Two words: No. Way.
I cannot stand books like this, in which senseless violence is perpetrated – especially when it involves the brutal murders of young girls. And this is supposed to be funny?
If it is, I don’t get the humor.
The story involves a mental patient, Morvagine, put in jail for the murder of a young girl named Rita to whom he’d been married as a young boy, as royalty was wont to do in the once upon a time days. He murdered her as an adolescent for the simple reason she told him she was going away to Vienna and wouldn’t see him again for a very long time, if at all.
He was naturally put away for what he’d done, living in a little cottage on the grounds of an asylum. There, a doctor became obsessed with him, deciding to free Morvagine and run away with him, ostensibly to study him. Before they left he provided Morvagine a young girl to murder.
That’s as far as I got, throwing the book across the room after the two had checked into a hotel somewhere – who cares…
What a repulsive book. And NYRB chose to re-print it in a new edition? Guess this is one of those cases in which my literary taste fails me and I don’t understand the greatness of a piece of… literature? Whatever.