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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Passion of New Eve: Abandon hope all ye who enter here (or just abandon the book...)

I normally love Angela Carter. I reviewed Several Perceptions earlier this year, enjoyed Nights at the Circus and Wise Children is one of my all time favourite books. But with The Passion of New Eve, I have absolutely had it.

OK so imagine a dystopian New York City with an unappealing chap called Evelyn who wanders around observing mutant rats devouring dogs. He pursues an increasingly naked erotic dancer (who puts purple lipstick on her nipples) through the streets. He is horrified by depravity but tempted by it too. In fact, he is just like the biblical Eve, but he’s a guy, geddit? Give. Me. Strength. In fact, give me something cheerful to read. That would do just as well.


  1. I so agree. I love Carter at her best -- Night at the Circus is an astonishing book. But this one -- ugh.

  2. Thank goodness it wasn't only me who felt like this about this book. I did not get it at all!

  3. I felt like this when reading her book
    The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman, I mean I dont mind werid but that was just TOO werid.

  4. I love Wise Children as well: witty, wise and fell in love with the 2 sisters. If you're after something cheerful, don't pick up What is the What!

  5. I had a good laugh! at the end of a very long day this was what I needed (badly).

  6. This does indeed sound a little weirder than I can handle. I think I will probably skip it.

  7. I still have to read *something* by Angela Carter. I guess I will note this one down as last on the list!

  8. I did Angela Carter's Wise Children, Nights at the Circus and The Magic Toyshop for my dissertation, and loved all of them. I bought The Passion of New Eve, meaning to write about that too, but in the end I didn't and haven't even read it. The blurb on the back made it sound pretty heavy-going, and I just didn't fancy it (same for The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman). Some of her books can be quite tedious - I found Shadow Dance a bit like that too.

  9. I studied The Passion of New Eve (well, I studied all of Angela Carter but this one in particular) and it does not lend itself to enjoyment. It is bizarre, to say the very least. Carter's work in the Seventies was avant-garde, far-reaching and so very diverse; personally I preferred her work on fairy tales from this period (not limited to The Bloody Chamber). The Eighties though is where she was at her peak and sadly died in the nineties before she could exceed expectations.

    If you haven't read The Bloody Chamber and The Magic Toyshop then please do so; I do not think you will be as disappointed as you were here.

    I will say one thing for The Passion of New Eve: I LOVED the similarities between Tristessa and Miss Havisham!

  10. Yikes! I have that one on my shelf and after reading your review, I'm not really looking forward to reading it. What a disappointment! Thanks for the honesty!

  11. I quite liked Nights at the Circus, but I must say that Angela Carter isn't really my cup of tea. Love that cover, though!

  12. I have never read Angela Carter. I should; at least the ones you have recommended :)

  13. Hello all and thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

    Harriet - my big favourite is Wise Children - but this one made me go "ggrrrr"...

    Verity - I think that we can safely say that it isn't just you... me too and others.

    Jessica - I haven't read that one but I can imagine. I strongly recommend Wise Children though.

    Tonia - I won't! Thanks for visiting and I so agree about Wise Children.

    Mystica - glad to be of service.

    Zibilee - don't blame you...

    Irisonbooks - I love love love Wise Children and if you are only going to read one I would recommend this one.

    Lorna - I liked Shadow Dance although not as much as the later stuff. I think that she really hit her stride slightly later in her career and where she is good she is very very good if you know what I mean. Your dissertation sounds very interesting indeed.

    Paperback reader - I so agree about the "periods" of Angela carter - her later work is wonderful.

    Nadia - sorry! Well, I didn't actually finish it so maybe it gets better. possibly.

    Vintage Reading - yes it is rather good isnt it - maybe that is why I bought it in the first place...

    Vaishnavi - I think that you would enjoy Wise Children. Thank yoou for commenting Vaisnavi - it is always a pleasure to hear from you.

    Bon weekend