Adrian Turpin

Memory Sticks

Strange Bodies


Faber & Faber 380pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

If Jonathan Coe and Iain Banks collaborated in rewriting Mary Shelley, it might look something like Strange Bodies. Marcel Theroux’s fifth novel is filled with crazed Russian scientists, locked psychiatric wards and a reincarnated Dr Johnson roaming the streets of 21st-century London. But it’s also the tale of a rather grey, middle-aged academic surveying the ruins of his marriage. Gothic melodrama collides with bathetic English comedy: Strange Bodies is a Frankenstein’s monster of a story. Fortunately, Theroux delivers enough energy to jolt it into life.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,
    • The author 'seethes with contemptuous indignation at the shiny junk that an unregulated construction industry dumps… ,
    • 'The physical courage he demonstrated as a young man [...] gave way to intellectual power; radical thought, gifted… ,
    • 'While Jane Austen didn’t perhaps achieve the full recognition that she deserved in her lifetime, even then she out… ,
    • 'All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And t… ,