“The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman” by Angela Carter is my official introduction to Carter, all thanks to the Sofia SFF Reading Club at Greenwich. I’m blown away by the quality of writing and the ideas presented. I wish this book had found its way in my hands at least 10 years ago. It would have shaped me into the writer I am today a lot faster.
Anyway, here are some choice bits from the novel:
“I see her as a series of marvellous shapes formed at random in the kaleidoscope of desire.” – page 6
“Consider the nature of a city. It is a vast repository of time, the discarded times of all the men and women who have lived, dreamed and died in the streets, which grow like a wilfully organic thing, unfurl like the petals of a mired rose and yet lack evanescence so entirely that they preserve the past in haphazard layers, so this alley is old while the avenue that runs beside it is newly built, but nevertheless has been built over deep-down, dead-in-the-ground relics of older, perhaps the original, huddle of alleys which germinated the entire quarter.” – page 12
“At certain times, especially in the evenings, as the shadows lengthened, the ripe sunlight of the day’s ending fell with a peculiar, suggestive heaviness, trapping the swooning buildings in a sweet, solid calm, as if preserving them in honey.” – page 17
Honestly, I think I bookmarked half the book. The prose and truths contained within are of the most significant quality.