An Adultery

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Christian Ford is an artist who teaches at a New England prep school; Farol Colorado is a beautiful young woman who works at an art gallery in town. When the two begin their affair, he has an ``understanding'' with another woman, and Farol is married to her second husband. Theroux's third novel, after Three Wogs and Darconville's Cat, describes the rising and falling phases of their relationship in great psychological detail, focusing on Farol's, and also Ford's, inconstancy. Told from Ford's point of viewin a remote and superior tonethe story remains true to its narrator's shifting passions. Guilt, passion and will are topics for Theroux's intelligent, unstinting analysis, raising suggestions of earlier chroniclers of love in the works of Nabokov and Flaubert. But the questions of whether Farol will leave her husband, of how truthful she is about the rest of her life (and how reliable an observer Ford is) are slight fare for so extensive an examination. In the end, the obsessive narration and dearth of dialogue make for a reading experience as dry and remote as Ford's experience of love. (October 5)
Library Journal
Christian Ford, a moderately successful painter wasting away in New Hampshire, begins dating a sad young woman named Farol Colorado. She tells him that she is about to divorce her husband, is in group therapy, and is slowly dying of multiple sclerosis. Ford falls hopelessly in love, but as his obsession grows, so too does his annoyance with Farol's superficiality, hypochondria, vindictiveness, and inability to break with her husband. Manic devotion to an undeserving woman is a favorite theme in works of writers from Benjamin Constant to Nabokov. Theroux, best known for the logorrheic extravaganza Darconville's Cat ( LJ 6/1/81), gives us a disturbing, misogynistic novel that invites comparison with such classics. For all fiction collections. Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451667202
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 8/7/2011
  • Pages: 400

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