Book Review: Funny, absurd confessions of a window cleaner’s husband – Jakarta Post
Thereâ€™s love, and then thereâ€™s strange love. Sexual desire and love sometimes manifest in different, bizarre ways.
But unconventional doesnâ€™t always mean depraved, nor does it instantly equate to being unhealthy or damaging. Love itself is a mercurial beast thatâ€™s as unique as those under its influence; as is protagonist Hectorâ€™s case in David Foenkinosâ€™ The Erotic Potential of My Wife.
After a lifetime as a secret hoarder, the outwardly amiable Hector no longer finds solace in his multiple obsessions, and seeks to rid himself of the mania that dominates his life. This is no mean feat considering heâ€™s amassed a sizeable collection of (among other things) cocktail sticks, electoral campaign badges, paintings of moored ships, rabbits’ feet, staircase ornaments, the first pages of novels, birds’ eggsÂ and hangmen’s nooses.
Following a failed suicide attempt, Hector meets Brigitte, whom he falls desperately in love with. They marry and he vows to become a changed man; his passion for love now firmly outweighing his passion for collecting.
However, old habits die hard, and itâ€™s not long before Hector begins to experience an urge to resume his active amassing. That is until he witnesses Brigitte washing windowsâ€”just one glimpse and life is never again quite the same for Hector. And so begins his new infatuation, a need to document or â€˜collectâ€™ moments spent observing his wife’s movements. Itâ€™s an erotic obsession, a whimsical kink. But itâ€™s also a tender desire that paves the way for a successful relationship.
Intentionally funny, yet equal parts warm and tender, The Erotic Potential of My Wife was French author Foenkinosâ€™ first novel to be translated into English. It continues to be well received by critics both at home and away. The Independent newspaper describes it as â€œfunny, poignant and, in places, unexpectedly romanticâ€, while Le Monde terms it â€œabsurd, funnyÂ and eccentricâ€. (kes)
Click here to read the book.
Title: The Erotic Potential of My Wife
Author: David Foenkinos
Reviewed by: Dave Barton
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.
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