Worst Fears

Worst Fears From the hilarious opening to the satisfying final conflagration Fay Weldon s Worst Fears is a taut scathing revelation of the nature of marital intimacy When Alexandra returns from her stint on the

  • Title: Worst Fears
  • Author: Fay Weldon
  • ISBN: 9780871136824
  • Page: 404
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the hilarious opening to the satisfying final conflagration, Fay Weldon s Worst Fears is a taut, scathing revelation of the nature of marital intimacy When Alexandra returns from her stint on the London stage to find her husband mysteriously dead of a heart attack and her female friends ominously invested in smoothing out all the complications of the tragedy, she begFrom the hilarious opening to the satisfying final conflagration, Fay Weldon s Worst Fears is a taut, scathing revelation of the nature of marital intimacy When Alexandra returns from her stint on the London stage to find her husband mysteriously dead of a heart attack and her female friends ominously invested in smoothing out all the complications of the tragedy, she begins to be suspicious At first she attributes this to grief, then to paranoia But she soon finds herself starting to crack, crank calling her friends psychiatrist, attacking people with kitchen chairs and breaking into their houses, searching furiously for evidence to confirm her husband s rampant adultery and her own worst fears A snappy whodunit of the heart of Weldon s best novels yet The New York Times Book Review With a dash of murder mystery and a wink at Isben s grim tales of ruined marriages, this splendid and spiteful novel shows Fay Weldon to be in as fine form as ever The Philadelphia Inquirer A hundred years hence, if people can still read, Weldon s books will likely have the unblunted edge of Jane Austen, an unsentimental Baedeker guide to sexual manners in an ill mannered age Fay Weldon breaks taboos like tape at a marathon, and she hasn t stopped running yet Los Angeles Times.

    One thought on “Worst Fears”

    1. Among the criteria that in my mind define a great-book; do you find yourself quoting it later in your head in relation to a situation in your own life? It's been three or more years since I picked up Fay Weldon's "Worst Fears" from the free book bin at my local supermarket. And ever since, when my life is in seeming crisis, I automatically start making a "Worst Fears/Best Hopes" list in my head. I've even gone so far as to make them in my journal for the ocassional heart breaking or mind numbing [...]

    2. Fay Weldon is a very good writer and this book is her typical territory. It's full of black humour and we aren't allowed to be sentimental about any of the characters, not even Alexandra, the monstrously wronged wife. One reason why Fay Weldon's characters are so unpleasant - which is offputting to some readers - is that I don't believe the story is intended to be taken literally, rather, it is a morality tale. Love depends on trust, and trust makes us vulnerable. Alexandra deserves sympathy whe [...]

    3. Fay Weldon’s novel Worst Fears starts and finishes with bereavement. It examines how a woman deals with simultaneous loss and revealed betrayal. Alexandra is an actress, if I might be excused such gender specificity. She is also quite successful. She is currently appearing in a London West End production of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. She is therefore away from home a lot.Her husband Ned has just died, apparently discovered on the floor of the family home by a visitor. It was a sudden and mass [...]

    4. " is well known, women and birds are able to see without turning their heads, and that is indeed a necessary provision, for they are both surrounded by enemies." - James Stephens, The Demi-Gods.This is a quote that Fay Weldon could easily take to heart. She is well acquainted with the problems women face in the world, and the contribution men make to those problems. But one of her distinctive themes is how women, too, shaft one another. The men in Worst Fears are, to varying degrees, self-servin [...]

    5. More like a series of fade-ins and fade-outs. Many insights and the narrative emerging over time again. At the beginning was a paragraph that made me feel Alexandra's loss, and yet it was meant to have been the problematic one. But since I think one doesn't feel comfortable sleeping close, let alone enjoy it night and day, the book ceased to work for me when that was shown as a simile for the osmosis of marriage being self-destructive. The moment the "real" grieving began, I no longer felt a thi [...]

    6. This novel was randomly on a bookshelf in my office, so I decided to give it a go. Without reading the back cover or anything, I just jumped into it and decided to see what it was like. What a big mistake; the only reason I finished this book is because it was short. If it had even a few more pages I would have just put it back.This book is about a woman's worst fears (get it!?) coming realized after her husband died. Apparently she was living a lie and blah blah blah, oh no, the emotional pain [...]

    7. A small book to fit in the luggage. The main character was a theatrical actor and the plot did get very dramaric. It certainly made you question the quality of your relationships.

    8. Favorite Passage:"worst fears: that God was not good. that the earth you stood upon shifted, and chasms yawned. that people, falling, clutched for one another for help and none was forthcoming. that the basis for all things was evil. that the beauty of the evening, now settling in a yellow glow on the stone of the cottage barns, the swallows dipping and soaring, a sudden host of butterflies in the long grasses in the foreground, was the lie: a deceitful sheen on which hopeful visions flitted mom [...]

    9. So, your spouse dies. Suspicions then arise that he, she, wasn't faithful. Would you seek out the truth or would you let go, since all is done and over with? No need to think much because our heroine has made her decision, she wants to know, and plunges head first in a tangle mess of lies, betrayal, sexual jealousy, self-deceipt and that God-awful stalwart of modern love-emotional correctness. It's a manic ride, serious and funny, and the 200 pages just burn through your fingers. There's not any [...]

    10. So bitchy and mean it at times took my breath away. Was it supposed to be funny? Because laughing at women having a hard time with the whole being a woman thing is only funny when they are resisting and winning and not when they are earnestly trying to be housewife and mother and getting hammered for it. Also, was there supposed to be some critique of materialism in all that crap about antiques? Because I missed it. It also bugs me when the servants are all thieving incompetents and the 'foreign [...]

    11. What might you fear following the unexpected death of your husband. That is exactly what Alexandra faces as her husband's death brings to light the facets of her husband's life she didn't know about. Quirky and funny (and sorry mom, some explicit language). A quick and pleasurable tale that somehow made my own life seem quite normal. I loved the audio version that brought all of those oh-so-British characters to life.

    12. Favourite quotes:'The Doctrine of Persimony is a version of Occam's Razor. Both suggest that the simplest solution is likely to be true; or the most useful' P.62'Some people could get away with acts of malevolence if she didnt pay the fare she got caught. A policy of pleasamnt talking, optimistic outlook and easy blindness to inconvenient fact had get throughd now Ned was dead and she was left with the consequences of her own emotional idleness' p.153

    13. I found this last month in a second hand bookshop in Hungerford having first read it a couple of decades ago. It is still capable of amusing and distressing at the same time - wry humour while dealing head-on with bereavement and betrayal. If past happiness was based on false premises, is it still real?

    14. Read this because several friends recommended her work. I found it slight, rather clever - maybe, hmm, sadly amusing? Which I guess is something better than I was half expecting. I find much “modern” fiction so bleak and concerned with nasty people. At least this one wasn’t anything to do with incest. :>) Not especially keen to read more of her stuff, but wouldn’t actually avoid it either.

    15. Fay Weldon has an interesting writing style which makes this not too quick a read even though it was a short book. I enjoyed this book despite the fact that none of the characters were particularly likable or admirable. I wanted to find out the hook at the end so I kept reading

    16. Very good overall. Took a star off each for the meanness of the women and the fact that this whole book about women revolves around a man. I'm keen to read more Weldon, she writes very well - with real wit.

    17. Everyone in this book is annoying. I kept thinking that some interesting realization was about to happen, but, it never did. The next book I just finished by the same author, however, makes me think that all these annoying characters were meant to be funny. I didn't think they were.

    18. I have always like the way Fay Weldon writes. I like her characters, even when they are unlikeable (e.g. Jenny). This book is a good read, and I can't even fully describe why. The relationships between all the characters is just very interesting.

    19. Very well done novel-- this second time around, I enjoyed it less; maybe because I remembered many of the spoilers? So seemed less humorous and more depressing.

    20. Love Fay Weldon. She's so ironic and snarky and fabulous. This was a domestic psychological thriller, but her humor and cheekiness kept the outrageousness of it light.

    21. Only finished it because I was invested in reading it, and it was short. Didn't like any of the characters.

    22. I finished it. Another book where the characters start to bore me. Some were over the top and some were just so mean and unhappy. Yet the plot was interesting enough to keep me going.

    23. Weldon is such a consistent writer, you never have to worry about whether you made the right choice when you pick one of her volumes at random.

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