Angela Carter, 1987, Penguin Books
Reading a book by Angela Carter can be compared to having a dream where you are reading a book by Jeanette Winterson. Actually, that’s not strictly true. Carter’s books have a strong dream logic, but also a disturbing undercurrent of emotion that makes me, as the reader, feel like I’m tottering on the edge of sanity.
Love is no exception. Ostensibly a simple tale of a dysfunctional relationship, it is simultaneously detached and emotionally intense. It’s difficult to connect to the characters, and yet they are strangely compelling.
Dreamlike? Maybe it’s more like an unsettled awakening. Hours after putting the book down, I felt like I’d been wrested suddenly from a dream, which had quite evaporated except for a few shadows of inexplicable but profound dread that still flicker in the corners of my vision.