The Wimbledon Poisoner

The Wimbledon Poisoner

by Nigel Williams

From the author of "Witchcraft" and "Buttons in the Marsh" comes this black comedy about an unsuccessful solicitor who decides to murder his wife, with devastating results.

  • Series: Wimbledon
  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.54
  • Pages: 320
  • Publish Date: 1994 by Faber and Faber
  • Isbn10: 0571173667
  • Isbn13: 9780571173662

What People Think about "The Wimbledon Poisoner"

Wife: "What are you reading?" Me: "The Wimbledon Poisoner.

In fact, the only way that Henry can see to deal with his problems is to poison his wife. Henry's apologetic conversations with victims, his desperate attempts to stop the events he has put in motion and his hysterical address at a neighbour's funeral give the book an air of suburban farce.

That was the first time I read the Wimbledon Poisoner, not that long after I'd moved here.

Very little makes me laugh out loud when Im reading but he does constantly.

'Surely, my love,' said Henry lightly.

Williams is at his best when dissecting this breed - e.g. this description of the main character, Henry's, wife helping his daughter practice the piano: "When he child reached the bottom of the first page the woman darted forward, black hair swinging across her face, for the kind of effortful page turn that would have upstaged Paderewski himself. 'I turn the page!' The child struggled gamely on to page two but seemed to suspect that, after a page turn of this quality, anything else was liable to be an anti-climax." And this of Henry himself: "To most of those who knew him, Henry was just eccentric enough to be terrifyingly normal, and even his carefully calculated bitterness, the quality of which, on the whole, he was most proud, had become, in early middle age, a Nice Dry Sense of Humour." The early days of romance with wife "they had both known in those early days that something was going to happen. Henry's wife's bohemian friends "sat in the front room reading aloud from the work of a man called Ian McEwan, an author who, according to Elinor, had 'a great deal to say' to Henry Farr." The story builds well on this initial premise - ordinary suburban Englishman decides to turn poisoner, and the difficulties Henry encounters in actually practically following this through: "The problem with this poisoning business was that the preliminary research was horribly incriminating. As an aside, the edition I read contained an odd authors note that appears to belong to an another Williams novel altogether.

The Wimbledon Poisoner by Nigel Williams 10 out of 10 The Wimbledon Poisoner is not just a hilarious, fabulously entertaining read, but also a solid, marvelous work of art indeed, the author mentions in the novel the fact that comedy can be as serious and relevant, if not in these exact words, format as tragedy with frequent references to the Russian classic characters, their guilt, penchant for confessing their crimes murders in the case of Raskolnikov which is not the style of the hero of this glorious book, Henry Farr. At the funeral, Henry Farr is assigned the role of the star speaker and manages somehow to deliver an emotional speech that makes many in the audience cry, in spite of the fact that he uses fuck a few times, he rumbles for a long time, talks about being one with the deceased, feeling the pain and other such expressions that to the reader appear jocular, if not hilarious, as are the descriptions of Elinor, who walks as a gunslinger, moving her hips, a ten feet tall and eight feet wide woman At the ceremony following the last rites, henry has brought a punch he has made with many bottles of Yugoslav Riesling, milk, other components, but most importantly what he thinks is the deadly Finish them off chemical cleaner that the Wimbledon Poisoner is sure would exterminate the woman he has not managed to poison, making him instead eliminate a friend, albeit a racist, incompetent one. There are a multitude of scenes, descriptions and characters that cause mirth, if not outright laughter, when reading this outstanding book, one of them would be the moment when Farr and Rush meet inside the house of the departed dentist, to try and collect his ashes, for different reasons we can assume, Henry trying to eliminate incriminating evidence, whereas the inspector trying to analyze the remains and thus prove foul play.

Undeterred he has a go again at the wake of his best friend with even more horrific results as this time there are three deaths and yet again not one of them is his wife.