I think we l know how I feel about jacket copy and blurbs. To wit: not good. But for once, the blurbs are on to something, and it’s the gem that is Chloe Aridjis’s Asunder.
The novel follows Marie, a guard at London’s National Gallery, through her perambulations at work, at home, and abroad. This is isn’t a novel with extravagant plot points; instead, it’s superb gathering of images and moments, a testament to a quiet life. To observation.
It’s about the entropy of decay and the possibility for violent change. It’s a weirdly beautiful excavation of life. And the images! New, lively, strange. Here’s one example. Marie is examining a painting:
It was a mysterious painting, of a seaside landscape with a few human figures, and my eyes first came to rest on the wall of ancient wrinkled cliffs resembling a procession of tired elephants. (111)
Arresting, isn’t it? I felt swallowed up the images as I read. I loved this novel, and if you’ll excuse me, I‘ll be off to find my own copy.