Synopses & Reviews
Arcan (Exit) challenges the reader to examine the uncomfortable and offers a glimpse into the minds of the obsessed in this novel from 2007 one of four works written before the author's 2009 suicide. The characters are unlikable but their dreadfulness makes them no less compelling. Julie O'Brien Charles Nadeau and Rose Dubois are neighbors in a Montreal apartment building. Charles and Rose are a couple and then Charles and Julie are a couple and then the triangle dissolves into something even messier. As Rose and Julie compete for Charles's attention they submit themselves to plastic surgery and sexual humiliation until their desperate actions change even the shape of Charles's desire. The captivating nature of the novel comes not from the plot but from the inner lives of these broken repulsive people. Arcan's prose is imperfect and her descriptions are occasionally clichéd but her understanding of the self destructive nature of a particular type of woman a woman who is "convinced she would destroy herself" but would "continue to accept continue to try" makes up for those flaws. Though the subject matter may be difficult for some readers the novel is worth the discomfort. (May) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."