Infernal Desire Machines of Dr Hoffman by Angela Carter

a review by Anonymous, in the genre(s) Science Fiction. Book published by Penguin in 1973

Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman is a science fiction novel by Angela Carter.

It seems some editor thought War of Dreams is a better title for the Americas than The INFERNAL DESIRE MACHINES OF DOCTOR HOFFMAN which is the UK title...stupid editor!! My copy says "WAR OF DREAMS" but I am choosing to ignore it. bleaaa..

I can't say enough about this great book. I could fill up a book bubbling over this thing, but I will pull my horses to make these simple hopefully coherent snorts.

It's such a treat each sentance and every word. I rolled it over in my brain before digesting it. Let's say Shelly, Vance, Lautremont and Doyle wrote the Holy Mountain movie scriptryptich to that effect might come near where this book is. Dr. Hoffman (like Albert Hoffman, who discovered LSD ?) has been altering shadows and later full blown reality with his war on 'the City'. He has turned what we know upsidown with his bizarre subconscious manifestations of rape and death. Reality police take people into custody to check if they pass for real. If it burns it's real!! The orgasm releases erotic energy that can stop clocks.

Everyone is employing the subconscious to realize warped versions of reality with the help of Dr. Hoffman's science. I dont really get a sense of a time period until a radio is mentioned or later on, helicopters. The science is not developed in here except in a strange passing intresting creation, reminding me of Poe or Shelly, but the characters are the main menu on this wonderful book.

Protagonist Desiderio goes from hunting Dr. Hoffman with his boss the important 'Minister' via clues, this madness must be stopped by any means. Later he is just trying to stay alive and out of jail with a mish mash of the wierd: The River People who paint their faces and have dead fish as dolls with their primordial verbal history. The Erotic Traveler who perverts the flesh using nature as an inspiration at his side; the syphillic faced Lafluer. The Acrobats of Desire who juggle their own limbs. Greek god centaurs whose well explained developed religion involves bowel movement (everyone can make the sign of god). Animal, root and meat faced prostitutes. It goes on. Angela Carter had a direct tap on the English language and her creative squirmbrain (unfortunately she's dead now) with this morsel and she really went nuts with it. It rallies the thoughts in directions I never thought possible with the endless aquisitions of more and more dementia as plot/anti-reality developement.

This hidden gem of a book deep in dead trees I had never heard of. A friend picked it up randomly, read it, and then she threatened me with jagged eye slicing fish gills over my nose, and abstract geometric curse words until I read it. Glad I was easily threatened like this!!! I really owe my gill assassin some homage. Thank you Sharkface!

A great follow up to my Jeter read "INFERNAL DEVICES", this one really is a masterpiece.

Written on Thursday 2nd May 2002 by .

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Infernal Desire Machines of Dr Hoffman, a novel by Angela Carter

Book Details

  • Infernal Desire Machines of Dr Hoffman
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • ISBN:
  • Published:
  • Pages: 224
  • Format reviewed: Paperback
  • Review date: May, 2002
  • Language: English
  • Age Range: N/A