The Grotesque (novel)
First edition cover
|Published||1989 (Poseidon Press)|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3563.C3663 G7 1989|
Wheelchair-using Sir Hugo Coal narrates this tale of vice and murder at stately Crook Manor. Unable to communicate with those around him, the quirky Sir Hugo watches and listens, recounting recent events that began with his daughter's engagement, followed by the disappearance of her fiancé and the subsequent investigation. Of particular note is new butler Fledge, whom Sir Hugo believes is not only the cause of the troubles at the estate, but seeking to replace him as lord of the manor and in Lady Harriet's bed.
From Publishers Weekly:
Witty, weird and highly enjoyable, this gothic British tale is aptly titled. The set-up is macabre: a distinguished paleontologist is brain-damaged and slowly turning into a vegetable. He cannot speak, but narrates an interior monologue of all he sees and hears: a lot of sexual shenanigans and a particularly grisly murder, all centered around "Fledge," the butler, who has ambitions. The stylistic joke is that all these horrors take place in a quaint, genteel English country setting, where the village is "Pock-on-the-Fling," the pub, "The Hodge and Purlet" and the barrister, "Sir Fleckley Tome." However deadly the deed, the language is always decorous and impeccably mannered. The result is strangely hilarious--as if a Stephen King story were being told in the manner of a latter-day Anthony Trollope.