The creation of Graham Rawle's novel Woman's World is a fascinating story. Rawle wrote a rough draft and then set out to find text in women's magazines printed in the 60's that contained similar language to what he had written. Over the course of roughly five years, he clipped phrases and occasionally images from the magazines and then glued them in place until he had completely replaced his own words. Even the page numbers are unique.
It's actually a shame that the manner in which Woman's World was created is so interesting - - it tends to overshadow the fact that the novel would be excellent even if it had simply been typed on a computer.
At first, reading Woman's World is a bit difficult. The paragraphs start and stop in a disjointed manner. But by the time I had finished reading the first chapter or two, it all made sense. The narrator was mad, and the fractured nature of the prose reflected the narrator's insanity. I'm partial to books featuring unreliable narrators* and was quickly enjoying the story so much that I hardly noticed the constant changes in font and size.
I don't want to say too much of the plot since figuring out what's going on is the best part of the experience. But picture a cross between The Talented Mr. Ripley and the old HBO show Dream On, and you'll get a rough idea of what to expect. Highly recommended. Woman's World is currently 25% off at Amazon.
*The Confessionand The True Story of the Three Little Pigscome most immediately to mind.
*Previously: Graham Rawle's illustrated version of The Wizard of Oz.