Critics have used every possible superlative to praise the works of two-time Man Booker Prize winner Peter Carey. In The Chemistry of Tears, Carey continues to astound with a story of love, death, and human invention. Museum curator Catherine’s affair comes to an abrupt end with her married lover’s untimely death. Denied outward grief by the nature of their relationship, Catherine retreats into isolation. Delving into notebooks more than a century old, she feels a growing connection to Henry Brandling, who in 1854 gave life to a mechanical creature.
©2012 Peter Carey (P)2012 Recorded Books
Great! How exciting to write a negative review of a book others seem to love. And how annoying! The main character is someone I would never want to know. She is a woman who has been the lover of a man for thirteen years but thinks no one knew of their relationship. Catherine is egotistical and manic. For a "mature" woman to behave with the poor judgment she displays toward one who is kind, over and over again, is rephrehensible. Catherine acts like a baby. She drinks, snorts cocaine and feels sorry for herself. Frankly, as a woman, it was easy to tell that the author was a man. Catherine is a caricature of how a man might see a woman in such a position. And, if that is not bad enough, another woman is added to the plot and she is equally crazy and unlikeable. Follow that with a bizarre secondary story about a mechanical contraption and surely you will understand the title. No? Well, that's what is supposed to be so innocuous, right? Hardly. Avoid at all costs or prepare to be irritated.
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