Annabel and Lee are married; Lee and Buzz are brothers. A quirky threesome, they have set up a household on the fringes on university life in the late sixties. Their hermetic existence is filled with drugs, sex, alchohol, intensity, and madness; their relationships with one another are haunting and complex.
Carter's compelling tale carries echoes of Poe and Bronte into the very modern world of artists' flats, psychiatrists' offices, and generational conflicts. It is ultimately a tale of the search for loyalty and love in the midst of emotional starvation.
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This is pure Carter - rich, flowing, dark, compelling. But what it lacks is the lushness that is apparent in many of her other works; the vivacity and headiness of Wise Children, for example, is largely absent. 'Love' is a stark, bleak, demanding book. Like most of Carter's works, it draws you in, but when it spits you out, you're left drained and reeling.I cannot say I loved this book, nor that I enjoyed it. It is well-written, penetrating and sometimes even humorous. But it is a painful, dare I say harrowing, book. Anyone who has been in a loving yet damaging relationship will find unwanted past memories relived in the three main characters. The love triangle that is the subject of this story is not of the kind you might find in your regular fiction fare; it lays bare all the ugliness and weakness of its characters, and dissects all the ways in which a person who loves you can tear you apart - and vice versa.For its power, for its well-conceived plot and its incisive look into the human mind, I would give this 5 stars. But for the discomfit it inflicts upon the reader, and for its grinding, wearying penetration into the darker, uglier side of love, I'm forced to give it 3.