Set in Canada and post-war Yugoslavia, Bluebeard’s Seventh Door begins with the celebrity funeral of Marie, the “Femme Fatale” of Westmount. The funeral is attended by a sensation-hungry crowd because the cause of death is suicide. Among the crowd is the novels main character, a womanizing musicologist. Conspicuously absent is Marie’s maid, Karin, an illegal immigrant who, like Scheherazade, has entertained the musicologist with sex and horror stories of World War II retributions.
The novel’s protagonist is a mass of contradictions: a philandering loner who can’t bear to be alone, yet fears commitment; a social misanthrope entangled in other people’s lives; and a freelance intellectual who makes occasional forays into academia. Most of all and metaphorically, he is Bluebeard, opening “the seventh door of his castle” and facing the women from his past.
Bluebeard’s Seventh Door pokes fun at love, friendship and motherhood, at atrocities of history, success and failure. Author André Vecsei takes a probing look at our society and our souls, with a story that is rich in black humour and profoundly human.
Published May 18 2012
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