COMPASS Stone

COMPASS Stone

by Fernando Arrabal
     
 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cast as an accidentally discovered memoir written by a nameless young woman, the Spanish dramatist's newly translated work is more fable and parable than conventional novel. Its 18-year-old narrator/heroine, a kind of beautiful, seductive queen bee, shares a crumbling mansion with her aged father, the ``Maimed One,'' and two women called ``The Sisters.'' She has two principal activities: one is speculation on hierarchies in nature and societya persistent inquiry into the relation of human and insect behavior; the other is the dexterous use of a barber's straight razor, slashing the throats of casual acquaintances just as they reach the throes of sexual rapture. Her few friendsan adoring suma wrestler, a painter with bizarre tastesreveal their own oddities. To pass the time, they plan an orgy featuring paranoics, ``depraved couples,'' sado-masochists and even the notorious Marquis de Sade. The reader never doubts that the speaking voice and questioning mind belong not to the beguiling and terrifying girl but to Arrabal himself. Voice and mind are quirkily interesting, but they are too much given to abstruse, obsessive analogies that inevitably slacken, confuse and, ultimately, vitiate dramatic effect and narrative momentum. (November 27)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This is the dark memoir of a young murderess who shares a mansion with her fatherthe Maimed Onebut lives alone in that part of it she calls the Greenhouse. An incomparable beauty, she more than once entices a man to a homicidal ``soiree'' at which she slits his throat with a razor while he is in the midst of orgasm. She gives no hint of her reaction to the speculation of S---, an amateur detective whose fascination with the murders provides the novel's only element of suspense. Her own thoughts, invariably in interrogative form, may lead the reader to wonder in turn: Is there no relief from this decadence? L. M. Lewis, Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802100023
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/1987
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
192

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