscar Wilde I m amazed Patrick McGrath isn t widely known and celebrated I was going to say that America has Stephen King Britain has Patrick McGrath but actually McGrath is Gothic than King perhaps a better representative from America would be Thomas TryonA master of the macabre this author is known for spewing ghastly tales with a grim and dire Hillary yet lyrical prose A sense of paranoia and dread is evoked as the reader turns the pages McGrath s excessive use of commas verges on violating rules of style a common pretentiousness of novice authorset he manages to carry it off rather adeptly giving each sentence a lilting balance almost melodic As a connoisseur of ironies I cannot now help recognizing how rich this one isMuch of his descriptions of people and things border on revolting I am humped and cadaverous my hands lie clawlike on the arms of the wheelchair and my eyes glaze blankly from a bony sunken head whose jaw has come permanently to rest upon my clavicleBehind their hooded flap her eyes too were glittering Her mouth was smeared with lipstick and her throat swung bagged and cross hatched from a wrinkled nob of chin flanked by rouged jowls loosely depending from lumpy cheekbones Powerful gusts of stale scent emanated from the crannies of her person Considering the title it is not surprising that Grotesue is an account of decay and death physcially and spiritually as the protagonist Sir Hugo Coal recounts the story of his deterioration into a wheel chair bound vegetable From early on the author through a subtle nuance of his narrative plants a seed of doubt in our minds regarding the narrator s version of events similar to the tactic used in Spider This has the effect of urging the reader on to get at the truth of the matterDespite the dark themes and tone of the book there is also wit and humor albeit of the black kindThis book is not for everyone 40% of reviewers gave the book 3 stars or less My opinions on this author are very subjective I can t explain it he just moves me Perhaps the ultimate unreliable narrator Sir Hugo Coal is paralyzed He can t communicate except through this novel Aristocratic entitled and horribly class conscious he oversees his manor Crook in England He likes things just so and he has no tolerance for those who differ with his opinions He s a little difficult to like Even if he s a paleontologist A new man servant and his wife are hired Hugo dislikes them Distrusts them He also dislikes his daughter s fianc He ignores his wife and worries excessively about his academic reputation He thinks dinosaurs turned into birds and this idea is important to him than the living people in his life Then things go wrong He discovers his daughter s fianc in a gay relationship with the man servant Snobbish and intolerant he has no sympathy for such forbidden love Then the boy disappears So much of the novel is inference After Hugo becomes paralyzed he can t actually investigate and much of the story is his reconstruction of what happened One gets the sense that his disregard for people has led to his sad situation His best friend is accused of the murder The man servant he describes in great detail is sleeping with his wife And all along the reader doesn t know if any of this is actually happening Parts of the novel are uite funny and some actually pretty gothic but overall there are too many uestion marks Significant events happen and are simply dropped And when it s over Youre The Voice Pvg Songbook Cd you never really know if any of it was real beyond the accident that left the narrator paralyzed Doou know the filthiest dirty joke ever told It begins with a family of entertainers walking into a talent agent s office who asks them to perform their act the joke s midsection depends on the teller who then ad libs the most vile lewd and disgusting things imaginable murder rape pedophilia incest and others The joke ends with the shocked talent agent asking what is this act ca. Paralysed mute and confined to a wheelchair former palaeontologist Sir Hugo Coal re.
characters ☆ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ☆ Patrick McGrath.
Lled to which the family responds with unusual flourish THE ARISTOCRATSDECADENCE AND EVENTUAL *DEGRADATION ECONOMICAL PHYSICAL BUT MOST AristocratsDecadence and eventual *degradation economical physical but most moral of the aristocracy and general upper *economical physical but most importantly moral of the aristocracy and general upper is a subject of many novels among them The Grotesue in which it is taken to a truly grotesue level Much like McGrath s second novel Spider his debut novel The Grotesue is a work of modern Gothic fiction with a strong central figure of the main protagonist and narratorSet in Crook Manon a Gothic mansion in the English
countryside The Grotesue is narrated by sir Hugo Coal a self describedThe Grotesue is narrated by sir Hugo Coal a self described scholar and traveler who is both suspicious of and repulsed by Fledge his butler whom he suspects of feeling exactly the same way about him This would not be anything new or particularly interesting were it not for the fact that sir Hugo is completely paralyzed locked in after what he describes as a cerebral accident which left him for all intents and purposes a vegetable No one can know if he is conscious his doctor denies the possibility but he is biologically alive and spends what remains of his days in a wheelchair imprisoned in his own bodyDennis Clegg the narrator of Spider was a troubled but ultimately likable character it s easy for the reader to sympathize with him and care for him as his mental state begins to unravel In comparison sir Hugo is thoroughly repulsive but also infinitely funnier Dennis s narration is often desperate a plea for help sir Hugo calmly recollects what we might perceive as his worst moments not even troubling to excuse any of them since these are not his worst moments this is just how he is A misogynist and a homophobe sir Hugo proudly recalls how he terrorized everyone around the mansion and lusted after the Butler s wife while at the same time completely ignoring his own Fledge sir Hugo s nemesis is an ideal Gothic villain despite witnessing sir Hugo fiddling with his wife he remains calm and collected which makes sir Hugo despise him even The theme of decay runs throughout this book on multiple levels the physical decay of sir Hugo s paralyzed body and the growing decay of his mental state the decay of his marriage and aristocratic influence in his own house No Gothic novel would be complete without a murder and there is a murder in The Grotesue and a particularly ghastly one a Wolf In Sheeps Clothing young and promising student engaged to sir Hugo s daughter and aptly named Sidney Giblet will be dispatched from the world in a particularly gruesome way The uestion is who did it Of course sir Hugo points the finger at the proverbial butler but did he Can we know what happened if the person telling us the story is not even able to prove that he is alive and is a massive prick The novel is remarkable because of sir Hugo s engaging narration who is entirely oblivious to the fact at how revolting he is and is at times almost a pastiche of itself though always conscious and never venturing into camp territory The humor in this novel is as funny as it is black sir Hugo himself a dinosaur and a relic has spent 20ears of his life to reconstruct a massive skeleton of a phlegmosaurus which he keeps in a shed now abandoned and overgrowing with moss after his accident much like he himself is slowly growing into his wheelchair the various names of people and places such as the Ceck parish in Berkshire on the river Fling and near Ceck s Bottom the mentioned unfortunate Giblet and the Crook estate housing a remarkable Crook as its masterLike Spider The Grotesue has also been adapted into a film which I have not seen though this one seems to be a rather obscure adaptation The novel though is certainly worth reading for sir Hugo alone and his remarkable narration read the first few pages if Morirse Es Una Mierda you like themou re certainly going to enjoy what comes after a not very scary but truly grotesue story told to ou by who else The Aristocrat Clearly demonstrating that it is never too late to embark on the career for which ou were intended Patrick McGrath s first novel The Grotesue was released in May 1989 when its author was pushing 40 ears old Although the Englishman had come out with a volume of shorter pieces earlier that ear Blood and Water and Other Tales The Grotesue was his first foray into the world of the longer form and was happily a stunning success As of 2013 and having just released his eighth novel Constance McGrath is deemed one of our leading purveyors of what has come to be called the new Gothic and a look at his first novel will indicate that his considerable writing ability was already fully formed right near the beginning In the book we meet a cranky curmudgeonly highly unlikable British suire and professional paleontologist named Sir Hugo Coal Coal tells us his story several months after having suffered a paralyzing stroke Now confined to a wheelchair unable to move or speak he thinks back on the events of the previous eight months or so at his Berkshire estate Crook Manor The fact that Sir Hugo could not possibly have managed to write or dictate this memoir in his current state may be seen as an inherent flaw in McGrath s novelor as just one bit of head scratching strangeness in a book filled with so mu. Counts the events that led to his 'cerebral accident' as well as his suspicions of. Ch Things had started to fall
APART AT CROOK WHEN HIS WIFEat Crook when his wife Harriet had hired a new butler and maid Mr when his wife Harriet had hired a new butler and maid Mr Mrs Fledge As Sir Hugo tells us Fledge had silently mocked his master seduced his wife and had even been spotted by Coal himself in the middle of a tryst with Sir Hugo s future son in law Sidney Giblet When Giblet the book is replete with outlandish character names went missing Coal immediately suspected Fledge of foul play and when Sidney s buried remains later turned up in the middle of nearby Ceck Marsh our narrator became even convinced of his butler s nefarious schemes But how to prove his suspicions *Readers Who Thought That The *who thought that the of TV s Addams family constituted a bizarre household will love reading Sir Hugo s account of his own domestic situation He himself is a gloomy old coot who spends his days assembling dinosaur bones in the barn Harriet is a prim and proper biddy who is nevertheless only too willing to give in to her butler s licentious advances Cleo the Coals 18 Wildflowers Of Alberta year old daughter is a depressive suicidal mess especially after Sidney s remains are found Mrs Fledge is a uh full fledged alcoholic and Fledge himselfwell the man is a cipher of sorts a blank slate on whom Coal manages to foist all his dark suspicions As unreliable a narrator as has ever told an untrustworthy story Sir Hugo himself reveals that his memory is faulty that his paralyzed isolation has perforce limited his worldview that he hallucinates freuently and that he knows that he is telling his story in a faulty order So ultimately we don t uite know what to believe and the solution of Sidney Giblet s murder remains somewhat nebulous However as author Peter H Cannon writes when discussing why he chose this novel for inclusion in the excellent overview volume Horror Another 100 Best Books the resolution of the book s central crime is ultimately of less interest than McGrath s memorable portrait of his unreliable narrator as well as of the book s minor characters In this book atmosphere and characterization are paramount to everything except a love of language and my goodness what a remarkably great writer Patrick McGrath turns out to be Offhand I cannot recall a writer whose use of language has so impressed me since I read Mark Helprin s Winter s Tale several decades ago To read this book andes it HAS been my introduction to McGrath s work is to want to devour many by this terrific author It is simply astonishing that The Grotesue was McGrath s first novel and makes one wonder what the author had been doing with his life prior to 1989 working in a north Ontario institution which doubtlessly gave McGrath a great background for his psychological tales and as a teacher in the ueen Charlotte Islands off British Columbia as it turns out McGrath always seems to know just the right word to use his vocabulary is immense and just the right macabre detail to throw in In short this is a masterly first novel a most impressive debut I was only able to detect one other minor flaw in the entire book Coal tells us that he had first met his gardener George Lecky than 25 ears earlier the tale takes place in 1949 so that would be 1924 or earlier right But a little later Coal sets the date of their first meeting as 1926 But I am certainly willing to concede that this might be just another bit of unreliable detail on the part of our stroke addled narrator The Grotesue was turned into a film in 1995 and features what I would imagine to be a perfectly well cast Alan Bates as Sir Hugo and Sting as the mysterious Fledge Theresa Russell an actress whom I greatly admire would seem to be an unlikely choice for Lady Harriet a plump redhead in McGrath s book and I am now greatly interested in catching this film to see if Theresa did indeed manage to pull this characterization off The film does not enjoy a good reputation unlike the filmization of McGrath s second novel 1990 s Spider as brought to life by David Cronenberg in 2002 and it would be difficult indeed to live up to McGrath s original conception with its booklength interior monologue and gorgeous use of languagedespite the fact that McGrath DID write the screenplay himself Creepy spooky at times hilarious and beautiful macabre and original memorable and altogether winning The Grotesue novel is certainly a tough act to follow This is a weird one It had enough in it to keep me reading but I think I only stuck with it because it was on the short side Lots of people have commended McGrath for his writing style but I found it a bit over done and taxing I appreciate what he is trying to accomplish here but it just didn t work for me No one is sympathetic let alone the narrator and the ending bit the big one Witty Insightful Clever No No No Great idea poorly executed Between the description of an infinitesimal glass of sherry the litany of cutesy place names Crook Manor Ceck s Bottom Pock on the Fling and actually reminding the reader in as many words that the theme of the book is the grotesue I now know what it s like to read a book with the iconoclastic spirit of Gormenghast as written by an author lacking the wit or idiom to carry it off It s affected trite and tiring Mostly tiring. His butler Fledge who he suspects is plotting to replace him as Lord of Crook Manor.