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All Shall be Well; and All Shall be Well; and All Manner of Things Shall be Well

by Tod Wodicka

A strange mix of the offbeat and the commonplace, this has an unusual flavour. Burt is into medieval re-enactment but his life falls apart when his wife becomes terminally ill. I found Burt a very frustrating and pathetic character, but also one who you can sympathise with. Unexpectedly moving.

Extract

... people who didn’t know of me and my medieval garb tended to think that Lonna was taking her hospitalized grandfather out for a walk. ‘They’re looking at your nose,’ she would whisper at me. ‘They think your tunic is a hospital gown. Burt, start barking or something.’ She had no interest in the CTLR or medieval history as I had none in her legal profession or her sexual conquests, but sometimes it felt as if we were siblings, and at other times it felt odder than that: like two survivors living amongst the ruins. Perhaps it was our ability to find these ruins so funny, so perfectly absurd, that connected us.

Parallels

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
 

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