The Pets

Year: 
2008
Publisher: 
Place: 
New York
Author of Review: 

The Pets

This black comedy of errors has its narrator, an unassuming young man named Emil, taking the drastic decision to hide himself in order to avoid Havard, a reckless friend from his past. This leads to Emil being trapped under his own bed for the rest of the novel while his interloper gallivants around his apartment and makes himself comfortable in his life – even hosting a party for Emil’s friends and family.

Caught in the trappings of the social contract, Emil can see no way of re-entering the story. From his vantage point under the bed, he voyeuristically observes and obsesses over the social customs and human behaviour put on display by Havard’s guests, filling their inane chatter with hidden meanings and inuendo.

In opposition to the constraints of this absurd premise, the writing is effortless and clear, engaging the reader with humour and the endearing ordinariness of the characters – especially when contrasted by the amoral and puckish Havard.