Book Title: Observatory Mansions
Author: Edward Carey
Format: Paperback | 368 pages
Publication Date: 05 Feb 2002
Once the Orme family's magnificent ancestral estate, Observatory Mansions is now a crumbling apartment complex, home to an eccentric group of misfits. One of them is Francis Orme, who earns his livelihood as a living statue. When not practicing "inner and outer stillness," Francis steals the cherished possessions of others to add to his private museum. The other tenants are equally as odd: his mother and father, who haven't interacted in years; a man who continually sweats and cries; a recluse who prefers television to reality; and a woman who behaves like a dog. When Anna Tapp arrives among them she stirs their souls, bringing long forgotten memories to the surface-and arousing fears that this new resident intends to provoke a metamorphosis.
Reminiscent of Beckett, Ionesco, and Millhauser but startlingly original, Observatory Mansions is also unexpectedly beguiling. Upon its publication in England, it was a literary sensation, and John Fowles called it "easily the most brilliant fiction I've seen this year."