The Plight of the available woman and the unavailable man : The Pisces by Melissa Broder
The Pisces is a funny, dark and clever novel from Melissa Broder. If you’re not shy of reading sexual descriptions or disliking the characters in a novel -or more like not finding one single character to like in it- then you should read The Pisces as it is a glorious satire of the modern concept of romance in a world of casual hook ups.
The Pisces follows the story of Lucy, approaching 40, stuck in a long term relationship and a PHD about Sappho, no intention of having children, strolling through life. One day she instinctively dumps her boyfriend.
It was one of those moments when you look at the person you have loved for a long time and everything is wrong with them . There is absolutely nothing right. You cannot believe you were ever captivated by them in the first place.
She looks at her and realises she doesn’t like him, and blurts out that she wants a break up. Shockingly- her boyfriend agrees! Grim days start for Lucy and things get worse when she learns he is hooking up with a new girl. Long story short, she ends up harassing them and moves temporarily to California, to do house-sitting her her sister. Here she will try dating again, find a merman, and make some fish love. It’s all very sad and hilarious at the same time.
Lucy is a selfish bitch. She doesn’t seem to care about other people’s feelings. She acts upon instinct and may be seen as witless but has humour.
Lucy on academics: Scholars were kind of assholes and they actually hated mystery— they detested any inability to fill in the blanks. They were victims, like the rest of us, of the way their brains worked: trying to compartmentalize every fragment of information into a pattern.
On her therapist:
I was oddly intrigued by her positivity in the face of the abyss, as though I were an anthropologist encountering a new culture for the first time.
On men who love Beats:
I liked the Beats for a second when I was fourteen. By sixteen I realized they were mostly just good for picking out a douchebag. There was something about douche bros and the Beats. They just gravitated there.
And she has wisdom too:
… this is why people had friends: so we could see ourselves and our own insanity in them.
I have read some of the reviews and most people complained about the content and language being sexually explicit- but I actually liked that. Dating is no longer about romance or love. A while ago I read an article by a woman, about how fed up and depressed she feels in a ‘just friends, hanging out’ stratosphere of relationships. I liked the way Pisces bravely explored this through Lucy’s eyes. I loved the romance between the Merman and Lucy and how they unintentionally ended up trying to force each other their own world and perception.
I found this funny, bold and sarcastic. 4 stars from me!
Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
Pisces is out today! Happy reading.