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Câu chuyện kể về gia đình Willoweed và ngôi làng Anh nơi họ sống. Hoàn cảnh bắt đầu giữa trận lụt, những con vịt bơi trong cửa sổ phòng khách, "vịt ở khắp mọi nơi" chúng bơi quanh phòng. "Thế còn những luống hoa hồng của tôi thì sao?" bà Willoweed hỏi. Con trai bà hét lên kèn tai bà rằng khu vườn bị ngập nước, động vật chết ở khắp mọi nơi, bà sẽ may mắn khi chỉ còn một bó lúa. Sau đó, người thợ xay tự dìm chết mình. . . Sau đó, tên đồ tể cắt cổ họng của mình. . . và hàng loạt cái chết khủng khiếp gây tai họa cho dân làng. Tờ báo đặt câu hỏi, "Ai sẽ bị mê hoặc bởi sự điên rồ chết người này tiếp theo?" Qua tất cả, giọng nói độc đáo của Comyns dệt nên một tác phẩm vừa tuyệt vời vừa kinh khủng, vừa đẹp lại vừa tàn nhẫn. Được xuất bản lần đầu ở Anh vào năm 1954, "kiệt tác nhỏ bị bỏ qua" này là một viên ngọc lấp lánh.


Tên ebook

Who was changed and who was dead?

Tác giả

Barbara Comyns

Thể loại

Châm biếm hư cấu

Nhà xuất bản

Dorothy Project

Đánh giá về tác phẩm

Đánh giá trên Amazon: 4.2 / 5 sao

"Brief summary and review, no spoilers.

This novel is in most part about the Willoweed family who live in a rural English village. The time period is the late 1800's. The Willoweed household is ruled by their malevolent old matriarch referred to as Grandmother Willoweed. She is rude, loud, and incredibly mean-spirited. But she is in control of the money and thus rules the roost. Her son Ebin, a "slothful man", once held a job as a journalist but lost it due to his own malfeasance and incompetence. He is now dependent on his mother for everything and as such he must defer to her and follow her wishes. Also in the household are his three children, Emma (who dreams of courtship and romance), Dennis (a shy young boy, often ridiculed by Ebin), and Hattie, the youngest, who is obviously half-black although no one wishes to comment on that and the fact that this meant Ebin's deceased wife must have cheated on him. Hattie is Ebin's favorite, not the least because she seems the most fond of him.

Although the story centers around the Willoweeds and their two abused maids, Eunice and Norah, we are also introduced to a very typical village full of eccentrics and oddballs. But when a mysterious illness starts attacking many of the villagers, the story takes a darker turn when the investigation begins as to what is causing it and what must be done to make it go away.

I just adored this book. It is a very quick read - easily read in one sitting. It's quick not only because of its size (under 200 pages with large print), but also because it is a page-turner. What I loved most is that the story would go back and forth between the comedic and the tragic - sometimes in the same paragraph. The characters are all so quirky and yet so real and we see the story from different points of view. If you are a fan of quirky British novels, this book is for you.

If you haven't read Barbara Comyns before, I really recommend you give her a try. She is a terrific writer and you just can't go wrong reading her books.  The Vet's Daughter (New York Review Books Classics) s another winner from her.." - Độc giả sb-lynn

Đánh giá trên Goodreads: 3.87 / 5 sao

"I recently purchased books from the Dorothy Project, and one of the books was this one. I had never heard of the author or the book. So there it was, on my shelf, and then a character in another book I just finished, Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller, mentions the book in passing. It was a clear sign that I should read this next.

This is a weird and disturbing book (in a good way) - the town seems to take floods, epidemics, and dead animals (and people) in stride. The baker's wife is running around with other men in town, and she isn't the only one. At the same time, the typical pastoral small-town English novel is going on, so the contrast is entertaining.

I find it amusing that this novel was banned in Ireland (it came out in 1954.) I'd really like to know which part disturbed them the most!" - Độc giả Jenny (Reading Envy

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