Desperate Characters

Desperate Characters

Paula Fox

A Great American Novel – from the author of ‘Borrowed Finery’.

Otto and Sophie Bentwood live childless in a renovated Brooklyn brownstone. The complete works of Goethe line their bookshelf, their stainless steel kitchen is newly installed, and their Mercedes is parked outside. After Sophie is bitten on the hand while trying to feed a half-starved neighbourhood cat, a series of small and ominous disasters begin to plague their lives, revealing the faultlines and fractures in a marriage – and a society – wrenching itself apart.

Includes an introduction by Jonathan Franzen.

Reviews of Desperate Characters

    • ‘Inarguably great. “Desperate Characters” soars above every other work of American realist fiction since the Second World War.’ Jonathan Franzen
    • ‘A towering landmark of postwar realism…a sustained work of prose so lucid and fine that it seems less written than carved.’ David Foster Wallace
    • ‘Brilliant.’ New Yorker
    • ‘A master class on the terrors and sophistries of the American bourgeoisie. Wise, unsettling and compassionate. A brilliant book.’ TLS
    • ‘Exhilarating…a novel of elegant sentences and very funny dialogue. Fox writes brilliant parties you’re grateful not to have been invited to.’ New York Review of Books
    • ‘She is one of America’s greatest living writers.’ Scotsman
    • ‘A masterpiece.’ Observer