16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Make no mistake, this is Carter's piece de resistance,
By A Customer
This review is from: Wise Children (Paperback)
Angela Carter's last novel,"Wise Children", may well have been the crowning glory to her illustrious career as a fiction writer. It's a coup de grace and her piece de resistance. You don't need to be an afficionado of Shakespeare to appreciate the dazzling humour of Carter's story and celebration of "wrong-side-of-the-trackness" in a theatrical family of multigenerational twins (the Hazards) or thrill to their cross-Atlantic adventures but it'll surely heighten your sense of pleasure if you're familiar with the Bard's comic characters and able to pick them out from among the novel's fabulously diverse and colourful personalities. The novel starts on a promising note and quickly settles into a swinging groove, which Carter skillfully sustains with a momentum that just builds and builds, constantly hitting new highs just when you think it can't get any better. A diabolically clever mix of pathos and humour maintains the balance between realism and a sense of the ridiculous which is unmistakeably Carter. Her legendary tongue twisting, mind bending, linguistic pyrotechnics is in full flower and display throughout. She's in top form and those familiar with the Bard's "King Lear", "Winter's Tale" and "Tempest", among others, will delight in the resonance that the novel's many references evoke. The denouement is also a masterful sleight of hand that is distinctively Carter. "Wise Children" is quite the most fascinating and entertaining novel I have read and enjoyed all year. I finished the book with such a good feeling it carried me for days. This is an "absolute must" for those who love contemporary literature of the finest quality. Don't miss it !