Ok, I chose this book for the funny title but I was soon hooked by the story. The main character, a struggling writer, is also struggling with life in general. He has trouble leaving his failed marriage and trouble committing to a new relationship. The book is full of quirky characters that remind me of those found in books by Anne Tyler or John Irving. And like those characters, they're funny and eccentric, but also very human and complex. I love a book that can both make me laugh and cry, and this one did.
Lafayette Proulx is affectionately called Laf by his friends, and with good reason. As the likeable narrator of John Dufresne's terrific new book Love Warps the Mind a Little, Laf has an eye for the comic elements that can be found in the everyday events of life, and an armchair philosopher's sense of detached bemusement. Laf quits his day job and decides to pursue his dream of writing fiction, a move precipitated by the breakup of his marriage and followed by a torrent of rejection slips. He moves in with his hesitant girlfriend Judi, and for a time, the story sets into a domestic story of befuddled affection and incidental affairs. Suddenly, Judi is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and from here on out, Love Warps the Mind a Little becomes a stunning love story, sweetly moving in its description of love amid tragic circumstances. Its honesty and insight are wonderful and the comic elements are never lost. The highly acclaimed author of Louisiana Power & Light has met the high expectations of his critics and readers alike in this wonderful novel.
When Love Warps the Mind a Little opens, Lafayette Proulx has quit his day job, left his wife, hauled his dog and his Royal portable across town to Judi Dubey's house, and set out, at last, to be a fiction writer. But life is complicated. Laf spends a lot of his writing time staring out the window at his dog, Spot; Judi's dysfunctional family is unraveling; rejection letters from editors are coming in; and Judi, of all people, has sent him onto the marriage counselor's couch to sort out his angry feelings about his wife. To make matters worse, Judi is diagnosed with stage IV cancer. Judi - she will break your heart and be remembered as one of the most lovable characters in American fiction - fights a heroic battle against the disease that becomes the backdrop for an exploration of illness, how it limits and expands our capacities for desire and passion, and love, its mystery and transparency, as Judi and Laf struggle to find the memory that will comfort, the truth that will redeem.