The Tiny Wife Paperback – 3 Jan 2013
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'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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
"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.Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
For me this book was a load of rubbish. I forced myself to finish it, why I shall never know!!Published 6 months ago by Bookworm
This is a glorious book. It is more of a short story than a novel, but I thought it was an absolute gem. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
'The Tiny Wife' was a revelation to me.
I have always disliked short stories. There it is, out there. Read more
The underlying premise is sound, but the execution leaves something to be desired. The framing device takes a somewhat disturbing view as to the nature of the self, the background... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Hereward
I found it a bit affected and that it didn't appeal to an adult reader with any cynicism at all.Published 16 months ago by Lottie Lupin
An excellent book that is an easy read, well worth the money, and arrived within days of ordering. Would definitely recommend to a friend, or anyone who is looking for something... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Paige Ellis