The Critic Magazine

Gulliver’s travails

CAN EXORBITANT LOVE TURN YOU into a misanthropist? Perhaps it can, if the underlying character is right. Henry Darke, retired public school teacher, widower, former cuckold, and possibly worse, is a case in point. Darke’s novelist wife, Suzy, has recently died from a painful kind of cancer.

At the end, distressed by her suffering and desperate to ease her imminent death, Darke laces a cup of tea with a mixture of the drugs he has been prescribed for a heart condition. As he hoped, Suzy does not wake up from this final sleep, and Darke assumes that it was his amateur pharmacology that did the trick. He explains what he has done to his daughter Lucy and

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