Liz Jensen: My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time

Harlot Charlotte finds herself catapulted from late 19th-century Denmark to 21st-century England in Liz Jensen’s odd fantasy. Charlotte is a mildly unreliable narrator somewhat given to giddiness and entirely given to elaborately structured sentences:

When Franz finally departed for a place he referred to mysteriously a the Halfway Club, I resolved to confront Professor Krak as soon as I saw him again, & was he planning to use me & Fru Schleswig as guinea-pigs? And if so, he had no right to make assumptions of any sort about what we would & would not do, unless a very tempting financial offer was involved! And then for the first time in my life, I enacted what I later learned was a strong tradition amongst the inhabitants of that country & and time in which I now found myself: I trained my eyes on the silent flickering televiison screen, across which passed a stream of images, by turns boring, sugary, violent, & plain incomprehensible, & fell asleep.

Aside from its fantastic premise, My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time is a novel which refuses to commit itself fully to any of the genres in which it could perhaps be placed: it’s not twisty nor dramatic enough for adventure, not uproarious enough for broad comedy, not incisive enough for satire, not bawdy enough (despite its title) for erotica, nor sentimental enough for romance (though it comes nearest the mark on this last; Charlotte’s heart is, inevitably, electro-plated). Instead it’s a little bit of all these things, which I found formed an enjoyable, if not exactly compelling, muddle.

needs more demons? perhaps.

Published by therealsummervillain

likes: equality, making things easier to use, biking, jangle, distortion, monogamy dislikes: bigotry, policies that jeopardize people, lack of transparency

3 thoughts on “Liz Jensen: My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time

  1. If the sample you quote is any indication of her writing style, I would find it by turns boring, sugary, violent, & plain incomprehensible, & fall asleep.


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