House Mother Normal: A Geriatric Comedy

B. S. Johnson, Author New Directions Publishing Corporation $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8112-0980-9
Less a comedy than a strange mixture of farce, poignance and the bizarre, this novel consists of the thoughts (and a few spoken words) of eight residents in a British old age home and of their ""house mother'' during one evening of play ``activities.'' Each person's stream of consciousness consists of exactly 21 pages, and the thoughts run from affecting memories of brighter, younger days to pages of nonsense words to show the extent of one person's senility. Johnson (Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry reaches for effect. He tries to demonstrate that the house mother is abnormal and the residents normal by ending the book with the house mother addressing the reader as she strips in front of the residents and engages in bestiality with her dog. An artful curiosity. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-8112-0981-6
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