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Larry Lockridge
The Woman in Green
The narrator of THE WOMAN IN GREEN repeatedly insults his readers of 2050 and wishes he were instead addressing readers of 2025, when somewhat fewer were boneheads. Born under a curse at the exact moment of the 9/11 attacks, he looks back on two remarkable utopian experiments-one religious, the other secular-in early 19th-century New Harmony, Indiana. He then looks ahead to his grandfather Sam Coverdale's visionary effort in the millennial year 2000 to create a new "Boatload of Knowledge" on the banks of the Wabash. His cast of characters bears an unsettling resemblance to Mary Shelley's circle of Frankenstein intimates. What could go wrong? From a macabre scroll found under a labyrinth to a dramatic fiasco on the world stage to a heady balloon ride to freedom, these characters plus one prescient turtle hang on together as friends and lovers, narrowly averting suicide within the ranks. Along the way, a Byronic character merrily cites strong evidence, hitherto overlooked, that Shakespeare himself was a suicide. Against the odds, they emerge with lasting romantic bonds and a vision that the enigmatic Woman in Green will someday prosper on Planet Earth.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.25 out of 10


Plot/Idea: The Woman in Green is a delightfully esoteric romp packed with literary and philosophical allusions that explores no less than the entirety of human existence. Plot takes a backseat to questions raised about the meaning of life, or lack thereof; the possible virtues of suicide; and whether or not redemption lies in the cards for the human experiment.

Prose: The Woman in Green is a work of absurdist literary fiction to be savored on a sentence-by-sentence level. Readers will discover more than a few brushes of brilliance on every page.

Originality: Lockridge's novel, the third in a series, practically ensnares readers through its narrator's pointed observations about human nature. Readers will be hard-pressed to remember a recent work as delightfully funny or inventive.

Character/Execution: It's easy to get lost in the novel's cacophony of voices and meandering nature. The idealistic characters, who discover an ancient scroll foretelling world's end, emerge as distinctive and idiosyncratic amidst the lyrical lunacy of the storytelling.

Date Submitted: August 28, 2023