Two Against One

Two Against One

by Frederick Barthelme
     
 

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Frederick Barthelme's most powerful novel to date, Two Against One is the portrait of a marriage gone awry. On Edward's fortieth birthday, his estranged wife Elise appears unannounced at his door, triggering a series of events that will involve the couple in a bizarre triangle.  See more details below

Overview

Frederick Barthelme's most powerful novel to date, Two Against One is the portrait of a marriage gone awry. On Edward's fortieth birthday, his estranged wife Elise appears unannounced at his door, triggering a series of events that will involve the couple in a bizarre triangle.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Edward Lasco gets a surprise on his 40th birthday: his wife Elise, who left him six months before to become an independent woman, comes home . . . with her boyfriend Roscoe. But they're not sleeping together, Elise insists, because Roscoe, an affable psycholinguist, is still mourning his wife, who died in a car crash. Should Edward accept the odd threesome Elise wants to impose on him? Should he try to win her back? He still loves her, though the erotic embers have long since died. Or should he take up with his ex-girlfriend Kinta, a hypersexed fanatic who suddenly reappears? The reader doesn't much care because these self-obsessed characters with their big libidos are a bore. Novelist/short-story writer Barthelme ( Second Marriage , Moon Deluxe ) sets this overwritten narrative in a faceless new South of malls and video stores. There's a lot of talk about sex, but not much happens, sexually or otherwise. (October)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Sex, marriage, and alcohol are gone from his life, and Edward does not miss them. But when his estranged wife Elise retuns from her beach house, his 40th-birthday weekend is shattered by temptation, self-doubt, and Elise's lover, Roscoe. Barthelme returns to familiar ground in this hilariously disturbing new novel. As in Second Marriage ( LJ 9/15/84), which focuses on a different type of love triangle, he uses his protagonist's house as a stage. Unfortunately, he bogs down in endless discussion of the triangle, once fertile soil that is plowed to exhaustion. Still, the novel is rich in the societal peculiarities Barthelme notes so well, a quality that makes his sardonic study of post-feminist angst so entertaining. Paul E. Hutchison, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802134608
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/28/1996
Series:
Barthelme, Frederick Series
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.49(w) x 8.23(h) x 0.77(d)

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