Mrs. Caliban: A Novel

Open Road Media
8
Free sample

In the tradition of The Shape of Water, this “perfect novel” of a housewife who begins a passionate affair with a sea monster is “something of a miracle” (The New Yorker).

It all starts with the radio. Dorothy’s husband, Fred, has left for work, and she is at the kitchen sink washing the dishes, listening to classical music. Suddenly, the music fades out and a soft, close, dreamy voice says, “Don’t worry, Dorothy.”
 
A couple weeks later, there is a special interruption in regular programming. The announcer warns all listeners of an escaped sea monster. Giant, spotted, and froglike, the beast—who was captured six months earlier by a team of scientists—is said to possess incredible strength and to be considered extremely dangerous.
 
That afternoon, the seven-foot-tall lizard man walks through Dorothy’s kitchen door. She is frightened at first, but there is something attractive about the monster. The two begin a tender, clandestine affair, and no one, not even Dorothy’s husband or her best friend, seems to notice.
 
Selected by the British Book Marketing Council as one of the greatest American novels since World War II, Mrs. Caliban, much like Guillermo del Toro’s film The Shape of Water, uses an inter-species romance to explores issues of passion and loneliness, love and loss—and in its own wryly subversive way, it blends surrealism, satire, and a strong female perspective. A literary cult classic, it “skillfully combines fairy tale, science fiction, and ho-hum reality” (People).

“[An] ethereal, masterfully written book.” —Entertainment Weekly

 “If you consume only one piece of art about a woman sleeping with a sea monster this year, my advice is to make it Mrs. Caliban.” —Literary Hub
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About the author

Rachel Ingalls (1940–2019) grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and moved to London in 1965. Theft, her literary debut, won the 1970 Authors’ Club First Novel Award. Her 1982 novel, Mrs. Caliban, was named one of the twenty greatest American novels since World War II by the British Book Marketing Council. She wrote fourteen novels and short story collections, including Times Like These, Binstead’s Safari, and I See a Long Journey.
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4.4
8 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Sep 13, 2016
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Pages
125
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ISBN
9781504039116
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Magical Realism
Fiction / Psychological
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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In this “charming” and melancholic novel, a former child sleuth “investigates the hard-to-crack case of Lost Innocence” (Entertainment Weekly).
 
A Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist Book of the Year
 
In the twilight of a mysterious childhood full of wonder, Billy Argo, boy detective, is brokenhearted to find that his younger sister and crime-solving partner, Caroline, has committed suicide. Ten years later, Billy, age thirty, returns from an extended stay at St. Vitus’ Hospital for the Mentally Ill to discover the world full of unimaginable strangeness: office buildings vanish without reason, small animals turn up without their heads, and cruel villains ride city buses to complete their evil schemes.
 
Lost within this unwelcoming place, Billy befriends two lonely, extraordinary children—one a science fair genius, the other a charming, silent bully. With a nearly forgotten bravery, he experiences the unendurable boredom of a telemarketing job; encounters a beautiful, desperate pickpocket; and confronts the nearly impossible solution to his sister’s case. Along a path laden with hidden clues and codes, the boy detective may learn the greatest secret of all: the necessity of the unknown.
 
“Haunted by the mystery of his sister’s death and feeling that a lapse in his sleuthing may be to blame, Billy is determined to find out the reason for her suicide and to punish those responsible . . . The story of Billy’s search for truth, love and redemption is surprising and absorbing. Swaddled in melancholy and gentle humor, it builds in power as the clues pile up.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“The author gives Billy a gallery of rogues to combat and even sends him to investigate the Convocation of Evil at a local hotel (‘Featured Panel: To Wear a Mask?’). Meno sets himself a complicated task, marooning his straight-arrow, pulp-fiction protagonist in a world uglier than the Bobbsey Twins ever faced but refusing to go for satire. Instead, the author takes his compulsive investigator at face value.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 
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