Translated by Stokes Schwartz
Edwin Mortens is almost blind, but has good hearing; his wife Erna is hard of hearing, but has excellent eyes. Paralyzed from the waist down, Edwin sits locked in his bathroom all day, every day, trying to liberate his mind from his body. The experiment is going relatively well: nearly all his bodily functions have ceased, his limbs are in a state of decay, and his digestive system is in the process of breaking down. "This body," he says, "is a sewer."
To pass the time, Edwin dedicates his days to chewing gum and screaming at his wife, on whom he is, nonetheless, entirely dependent; while Erna's life, despite Edwin's constant abuse, revolves around her hideous husband. Edwin and Erna live in a state of perfect equilibrium—fueled by habit, cruelty, humiliation, and quite possibly love—until a young maintenance man is called to replace a lightbulb in Edwin’s bathroom, and the “Siamese twins” find themselves embroiled in a new and vicious struggle for power.
Nb of pages 200 p.
Publication Date 2010
Nb of pages 200
List Price $13.95
The fluorescent tube in the bathroom light was burned out when I went in to see him that morning. Naturally, he hadn't noticed anything. When I opened the door, he was sitting in the pitch-dark and chewing gum as usual. The light from the hallway fell diagonally into the room, cutting him in two—I could see the back of his chair and the back of his head, nothing else. The heap of foil gum wrappers on the floor glittered and looked as though it was swirling, a lethargic whirlpool.
Siamese is a difficult and brilliant book, like one of those skulls inscribed "As I am now, so shall you be" that a death-besotted Romantic might have kept by his bedside. The Siamese pairs here are not only Edwin and Sweetie, Edwin and the reader, life and death, but the reader's own present and his or her future.
Siamese is an intricately developed world of claustrophobia, fear, and bitter love. I would like to say it is a hate story but it is not. I would like to say it is depressing but it is not. I would like to say it is an easy read but it is not. It is not all of these things because it is about the vicissitudes of love and relationships, the heartbreak of growing old and drifting apart, the incapability of humans to change the inevitable and the fear at the realization of that, it is about the reality of our lives and of our loves. Siamese forces us to look at our dependency on others, at the conjoined-twins of hate and love, of life and death, of sanity and madness.
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Genres : Fiction : Europe : Nordic
Countries : Norway