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Love Paperback – 3 Jul 1997

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Love + Several Perceptions (VMC) + Shadow Dance (VMC)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (3 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099594218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099594215
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Angela Carter was born in 1940. She lived in Japan, the United States and Australia. Her first novel, Shadow Dance, was published in 1965. Her next book, The Magic Toyshop, won the John Llewllyn Rhys Prize and the next, Several Perceptions, the Somerset Maugham Award. She died in February 1992.

Product Description


"An excessively stylish tale about a fatal love triangle in provincial Bohemia..The novel and its afterword form a fascinating study, an erstwhile aesthetic object unravelled into realism and commitment" (Guardian)

"Carter observes her characters with a cool detachment as if they were specimens on a slide..She catches acutely the dying throes of the love generation, when Swinging London had run to seed" (New Society)

"Angela Carter has language at her fingertips" (New Statesman)

"Whatever her subject, Angela Carter writes like a dream - sometimes a nightmare" (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

'A stylish tale about a fatal love triangle in provincial Bohemia' Guardian

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
Angela Carter, in this bohemian novella, presents a contemporary love story in which the central characters are locked in a battle, the weapons of which are control and understanding. They are a pair for whom there can be no connection on anything other than a physical plateu - and even this connection is unstable, can be with-held or lost. Carter explores the notion of identity and ambiguity as she weaves her characters into an ever-more complicated tale of ambivalence and reliance, she poses the question, "In a relationship, where does one being end and the other begin, what happens to the individuals who become co-dependant?". Love, she suggests, is not the romantic vision we hold esteemed but, often, a cruel and injurious game in which there are no victors. Love is an excellent insight and a thrilling read - another gem from the Carter legacy.
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By Anne Marie on 23 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting move away from magic realism to delusional reality. The objective review of relationships and responses was stark and heavily interwoven with immature expressions of relationships, and then, sexuality.
I am drawn to Carter's work as I am interested in the borderline space of real/ imagined and reality. This is a delicate tightrope exploration and allows the reader to divert, and come back from that line.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lesley Cleary on 24 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Prompt service,good price and no problems with the transaction at all, although I would have liked the cover picture shown and not an alternative.
I would shop with this company again.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cara Dovecott on 17 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bought because it's my book groups current read. Realised once started that previous book group has inflicted same author on my with 'The Magic Toyshop'. Groan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Gothic love triangle 11 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's hard to pidgeonhole Angela Carter's "Love" into a specific genre. It has all the elements of a melodrama - love, sex, madness, violence, even a hint of incest - but the entity created by the talented Carter isn't remotely the cheap and tawdry sexploitation feast you might expect from such seemingly unpromising material. If I had to categorise this slyly mythical tale of a deadly love triangle between/among two half brothers, Lee and Buzz (one blonde and fair, the other dark with traces of foreign blood) and a girl, I'd call it a gothic love story. With great skill, Carter quickly sets the tone for the novel with an opening scene that is simply unforgettable. The picture of Annabel, crouching in the dark under the open skies, is an early hint that the cosmic powers will play their part in shaping the lives of our three protagonists. Carter seems to like writing about lowlife in 60s England - her debut novel "Shadow Dance" is another example - but in "Love", she gives the subject an off centred spin to create something unique. You'd be hard pressed to find a sympathetic character in this chilling but compact short story. They're nearly all dirty, scruffy, drunk and vile. Annabel's parents don't count because they're middle class and even they're helpless in saving their daughter. The waif like Annabel (shades of Ophelia) isn't the victim you think she is. Mentally frail and otherworldly to the point of self absorption, she has no real grasp of reality and wreaks havoc on the lives of the menfolk around her. The gorgeously written tattoo scene is especially memorable and symbolic of the nature of her relationship with Lee. It's all about possession and control, aspects of love which the brothers have no ability to respond to or cope with. You know that it can only lead to tragedy. Haunted by the memory of their mother who lost her mind and gave them over to the care of their aunt, Lee and Buzz are as debauched as their friends and as out of control as Annabel. Carter is an incredibly gifted writer. Her prose is imaginative, colourful and sparkling and always a pleasure to read. This book is a wonderful read. It comes highly recommended.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Almost her first, practically her best 1 Dec. 2000
By Karen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Gorgeously painful to read, impossible to forget, and inexplicably unknown, "Love" is about a crazy trust fund girl who wrecks on the shores of Bohemia, about two brothers trying to emerge from the shadow of their fundamentalist Mairxist childhood, about the inevitable punishments of heterosexuality, and since this is Carter, about the intimate connections between madness, memory, fiction, and the lies we tell ourselves to get through the day. It's not a waste of time.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very strange, original, a bit too nuts perhaps 19 July 2006
By Richard R. Horton - Published on
Format: Paperback
Love, from 1971, is a very short novel (about 40,000 words), on the face of it pretty mundane. It's the story of a doomed love triangle (of sorts) in London in the 60s. The setting is nominally ordinary, there are no explicit fantastic elements. But the telling is decidedly weird, heightened, so that it has a fantastical feel. Which is only increased by the strangeness of the characters.

Lee Collins is a young schoolteacher. His wife, Annabel, is something of an artist. His half-brother, Buzz, is a bit of a lowlife. All ordinary enough. But we soon learn the back story. Lee's father died when he was an infants, and his mother became a prostitute, then bearing Buzz to an American soldier (who Buzz thinks was an Indian). Their mother went insane when Lee was 11 or so, and their radical aunt adopted them, among other things giving Lee his new name (actually Leon, after Trotsky). After the aunt's death Lee struggled through university while Buzz drifted. Lee ran into Annabel at a party. She was an upper middle class girl who had just tried suicide, and somehow Lee ended up taking her home, where she just sort of stayed. He begins sleeping with her a few weeks later (without her seeming to care much one way or the other), and sometime later they are more or less forced into marriage when her parents discover them.

Buzz eventually shows up and moves in himself, and he and Annabel form a strange alliance, mostly against Lee. Lee ends up in an affair, driving Annabel once again to attempt suicide. Lee kicks Buzz out and brings Annabel home again, but it is not long before another crisis drives Annabel once again to a suicide attempt.

It's all extremely weird, mostly because all the characters are just plain nuts. I remained interested, but not really involved, basically because I didn't believe in any of these people. It's not that they weren't self-consistent, but they just didn't seem real. Still, very strange, quite original.

The edition I read included an afterword in which Carter described her characters' later lives. It's mostly satirical in tone, and I thought it quite ill-judged, actually, a mistake.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Dreamy, Hallucinatory Story! 19 July 2013
By Sunset Rose - Published on
Format: Paperback
What is it about Angela Carter exactly? She has the incredible ability to make a story set in the everyday world with everyday circumstances take on a hallucinatory, dreamy quality. I don't think there is another writer in the English language who can write stories which are so reminiscent of dreams.

Love begins with a moment of terror experienced by Annabel at seeing the moon and the sun in the sky at the same time. The sense of time in this story is distorted but it is about the emotional tug-of-war between three individuals: Lee and Annabel who are husband and wife and the third point of their triangle is made up by Lee's brother, Buzz. Lee is the most normal of the three. He is charming, easygoing, caring. Annabel is artistic, lost in her thoughts, and unable to properly distinguish between reality and the world of her mind. Buzz is a strange, almost animal-like character who lives in his own world. The three of them live in a flat together and perhaps due to the focus on Annabel's perspective, this short novel takes on its hallucinatory quality.

Angela Carter, as always, is a beautifully, highly imaginative and skillful writer. There are few writers around with Ms. Carter's absolute command over the territory of the imagination.

As a lovely final touch, my Vintage edition of Love has an Afterword by Angela Carter which lends the ending a comical 'where would they be now' spin that makes for interesting reading.

For sheer imagination and precise writing, I give this story five stars!
Three Self-destructive People in a Menage a Trois 9 Jun. 2009
By Bonnie Brody - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is one of Angela Carter's earlier works and though it is not as adept nor as well-written as her other novels, it is still a work of beauty and well worth reading.

It is the story of a menage a trois. Three freaks in the 1960's are entangled in a relationship that is mutually destructive for all of them. The triangle includes a husband, his suicidal wife, and his very bizarre brother.

Carter writes a modern-day post-script to this early novel, putting the characters in a contemporary perspective. This is a nice touch to an otherwise limited novel.

The story is rather basic. A frail ephemeral hippy-waif despairs of her husband's infidelities. She loses her mind and takes her life. Her life is interwoven with her husband's drug-crazed, caped brother. All three are trapped in a Gothic-like environment of their own creation.
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