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3.5 

Mrs. Caliban

By Rachel Ingalls
Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

In the tradition of The Shape of Water, this “perfect novel” of a housewife who begins a passionate affair with a sea monster is “something of a miracle” (The New Yorker).

It all starts with the radio. Dorothy’s husband, Fred, has left for work, and she is at the kitchen sink washing the dishes, listening to classical music. Suddenly, the music fades out and a soft, close, dreamy voice says, “Don’t worry, Dorothy.”
 
A couple weeks later, there is a special interruption in regular programming. The announcer warns all listeners of an escaped sea monster. Giant, spotted, and froglike, the beast—who was captured six months earlier by a team of scientists—is said to possess incredible strength and to be considered extremely dangerous.
 
That afternoon, the seven-foot-tall lizard man walks through Dorothy’s kitchen door. She is frightened at first, but there is something attractive about the monster. The two begin a tender, clandestine affair, and no one, not even Dorothy’s husband or her best friend, seems to notice.
 
Selected by the British Book Marketing Council as one of the greatest American novels since World War II, Mrs. Caliban, much like Guillermo del Toro’s film The Shape of Water, uses an inter-species romance to explores issues of passion and loneliness, love and loss—and in its own wryly subversive way, it blends surrealism, satire, and a strong female perspective. A literary cult classic, it “skillfully combines fairy tale, science fiction, and ho-hum reality” (People).

“[An] ethereal, masterfully written book.” —Entertainment Weekly

 “If you consume only one piece of art about a woman sleeping with a sea monster this year, my advice is to make it Mrs. Caliban.” —Literary Hub

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125 Reviews

3.5

About Rachel Ingalls

Rachel Ingalls (1940–2019) grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and moved to London in 1965. Theft, her literary debut, won the 1970 Authors’ Club First Novel Award. Her 1982 novel, Mrs. Caliban, was named one of the twenty greatest American novels since World War II by the British Book Marketing Council. She wrote fourteen novels and short story collections, including Times Like These, Binstead’s Safari, and I See a Long Journey.

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