After Claude

After Claude Harriet is leaving her boyfriend Claude the French rat That at least is how Harriet sees things even if it s Claude who has just asked Harriet to leave his Greenwich Village apartment Well one way

  • Title: After Claude
  • Author: Iris Owens
  • ISBN: 9781590173633
  • Page: 329
  • Format: Paperback
  • After Claude

    Harriet is leaving her boyfriend Claude, the French rat That at least is how Harriet sees things, even if it s Claude who has just asked Harriet to leave his Greenwich Village apartment Well, one way or another she has no intention of leaving She will stay and exact revenge or would have if Claude had not had her unceremoniously evicted Once moved out, Harriet is notHarriet is leaving her boyfriend Claude, the French rat That at least is how Harriet sees things, even if it s Claude who has just asked Harriet to leave his Greenwich Village apartment Well, one way or another she has no intention of leaving She will stay and exact revenge or would have if Claude had not had her unceremoniously evicted Once moved out, Harriet is not about to move on Girlfriends patronize and advise, but Harriet only takes offense, and it s easy to understand why Because mad and maddening as she may be, Harriet sees past the polite platitudes that everyone else is content to spout and live by She is an unblinkered, unbuttoned, unrelenting, and above all bitingly funny prophetess of all that is wrong with women s lives In a surprise twist, she finds a savior at New York s Chelsea Hotel.

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      Published :2020-06-07T04:13:32+00:00

    One thought on “After Claude

    1. Hadrian

      Hm. That sure was something.The first two-thirds of the novel concern our narrator, Harriet, and how she came to break up with her boyfriend. I quote the first line; "I left Claude, the French rat." And it becomes more hilarious from there. Harriet is selfish, cynical, lacks all perspective and self-awareness, and is a queen of snarky assholes. It is darkly hilarious to see her collide with her friends, her handsome superficial French beau, and all ease who barge against her world.The last part [...]

    2. Jacob

      Well, that was interesting. After Claude is about a slovenly messed-up lunatic who makes Humpty Dumpty seem well-put-together, yet is a joy to read, at least until that last act that takes a sharp turn into what-the-eff territory. Having recently arrived home from a long European stay that ended in crisis, then kicked out of friend Rhoda-Regina's apartment for being too difficult, Harriet has now overstayed her welcome in boyfriend Claude's bed by about six months and is facing eviction. Which s [...]

    3. Christina

      This was an enjoyable read, you have to love Harriet, at least if you're a masochistic feminist like myself. At first she seems like a smart strong woman, but to my disappointment she isn't one. Anxious to read another by Owens. Some lines I liked are; "Claude pretended not to hear me, an act of male intelligence that never fails to impress me", there's nothing that warms a girl's heart like a smile on the face of a sadist", and "I have learned never to be amazed at what men will resort to when [...]

    4. Rick

      I’d not heard of this book, first published in 1973, or writer but found it browsing in a bookstore’s section reserved for New York Book Review books and was seduced by the blurbs and publisher. For example, from Leonard Michaels, “I haven’t read a more wittily offensive serious novel…” Truth be told it doesn’t disappoint. Harriet, the anti-hero of this acerbic comedy of mis-manners is a train wreck of a character and our very unreliable narrator. But her unreliability as a narrato [...]

    5. Peter Landau

      AFTER CLAUDE by Iris Owens may be the funniest book I’ve ever read. I’m not one for cliches, but she makes me stupid with praise: I didn’t want to read the book too quickly because I didn’t want it to end. Owens only wrote one other novel, out of print, and prior to AFTER CLAUDE had published a handful of erotic novels under a pseudonym (also the name of AFTER CLAUDE’s hilariously caustic narrator). I’m searching them all out for, sadly, Owens died a number of years ago so I can’t [...]

    6. Daniel Polansky

      Half a year later and this one still stings when I look at it. The absolutely relentlessly nasty recollections of a shallow, meaningless Manhattanite and the endless injuries she does herself and others, presented with extraordinary bitterness. I’ve been thinking of this one a lot lately, for one reason or another. Suffice to say it’s sharply written and devastating, but also I suspect too mean for most readers. I don’t think its misogynistic, exactly, but if a man had written something wh [...]

    7. Ben Loory

      this book was incredible. i tend to have a problem with first person stories, as the voice they're told in stays the same throughout and hence the change never really feels complete; they always make me feel really claustrophobic and irritated by what generally amounts to a glamorization of idiosyncrasy. not that i don't tend to enjoy them in the beginning; in the beginning first person is always fun. it just tends to wear on me after a while. but this book, holy shit, it just plows on through a [...]

    8. maven

      Initially, I thought the writing style was interesting and I wanted to see where the story would go. However, I ended up not wanting to finish it because it was really not very good.The narrator is clearly a troubled individual, self-centered and yet dependent on others, but it wasn't funny or interesting. A lot of the things she said or thought or did were offensive or twisted in some way. I couldn't really find much redeeming about her, especially with all the uses of the word "fag" and other [...]

    9. TinHouseBooks

      Lance Cleland (Workshop Application Magnet): Look, nothing is going to make you read After Claude by Iris Owens more than her author bio, which is as follows:“Iris Owens (née Klein) (1929–2008) was born and raised in New York City, the daughter of a professional gambler. She attended Barnard College, was briefly married, and then moved to Paris, where she fell in with Alexander Trocchi, the editor of the legendary avant-garde journal Merlin and a notorious heroin addict, and supported herse [...]

    10. Rachel Glaser

      I hadn't heard of Iris Owens until the night Mike Young gave me this book, and a few pages in I knew she was a legend. Here is the oddness of Purdy and Jane Bowles, and the dreamy inner life of Lore Segal's Lucinella, but this book stands on its own legs, led by the sassiest narrator I've ever met. A bit much at times, and offensive to many, this gem has the most exciting sentences I've read since Gaetan Soucy's The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches. The descriptions in this book occasiona [...]

    11. Tosh

      What an odd book to read while in New York City on a 'sort of' vacation. "After Claude" has a leading character that is someone from hell to know. Truly a horrible person bent on total destruction. Cringe-worthy reading moments doesn't stop the reading train here. It was a hard book for me to put down. I don't even know if I like it or not, but there is a touch of the Dorothy Parker poison in its Manhattan make-up. I'm happy to go through this trauma.

    12. Michael

      Compulsively stomach-turning story of a parasitic, snobby, lazy, contemptuous, bitch of a heroine who abuses everyone around her while maintaining that she herself is the victim.This is a richly original comic story that I find myself quoting over and over again.And I think I am the only one who remembers the TV commercial for it from my childhood. I wanted to read it at age 10. I finally did.

    13. D.L.

      Harriet is like a loose kidney waiting for a body to be transplanted into. And this is the story of her finding a suitable body. She is a weak kidney who runs on acid wit and Marlboros. Its the kind of book only a woman who was briefly married to an Iranian prince before going to France to direct pornography could write.

    14. Gabe

      "It occurred to me that if I smeared lip gloss all over Maxine's squat, soft body, I could probably force it down the incinerator."

    15. Laurel Beth

      Another book that could have been spoiled by the dust jacket, but I'm conscientious now. Don't know anything, be ignorant and let it all spill out across the pages.I'm writing this on my phone from South Carolina. My phone suggests after "don't" I'll type "beget".But the book jacket says, "At last, out of the chorus of wounded, depressed, and suffering female voices so frequently heard in our current 'women's books' comes the outraged and outrageous voice of Harriet."First edition apologies. The [...]

    16. Danielle McClellan

      After discovering a group of remaindered NYRB paperbacks last week, I have been on a delightful, unexpected reading jag. "After Claude" is sharp, acerbic, and gallows-funny in its character study of a complicated woman who has become emotionally paralyzed and longs only to lie in bed all day watching television game shows and snacking. When her relationship with a French documentary film producer ends with a bang, she moves into full crisis mode. She has alienated everyone around her and her las [...]

    17. Wendell

      AFTER CLAUDE looked like just another confessional memoir of the 70s in the wake of the women's rights movement, but a mere page into it will reveal something entirely different and hilariously revelatory. Harriet, a twenty-something slacker a good couple of decades before those became a "thing," fights perpetually with her snooty French photographer boyfriend Claude as they live in New York City. Claude eventually becomes exhausted by the constant bickering (or can't deal with Harriet's earthy, [...]

    18. Lorri Steinbacher

      I really liked this book. The protagonist is hilarious and the least self-aware character I've ever read. She is the kind of person who would be great as a friend in very small doses and only as long as you were willing to tiptoe around her idiosyncracies. You weren't won over by her, you weren't really rooting for her, you just wanted to see what was going to happen to her next. The Rhoda/Regina scenario that started the whole affair with Claude was SO bizarre that you had to wonder if the righ [...]

    19. Laura

      This novel is delightfully profane, a jujube set in advance of political correctness yet staunchly in the middle of the cultural wars that spawned it. Yes, the language is off-color, and certain episodes would shock a libertine, but it's all worth the blush. A portrait of a desperate mind, After Claude follows recently repatriated Harriet (she got kicked out of France) as she freeloads first off her former best friend Rhoda-Regina and then her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend Claude, "the French rat." He [...]

    20. Irene

      I recently had houseguests from Europe stay with me for four long nights and three long days. It was hellish for me. I won't go into what gross habits they had, what social graces and good manners they lacked, or ponder any further why people would keep their luggage in a guest bathroom, so I'll just say that having the houseguests invade my home, my sanctuary while at the same time reading this book, I could not muster any admiration for Harriet. Not even a little.In fact, not only did I NOT em [...]

    21. Featherbooks

      I filed this one under depression after spending a few hours with the darkly funny, pathetic, fanciful, deluded Harriet in this 1973 novel. After she has been moved to the Chelsea Hotel by the more-decent-than-I-would-have-been Claude, we encounter a setting smacking of primal scream therapy: "trapped groans filled my throat" as her "guide" Roger chants "Let the demons out." But Harriet's demons are not to be corralled as she collapses yet again in wait for a man, any port in the storm to salve [...]

    22. Khris Sellin

      Started out funny, then you realize she's only got one track: bitter and acerbic. It gets old really quickly and devolves into Confederacy of Dunces style ickiness. Then for the last 10 or 20 pages it gets good. Then it's over.This book was written in the '70s and it may be a product of its time (hence the similarity to Dunces), but it's just not funny. The "jokes" are just depressing. Harriet is completely self-unaware, and yeah, I get that's supposed to be part of the "humor," and she's not su [...]

    23. Elge

      Hilarious but offensive! You can't be too PC and like this book. Kind alike Confederacy of Dunces.As an aspiring writer, the thing I found most fascinating about this book is how you come to quickly realize the narrator is totally delusional about herself and the way Iris Owens communicates that without ever saying it straight out. A friend who is a real writer informed that this is called an "unreliable narrator" and it's hard to do.

    24. Linda

      This book seems painfully dated, it takes sarcasm for wit, and unless I am completely misreading it, seems like one of those appallingly misogynistic works that women themselves occasionally turn out. I really don't know why it merited a reprint.

    25. Jim

      When I first started reading this book I knew very little about it other than here was another woman writer who people—i.e. some list on the Internet—said I should be reading. Within a few pages I wondered why. There seemed little here but not-especially-funny wisecracking and bitching. And I can say I took much of a liking to the book’s protagonist, Harriet. After a few chapters it started to dawn on me that she wasn’t as witty as she thought she was being nor as clever nor as likeable. [...]

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