"Carpenter's Gothic" by William Gaddis

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This is a book which moves forward almost entirely in a fugue-like conversation. It's so short, you almost don't get used to the style. A woman, who we learn has somewhat diminished capacity, has rented a carpenter's gothic house overlooking the Hudson some distance north of New York City. She has a hard time remembering things, doesn't express herself well, and has a constant series of doctors' appointments. Also, she wears the evidence of the abuse her husband has inflicted on her.
The story poses more questions than it intends to answer, it would appear. What's really wrong with our renter, Mrs. Booth? Does her husband, whose visit threatens more violence, intend to pull the same sort of trick with Mrs. Booth's friend, Edie? Is McCandless, the owner of the house, an espionage worker and mineral-rights tycoon, or a pathological liar?

We end in terrible menace. Mrs. Booth is dead, and Mr. Booth, now heir to a tidy fortune, climbs into a limousine with Edie. Mrs. Booth's brother dies, too, in a plane crash with a Senator. It was probably just me, but I remain confused about a lot of it to this day.

Confusing, fascinating, effective, eerie, unpredictable. Spend some time with this book and cut yourself adrift from certainty. In this case, it's fun!
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