Thursday, December 31, 2015
A Fascinating Study Of The Despicable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I saw Lauren Groff's "Fates And Furies," staring at me in the bookstore, something about her name was familiar to me. "Of course!" I thought, looking at the jacket. She was the one who had written "The Monsters Of Templeton," in 2008, which I kept meaning to read, but consigned to my literary back burner. Well, this would make up for it.
"Fates And Furies," whose title and text is replete with literary allusions and references, but used wisely and judiciously, is the story of the marriage of Lancelot (Lotto) Satterwhite, and Mathilde Yoder. It starts out as your basic young couple in New York arts scene story--Lotto is an arrogant lug, and Mathilde is some Fay Wray thing who, like Fay, is attracted to gorillas. She must be, if she marries Lotto. Although the narrative tone is omniscient, "Fates" is pretty much things from Lotto's viewpoint. There is tragedy in his past--the suicide of a friend-- and he never makes it as an actor, but becomes a successful playwright, only to die, like the heroine of Kate Chopin's "The Awakening," swimming, not from suicide, but an aneurysm, at the age of 46.
All of this is nicely done, but kept me asking, "Where is the author going with this?" My dears, you have to read "Furies," and read it completely, to find out.
"Furies" is Mathilde's point of view. Again, the tone is omniscient, but she ins not the dumb fay Wray thing of "Fates." She turns out to be one of literature's newest, and best, psycho bitches, starting when she is four, and pushes her baby brother down the stairs, thinking it will net her more family attention, with him out of the way. She gets abandoned, instead, and is sent to live with an uncle, whom she mooches off of, then she prostitutes her way through college, with an art dealer named Ariel, and marries Lotto as much for being able to control him as his gorilla attractiveness. Maybe that is why women attracted to gorillas are. In any case, like Eve Harington, and without Lotto knowing a thing, it is Mathilde (who has changed her name from Aurelia) who engineers his success--practically writing his plays for him.
But chickens come home to roost, and when Mathilde and Lotto's childhood friend, Chollie, cross paths late in life,t he kid gloves come off. And wait til you meet a mysterious young man named Logan! Think Oedipus and Jocasta!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No one--even Lotto's seemingly naive Aunt Sallie and baby sister, Rachel--have a spark of decency in them. And they all come with agendas.
"Fates And Furies" is a world filled with malice, deceit and betrayal, and I enjoyed every page of it. But don't be put off by the first part. It sets thing s up for the psychologically charged second part.
What a twisted mind Miss Groff has. The bitch in me loved every delectable bite of it!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, and Lotto's mother, Antoinette, is a wonderful piece of work, too.
Thus ends my book year. On to other pastures, but one thing is for sure.
On the basis of "Fates And Furies," I will, sometime this year, be reading "The Monsters Of Templeton."