‘A short novel with unusual occurrences, weird characters, and a meaningful message.’
The Tiny Wife is a novel by the Canadian author, Andrew Kaufman. (of the hit novel ‘All my Friends are Superheroes’) I came across this novel while randomly hunting for books at a local book store. I had never heard of the author but bought the novel nevertheless. What made the book appealing was its pretty cover depicting the tiny wife floating away with dandelions, and the back cover having a very interesting summary.
The 88 page novel is a short fable about how a robber enters a bank with the intention of stealing other people’s soul and not their money. The thief steals from everyone a sentimental thing which they value. The story begins when the thief does his job and escapes. Bizarre events start occurring and the victims are trapped with no answers.
These funny, yet weird events include the narrator’s wife shrinking day by day tinier than a key and a woman’s lion tattoo coming to life. If this is not bizarre then there’s a woman who turns into a chocolate candy and a husband turning into a snowman. More such unusual events occur in the book which leaves one stumped.
The novel is divided into three parts and can be called an adult fairy tale as well. As all fables and fairy tales have a message, this short novel has one too. A sweet message of how one finds his ‘soul’ back when he is left in his worst situation, and how life and the people around you should not be taken for granted.
It’s not only the novel which is weird, but the characters too. Some characters act normal in these abnormal happenings as nothing has ever happened and some act so strange leaving you thinking they might become a delirious serial killer. The robber itself is one dramatic person wearing a feathered hat and having a penchant for metaphors.
The illustrations done by Tom Percival (yes, even I recalled the Dark Lord and the Great Wizard) are a highlight. The silhouette illustrations will make you think about those silent classic toons with jazz music.
With that said, the novel does not have anything which makes it stand out of the rest. Though one will be left with a meaningful message, there’s nothing in the novel worth treasuring about. It’s the kind of book which you come across randomly, read it, finish it, appreciate its message and then go on reading another book. With the short length, one can finish it under four hours.
But the novel is a good read. The bizarre and logic-less occurrences will remind one of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is no classic, but this feel-good novel has a hidden charm which will lure the readers in and leave them with something to ponder about in the end.
– The Moonshaker