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The Tiny Wife Paperback – 3 Jan 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: The Friday Project (3 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007439237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007439232
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 217,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Clever. Brilliant. Funny. Moving.' CECILIA AHERN

‘It blew me away!’ MARIE PHILLIPS, author of GODS BEHAVING BADLY

‘A little book with a big impact’ THE LADY

About the Author

Andrew Kaufman was born in Wingham, Ontario. His first novel, All My Friends Are Superheroes, was a cult hit. He is also the author of The Waterproof Bible, The Tiny Wife and the short story collection Selected Business Correspondence. Kaufman is also a film-maker and radio producer. He, for now, lives in Toronto with his wife and two kids, Phoenix and Frida.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"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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By Lovely Treez TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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By Peter Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Sept. 2011
Format: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this tiny book yesterday; in fact The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman is so tiny that I read it all during a session on the exercise bike at the gym. And it was so enigmatic that I read it a second time when I was pedaling again today. Although the book opens with a real situation - an armed man (in a purple hat) walks into a bank, fires into the ceiling and tells everyone to lie on the floor - before long it's apparent that if Kaufman was an artist he would be Salvador Dali rather than Rembrandt; the book becomes a series of fables after each hostage hands the robber the most precious item they have with them and subsequently weird and sometimes wonderful things happen to them. The fate of Stacey, the wife of the title who starts to shrink, is the central theme of the book but half a dozen or more small parables are cleverly interwoven into it - the author has crammed a great deal into eighteen short chapters. The book could be open to several interpretations and I'm sure that this was the author's intention but I was left (quite appropriately on the eve of Valentine's day) with an overriding message of the importance of love. This is a book that you'll either love or hate and you may take some time to decide which but, after the second reading, I'm in the love camp.

Please see my profile for my interpretation of star ratings.
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