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Guided Tours of Hell: Novellas Paperback – September 3, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The second is a full length novel that has been unfairly savaged by previous reviewers for being formless, with "thin" characters, unattractive "pathetic" main character etc. etc. Anyone's entitled to his opinion, but I believe these reviewers missed the point. This is an existential story written from the perspective of a woman who is neurotically obsessed with her (older) lover. I think it's brilliantly done. Certainly we know lots of OTHER people who have been in such relationships. Do all romantic heroines have to be heroically self-assertive? What a depressingly narrow range of reader tastes if that is the case! Nina's musings as she flounders in the emotional vortex of her obsessive love for Leo are fascinating and generally close to the mark. Her character is 'thin' because love-obsessed persons are self-absorbed and have a constricted range of expression. That Prose "made Paris boring" is not a criticism, but high praise! The embarassingly simple point is that even the most attractive environment will be sterile and dully malevolent when filtered through the opaque lens of emotional dependency.
The other novella in this book, "Three Pigs in Five Days," is almost three times as long and lacks the concentration of the title story. But it revisits some of the same themes in the friendlier setting of Paris. The protagonist, Nina, works for a much older man, Leo, who edits a travel magazine selling the city to American retirees.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In 'Guided Tours of Hell', Prose provokes disgust at Landau and annoyance with his unreal pettiness and insecurity, somewhat interesting on its own merit. Read morePublished on October 5, 1999
The one star goes to the first novella which at least built toward something. The second novella is so bad and the characters are so thin, it's no wonder every thought that enters... Read morePublished on March 29, 1999
"Three pigs" in particular, with characters Leo and Nina, is really pretty bad. I don't know how Prose has established such a reputation, but I know I don't want to read... Read morePublished on November 10, 1998
Unguided Tours of Hell is a winner. Prose's character exposition through the limited but insightful internal monologues is witty and poignant. Read morePublished on April 29, 1998 by Antonio Hofbauer (email@example.com)