Tripticks Paperback – Jul 1 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
First published in 1972, British author Ann Quin's Tripticks now makes its U.S. debut (her Passages will appear in fall 2002). Disjointed and surreal, it evokes some of the more experimental Beat writers as it tracks its narrator's trip across America. He's followed by his ex-wife and her "gigolo schoolboy" lover; this "pre-punk" journey is interrupted by flashbacks (often of his bizarre, wealthy in-laws), seemingly random lists ("Rococo atmosphere/ diamond dust mirrors/ camel's hair wallpaper") and comic-like drawings by Carol Annand. Quin (1936-1973) was a writer ahead of her time; 30 years later, this book still feels fresh and exciting and should win her some new fans.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The narrator of British novelist Quin's 30-year-old novel, a youngish man being tailed by his "first X-wife" and her "schoolboy gigolo," takes the reader on a long, winding road trip full of potholes and twists. Whether the pursuit is real or imagined is anyone's guess. Quin, an award-winning experimental writer - she published Berg, Three, and Passages before killing herself in 1973 at the age of 37 - gives this novel's raconteur the power to pontificate about everything that's wrong with American society. Personal and political hypocrisy, sexual betrayal, and corporate greed are in ample supply here; not surprisingly, the protagonist finds little hope, and less goodness, in his mad dash from hither to yon. Still, just as the journey veers toward the hopelessly grim, Quin tosses out hefty dashes of mordant humor and caustic wit. This helps, but the novel will be tough going for those who prefer linear tales and recognizable characters. Nonetheless, the book's seemingly drug-addled juxtapositions and stream-of-consciousness monologs will likely appeal to hip literati the world over. The first U.S. release of Quin's third novel is recommended for larger collections. [Dalkey Archive has released two of Quin's novels since 2001; her fourth book, Passages, will come out in 2003. - Ed.] - Eleanor J. Bader, Brooklyn, N.
- - Eleanor J. Bader, Brooklyn, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I first read "Tripticks" in an old Calder edition years ago and was very disappointed, but thought I'd try again with this new Dalkey Archive reprint, but I still find it a struggle to get through. I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from reading "Tripticks", I really like Ann Quin but, personally, I think that with this, the fourth and final novel before her suicide, she got lost. Her previous novels mixed formal experimentation with fine psychological characterization (and a very English sensibility). "Tripticks" is her attempt at a Great American Avant Garde Novel, but it comes across as a rather superficial would-be hip satire at the expense of "straight" American consumer culture. I thought it a very dated experiment, however the cover on this new edition declares "Tripticks" ahead of its time! The blurb says it's "pre-punk" and "prefigures Kathy Acker" etc. So I could be totally wrong. I do like the illustrations though....