Adrian Turpin

Memory Sticks

Strange Bodies

By

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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.

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