Desperate Characters (Paperback)
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393351101, 192pp.
Publication Date: March 30, 2015
Otto and Sophie Bentwood live in a changing neighborhood in Brooklyn. Their stainless-steel kitchen is newly installed, and their Mercedes is parked curbside. After Sophie is bitten on the hand while trying to feed a stray, perhaps rabies-infected cat, a series of small and ominous disasters begin to plague the Bentwoods' lives, revealing the fault lines and fractures in a marriage--and a society--wrenching itself apart.
First published in 1970 to wide acclaim, Desperate Characters stands as one of the most dazzling and rigorous examples of the storyteller's craft in postwar American literature -- a novel that, according to Irving Howe, ranks with "Billy Budd, The Great Gatsby, Miss Lonelyhearts, and Seize the Day."