Corrupted Humours by Donald Friedman is one of those books that’s so different from what I usually read that I give it a big silver checkmark and plan to reread it in a different season. Seriously — I was on the fence so long about this book. Perhaps I was taken aback by characters who were having so much sex that if not so artfully written–as it was– the book would be close to falling under erotica. As it is, the narrator could easily be an adult Alexander Portnoy. Well written, intriguing. I give it four stars.
The book begins with a porch, or prologue, with examples of entrusting ourselves to others as Snaedecker did when he went into his colonoscopy. Snaedecker was well known for his life-long battle with horrendous intestinal gas. To top it off, the hospital claimed he had failed to prepare properly for the procedure; thus, he exploded, taking others with him.
Our narrator is Owen Berk, a reporter at The Angle. Owen’s boss hires him to investigate Snaedecker’s explosion.
Meanwhile, Owen is writing a book about The Chatelaine, a beautiful, sad, and promiscuous woman married to a self-centered, cheating, and bombastic surgeon. Corrupted Humours includes chapters from Owen’s book between the chapters relating to Owen’s own life and his investigation into Snaedecker’s unfortunate end. I especially looked forward to reading The Chatelaine’s chapters, although the investigation was interesting too.
Throughout Corrupted Humours there are a lot of recommendations for some great classical music. I will be interested in Donald Friedman’s next book and may go back to find his earlier work. Thank you to #NetGalley and to the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.