November 26th, 2012

So I read ‘The Magnetic Girl’ by Richard Marsh. It is part of ‘The Collected Supernatural & Weird Fiction of Richard Marsh’ from the publishers Leonaur. It is a nice little comdey. There is a supernatural element, but only slightly so. The only issue I have with this book is the punctuations. They forgot most of the periods in it.

Richard Marsh was kind of a feminist I guess. The heroine of our tale is the tomboyish and plain Norah O’Brady. She is the ugly duckling with four pretty sisters and a mother who berates her ‘vulgarity and ugliness’. Men who flock to the house to meet her sisters generally ignore her, except the kind hearted Ben Morgan, whom the sisters call Crooked Ben. After cruelly refusing his marriage proposal and then treated rudely by her family, Norah in heat of pasision wishes she could show others how it feels to be her. She wishes that every man fall in love with her on sight. And as luck would have it, every man begins to fall in love with her from then onwards. She assembles a varied set, from the bread delivery boy, to a waiter to all her sister’s and mother’s suitors to a real live Duke. Her sister Audrey seems to understand she is a ‘witch’ for the day and tells her to go ahead and enjoy her power. And to trample on them for all they are worth. That’s what she sets out to do, even though things do tend to get out of hand now and then. It is a slapstick comedy of all the men crawling after the girl they didn’t notice till then.

In the end there is the loyal friend and a happy ending. The grenadier finds her straight man.