The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman

By Angela Carter,

Book cover of The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman

Book description

Desiderio, an employee of the city under a bizarre reality attack from Doctor Hoffman's mysterious machines, has fallen in love with Albertina, the Doctor's daughter. But Albertina, a beautiful woman made of glass, seems only to appear to him in his dreams. Meeting on his adventures a host of cannibals,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

An evil mastermind has taken control of the city, using huge contraptions to envelope it in hallucinations that have plunged its inhabitants into a land without reason. Just what powers Doctor Hoffman’s generators are revealed at the end and I always think about it. I read this years ago and it has always stuck with me. Written in 1972, Carter’s book is a warped premonition of today’s fractured mind. Rereading it has been difficult, I’m reminded once again of Maryanne Wolf’s work—how much easier it was for me to deep-read weird books like this when I was younger, before my…

The door to Angela Carter’s imagination swung wide open, broke off its hinges, then flew away during the writing of this one. Never without meaning or serious intent, yet always surreal, fantastical, wild, and magical, Angela Carter helped me to realise how I wanted to write. Her anarchic spirit, compassion, and desire for a better world shine through as she pokes civilisation with a phantasmagorical finger.

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