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The Conjure Wife: 01/17/07

The Conjure Wife

Ian enjoys Fritz Leiber's fantasy novels so we own a good number of them. I think he started buying them back in 2003 or 2004 but so far I haven't read an of Leiber's work. I've been swamped under my own "to be read" pile and BookCrossing commitments to spend time on one of my least favorite genres. However, when I saw a copy of Dark Ladies, a two book volume of what now-a-days would be classified as "paranormal fiction" by Fritz Leiber, I had to grab the book and give it a read.

So far I've flown through the first of the two stories, The Conjure Wife, a novel originally published in 1937. This story of a young and up and coming professor and his liberal minded wife reminded me of what would happen if Christopher Moore decided to rewrite The Witches of Eastwick (John Updike) and The Stepford Wives (Ira Levin) as one novel. Save for the mention of some outdated technology (like phonograph needles) the novel reads like a modern paranormal fiction.

I absolutely loved this story and managed to tear through it in a couple of hours. It is part romance, part satire, part mystery and part horror. All these pieces work together beautifully to tell the story of a skeptical husband learning that magic is real and his wife suffering the recoil of magic for personal gain.

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