Wednesday, February 24, 2016

5. Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber

My wife picked this up and enjoyed it with some reservations.  It was thin and seemed like an important book in a sub-genre of fantasy.  Also Fritz Leiber (I need to reread his Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories).  It is the story of a successful professor in a small, stuffy northeastern university in the late 40s who discovers that his wife has been using magic to protect him and boost his career. He is a rationalist and believes she is deluded and the book is about the mistakes he makes because of this and his slow realization of the truth. It actually gets pretty intense and all the spell details and magic explanation are well constructed and fun.  The setting too, with the various flawed faculty and their malevolent wives juxtaposed against the free spirit that is his wife and his own independence, is instantly sympathetic.  The ending was a bit pat and deflated some of the import and horror that the narrative had built up.  It's a short and enjoyable read, and lives up to the reputation touted by the publisher.  Recommended.  (heh heh, my wife recommended Conjure Wife.)

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