Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor…

The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (Penguin Modern Classics) (original 1972; edition 2011)

by Angela Carter

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6741114,200 (3.82)25
Title:The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (Penguin Modern Classics)
Authors:Angela Carter
Info:Penguin (2011), Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle

Work details

The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman by Angela Carter (1972)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 25 mentions

English (9)  Swedish (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Now this is an interesting novel, albeit not a great one. The book starts off in a city where the titular machine is picking away at the seams of reality, and through those openings pour illusions given form. The opening raised my expectations, as the story of a bureaucrat trying to work in a city being colonized by figments of imagination and where reality is in flux is a fascinating concept. Instead we are only in the city for a brief time before the bureaucrat is sent off on a mission, which sends him to circuses and pleasure houses, and riding on sleighs and riverboats. It's a bizarre tale, not without its beauty, but ultimately it felt like the best opportunity was missed and what was left is more style than substance. ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
My shortest review ever: pervy Kafka

Alright, I lied. Not about the pervy Kafka part, but about the length of the review. I owe more explanation. Carter's book messes with reality. It messes with gender roles, gender in general, kind of bestiality...or at least gets halfway there technically I suppose. Covers homosexuality and gang rape (in a few different instances) and was just really a weird book. Now with all the instances of sex and deviant sex (not judging all instances of sex noted above, but yeah...definitely some), it wasn't overly graphic, more just uncomfortable in an artsy way. Lolita level uncomfortable maybe?

Anyway, the book was well-written and pulled it off until the end. The end...oh, the end. It was as if she had to head out for a trip and she knew she'd be gone a while but she was on deadline. So she jotted down a quick wrap. The conclusion didn't do the rest of the work justice, hence, my rating reflects that. ( )
  Sean191 | Jun 24, 2013 |
Angela Carter is often cited as a very well-thought of and influential author. I can see the technical mastery of her writing but I just can't enjoy it very much myself. It is just too dense and too unenjoyable for me. A lot of very bad things happen and no good things, and most of the people are pretty terrible. The general idea of a war against reality is very intriguing, and I wish I could have enjoyed it more than I did. ( )
  g33kgrrl | Aug 8, 2012 |
i thought this book was too big for its britches and fundamentally ill-suited to being a novel. the whole underlying notion is interesting, but seems to require a visual component to give it the heft the author tries to afford it with words unnecessarily long and cumbersome. ( )
  arouse77 | Jun 27, 2008 |
Started this, found it very good, but too dense for my attention level. I'm saving it for my trip abroad, when the density in such a thin book will be a great time/weight ratio.

It was *very* good. At times bizarre and meandering, but always mysterious and deep. ( )
  aneel | May 10, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Angela Carterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perria, LidiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Les lois de nos désirs sont les dés sans loisir.

Robert Desnos
(Remember that we sometimes demand definitions for the sake not of the content, but of their form. Our requirement is an architectural one: the definition is a kind of ornamental coping that supports nothing.)

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
Imagine the perplexity of a man outside time and space, who has lost his watch, his measuring rod and his tuning fork.

Alfred Jarry, Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustrall Pataphysician
First words
I remember everything.


I remember everything perfectly.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

The story of a war fought against the diabolic Doctor Hoffman, who wanted to demolish the structures of reason and liberate man from the chains of the reality principle for ever.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
84 wanted
3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.82)
1 2
2 5
2.5 2
3 26
3.5 16
4 32
4.5 4
5 30

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141046686, 0141192399

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,692,547 books! | Top bar: Always visible