At first, I could not understand why Patrick McGrath would write a modern book in gothic style. But then I got it: because he's really, really good at it. The Grotesque is dark, witty, and very well written. It makes me think of an Edward Gorey cartoon, come to life. The story is told entirely from the perspective of a brilliant but rather detestable narrator (hence the term "grotesque") who is extremely unreliable. But, he's all we have. And so we follow him as he unravels this twisted little tale of murder, adultery, and other nefarious acts. Overall, it's like a visit to a fun house, a quick trip in the spooky darkness, with lots of distorting mirrors, resulting in more amusement than terror.
Another reviewer described this book as an Edward Gorey cartoon come to life, and I couldn't have said it better myself. It is a very uncomfortable book, dark and macabre. Patrick Mcgrath is such a great writer that he does this with total class. Not for the squeamish. Funny, dark, and satirical. Not for everyone, but definitely my kind of book.