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Ik ben verslaafd aan boeken. Hieronder kan je mijn volledige lijst vinden van gelezen fictie-boeken die in mijn boekenkast. Van sommige boeken kan je zelfs een korte bespreking vinden.
158-Pound Marriage, The

158-Pound Marriage, The

Auteur

John Irving

Eerste Uitgave

1997

Uitgave

1997

Uitgeverij

Ballantine Books

Vorm

roman

Taal

Engels

Bladzijden

170 bladzijden

Gelezen

2004-03-26

Score

6/10

Inhoud

The darker vision and sexual ambiguities of this erotic, ironic tale about a ménage à quatre in a New England university town foreshadow those of The World According to Garp; but this very trim and precise novel is a marked departure from the author's generally robust, boisterous style. Though Mr. Irving's cool eye spares none of his foursome, he writes with genuine compassion for the sexual tests and illusions they perpetrate an each other; but the sexual intrigue between them demonstrates how even the kind can be ungenerous, and even the well-intentioned, destructive.

Bespreking

Irving's darkest creation

In The 158-Pound Marriage the narrator, a writer of unsuccessful historical novels, recounts the story of his ménage à trois. When on holiday in Vienna, he falls in love with Utch (short for Utchka, which is Russian for calf). Not much later they are married and get two children. Their relationship seems free from problems until by some magical coincidence they meet Edith and Severin Winter. Without much ado both couples dive into an unknown adventure when they decide to try switching partner for one evening. At first this positively influences their marriages, but then the truth enters the scene as a fifth player. Suddenly trust seeps away and leaves them all alone with their bizarre foursome.

The 158-Pound Marriage is surely a black and ruthless book. And that is exactly what you would never expect from the author of The World According to Garp and A Prayer for Owen Meany. Admittedly the novel starts with a crazy scene that only John Irving can dream up, but after the main characters are introduced the spirit of the story turns dark and moody. Irving keeps the irony alive, but gets hooked into the conflict between the two couples. Even the predominant playfulness between the sheets cannot lighten up the story. It drags the reader through a maze of moral questions and dilemma's.

The story is brilliantly written and again proof that John Irving is one of the greatest authors of our time. Personally I like the cheery and witty tone of his later novels (Marriage was his third novel) much more. This does not mean that they are not as deep and wicked as The 158-Pound Marriage, at the contrary, but they surely have less difficulties in keeping my attention focussed on the story.