So basically this is about a youngish wife of an older and vulgar husband seducing his young nephew and not only cuckolding him, but attempting to dislodge him/murder him. See, basically the same thing.
It’s not really, especially since this novel predates the movies about 60 years and also because that’s an absurdly stupid comparison. Sigh, oh well.
It’s kind of easy to tell that this is an early novel of his. It’s not that it feel incomplete or undone in any way, but it has a kind of sheen of falsity around it. Not like it doesn’t ring true in the general sense of the word, but that it feels wholly contrived in ways his older ones don’t. That might be the film of translation being pulled over it and how that often makes something feel off.
But it’s still a really wacky and funny novel, and the various bawdy scenes throughout did make me laugh. I wasn’t “taken” by it the way I have been with others, but I still really enjoyed it.
It reads like Milan Kundera by way of Iris Murdoch.
Here’s a great section I found:
A purposeful gaiety, a dash of excitement now marked the rains. They no longer drizzled aimlessly; they breathed, they spoke. Violet crystals, like bath salts, were dissolved in rain water. Puddles consisted not of liquid but limpid pigments that made beautiful pictures reflecting housefronts, lampposts, fences, blue-and-white sky, a bare instep, a bicycle pedal. Two fat taxi drivers, a garbage collector in his sand-colored apron, a housemaid with golden hair ablaze in the sun, a white baker with glistening rubbers on his bare feet, a bearded old emigre with a dinner pail in his hand, two women with two dogs, and a gray-suited man in a gray borsalino had crowded together on the sidewalk looking up at the corner turret of an apartment house across the street where, conversing shrilly, a score of swallows swarmed.