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Angela Carter (The Magic Toyshop and The Honcybuzzard) is a young writer with a great deal of equipment however she chooses to apply it--in an isolating fashion on isolated misfits. Squirmingly one admires her remarkable descriptions of tatty interiors and of the scummy characters who tenant her books usually at the expense of any story. In this case primarily, a young man Joseph who has rejected an education, rejected the world actually (with sporadic political protest peppering the pages) to become a hospital orderly. . .""he had free choice on the self-service counter and voluntarily selected shit, old men dying, pus. . ."" under a ""gangrene sky."" Left by his girl, he then elects to commit suicide and fails. Joseph is seen with several as bedraggled characters: Miss Blossom downstairs, with her crimped hair and crippled leg; a wild beatnik, Kay; the billowing Mrs. Boulder who suffuses him with her slackening charms. Only the badger at the zoo seems to symbolize to Joseph his own entrapment. . . . Miss Carter's perceptions are rather limited; instead she has provided an endless collage of images, all irradiated by her dynamic graphic gift and perhaps most comfortably viewed at a distance.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Simon & Schuster