Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns

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Odd characters, odd events, and I chuckled throughout. Barbara Comyns’ Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead is described on the back cover as a novel of macabre humour. Originally published in 1954, it is the story of the Willoweed family and the small village in which they live. In June they suffer a flood submerging everything and killing many of the animals. That is just the beginning of this summer’s events. At once inappropriate and bizarre Comyns manages to paint a ghastly (and funny) scene that I would assume most likely only seems ghastly to the reader. There are deaths, suicides, lurking madness, and an outrageous grandmother. What can you expect from a novel that begins: “The ducks swam through the drawing-room windows”.

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2 responses to “Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns

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