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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical and macabre
"The robbery was not without consequences. The consequences were the point of the robbery."

When a man in a purple hat walks into the bank with a loaded gun, it's not money he's after but an item of sentimental value from each victim. In the days following this odd robbery, weird things start happening. A tattoo comes alive, a woman discovers she's made of...
Published on 7 Nov 2011 by Curiosity Killed The Bookworm

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Too metaphorical
This book is based on metaphors. Was recommended by a friend, who knows I like arty books without much of a plot. However this book took it to the extreme. Everything is a metaphor. All the characters in the book who are affected in the robbery change in different ways (the wife shrinks, one girls tattoo comes to life etc. etc.) This books takes metaphorical language to...
Published 1 month ago by Sarah Corcoran


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical and macabre, 7 Nov 2011
By 
Curiosity Killed The Bookworm (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tiny Wife (Hardcover)
"The robbery was not without consequences. The consequences were the point of the robbery."

When a man in a purple hat walks into the bank with a loaded gun, it's not money he's after but an item of sentimental value from each victim. In the days following this odd robbery, weird things start happening. A tattoo comes alive, a woman discovers she's made of candy and our narrator's wife starts slowly shrinking.

The Tiny Wife is a tiny book, really more of a novella but it's a wonderful, surreal little fable. It manages to be both whimsical and macabre at the same time with an underlying message about taking your life for granted. Not only that, but it's illustrated too, in a shadow puppet style.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Novel Novella, 17 April 2012
By 
Lovely Treez (Belfast, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tiny Wife (Hardcover)
The Tiny Wife is a thing of beauty, 80 pages of carefully wrought words enhanced by sharp, silhouette illustrations. Not a single word is wasted in this contemporary fable with echoes of Hans Christian Anderson, the Brothers Grimm and even a little pinch of Italo Calvino.

Our story opens in contemporary Toronto where a thief carries out a bank robbery with a difference - he asks each customer for the object which is of most sentimental value to them. It transpires that they have also handed over part of their soul and each victim experiences rather unpleasant side-effects. The narrator's wife, Stacey, starts shrinking with the worry that she will disappear forever, one woman's husband turns into a snowman, a lion tattoo on a woman's ankle comes to life, another woman turns into candy.

Somehow, these characters who seem to have stepped straight out of a travelling sideshow or Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, retain a whimsical, magical air which lifts them out of the truly macabre. Each reader will take something different from this box of delights, even a moral lesson not to take others for granted if you wish to be educated! A quirky, idiosyncratic read for those who like a little touch of magic in their everyday lives.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tiny classic, 6 Sep 2011
By 
Peter Lee (Manchester ,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tiny Wife (Hardcover)
During a bank robbery the thief asks those present to hand over their most precious possession, and in return he takes a portion of their soul. In the pages that follow those involved find their lives take a bizarre turn: a woman finds her husband has become a snowman; a baby defecates money; a tattoo of a lion comes to life and pursues its owner; and the "tiny wife" of the title is a woman who starts to shrink, gradually at first, then in bigger steps. Will she eventually disappear?

This wonderful book is undeniably short - 88 pages in a small, "Ladybird" book-sized hardback with simple but effective line drawings - and could easily be read in an hour or so, but you'll want to savour the brilliantly surreal story. Filled with moments of hilarity and incredible sadness this tiny book is an absolute gem, and for me is up there with Kaufman's classic debut "All My Friends Are Superheroes". Granted, the whole shrinking idea has been done before in the likes of "The Incredible Shrinking Man" and a book I remember as a child ("The Vanishment of Thomas Tull" - would love to read that one again!) but the bizarre plot in this book is entirely unique, as is Kaufman's priceless sense of humour and the emotion he wrings from such a short tale.

My favourite book of 2011 so far, and unreservedly recommended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The Tiny Read, 6 April 2014
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This review is from: The Tiny Wife (Paperback)
Not much too it, both storywise and contents, read it very quickly as there isn't much actual writing and thought the story was a bit uncomplicated and bland.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great read, 30 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Tiny Wife (Kindle Edition)
great classic read of a book.. All Andrew Kaufmans books are very good and i would recommend reading them all
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too metaphorical, 24 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Tiny Wife (Paperback)
This book is based on metaphors. Was recommended by a friend, who knows I like arty books without much of a plot. However this book took it to the extreme. Everything is a metaphor. All the characters in the book who are affected in the robbery change in different ways (the wife shrinks, one girls tattoo comes to life etc. etc.) This books takes metaphorical language to the EXTREME!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The robbery was not without consequences. The consequences were the point of the robbery. It was never about money., 16 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Tiny Wife (Kindle Edition)
A robber holds up Branch 117 of the British Bank of North America in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. There were 13 people inside when the thief entered. The thief wore a flamboyant purple hat and brandished a handgun.

"I demand only one thing from each of you and it is this: the item currently in your possession which holds the most sentimental value."

Each of the 13 handed over their most significant, memory-laden, sentimental object; watches, diamond earrings, a calculator, photographs, a dog-eared copy of The Stranger, a paystub, an ornate door key and so on. When he'd collected an item from everyone in the room, the thief declared:

"It has come to my attention that the vast majoirty of you, if you even believe you have a soul, believe it sits inside you like a brick of gold.

But I'm here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. Your soul is a living, breathing, organic thing. No different than your heart or your legs. And just like your heart keeps your blood oxygenated and your legs keep you moving around, your soul gives you the ability to do amazing, beautiful things. But it is a strange machine, needing to be rejuvenated. Normally, this happens simply by the doing of these things, like a car battery recharging by driving.

When I leave here, I will be taking 51 percent of your souls with me. This will have strange and bizarre consequences in your lives. But more importantly, and I mean this quite literally, learn how to grow them back, or you will die."

After the robbery strange things start to happen to the victims. A lion tattoo leaps off the owner's leg and proceeds to chase her across the city, another's husband turns into a snowman, yet another wakes up to find herself made of candy and a little baby begins to fill its nappy with cash. The wife referred to in the title wakes each morning to discover she is shrinking by ever-increasing increments. If she doesn't figure out a way to repair her soul she will completely disappear before the month is through.

Part modern fairy tale, part fantasy, I thoroughly enjoyed this little fable and lost myself in the quirky tales of how the different characters were affected by the robbery. It is immensely creative, imaginative, charming and endearing. It is most definitely about the things we value most, the fears that can stop us from achieving our goals and the path of relationships over time; of souls diminished and love replenished.

The Tiny Wife is a pure gem of a story. It is heart-wrenchingly, soul-clenchingly good; so much so that I immediately purchased all of Andrew Kaufman's books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 25 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Tiny Wife (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this book, the problem about downloading on kindle is you don't get to keep the books you really like. I would enjoy re-reading this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Small book, big impact, 23 Oct 2013
By 
S. Shamma "Suad" (Abu Dhabi, UAE) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tiny Wife (Paperback)
I have been a huge fan of Andrew Kaufman since the very first book I picked up for him "The Waterproof Bible". Since then, I've been on a constant hunt for his books, every bookstore I enter, I go straight to the K section hoping to find his name. Unfortunately, his books don't seem to be very popular over here. I found All My Friends are Superheroes at a book fair, and I devoured that in one sitting, until a few months ago anyway when I found both The Tiny Wife and Born Weird in one of the bookstores I frequent. I rushed to buy them without even reading the synopsis.

Given its size - which fits the title very well - I decided to start with The Tiny Wife first, another of his books that I devoured in one sitting. Kaufman has a knack for writing magical realism novels, and I do love a little bit of magic in my books.

The tale begins with a bank robbery, unlike any robbery you'll ever hear about. This one involves a flamboyantly dressed thief, wearing a purple-feathered hat, who walks in demanding not money but the most sentimental, precious object from all those present during the robbery. After he receives what he wants, he informs them all that he has just taken 51% of their souls, and they must fight to get it back, or else they will die. Those involved begin to experience the most bizarre happenings, some worse than others. A woman finds her husband has turned into a snowman, and he melts into nothingness, a woman's tattoo of a lion comes to life chasing her for days, a baby literally excretes money, and a wife with a husband and child, who has given her calculator to the thief as her most prized possession, begins to shrink in precise increments.

Her husband is the narrator of this wonderfully told, 88 page, novella. The wife, who loved to calculate every single thing in her life, now finds herself calculating how long she has before she shrinks into nothing, ceasing to exist. We discover that she has been facing problems with her husband for quite a while, and has forgotten how to be happy. As she becomes smaller and smaller, her own infant becomes a hazard to her and she finds she has to depend on her husband more than any other time in her life, as he carries her weight around (literally).

Short, it may be, but the lessons learned from this story are deep and true. We learn what happened to the other victims, as well as the Tiny Wife, and we find out in the end who succeeded in making their soul whole again and who didn't.

My favourite part of the book is a conversation that occurs between the husband and the thief:

Thief: "Perhaps one of the hardest things about having kids is realizing that you love someone more than your wife. That it's possible to love someone more than you love your wife. What's even worse is that it's a love you don't have to work at. It's just there. It just sits there, indestructible, getting stronger and stronger. While the love for your wife, the one you do have to work at, and work so very hard at, gets nothing. Gets neglected, left to fend for itself. Like a houseplant forgotten on a windowsill."

When you decide to read this book, I highly recommend you put a good hour or two aside with your favourite beverage, because you won't be getting up until you've finished reading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner!, 21 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Tiny Wife (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely, positively loved this book. A bit difficult to get your head around at first, but could not put it down
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The Tiny Wife
The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman (Paperback - 3 Jan 2013)
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