Bluebeard- Kurt Vonnegut
The fictional autobiography of Rabo Karabekian, an artist and one eyed war vet prone to becoming a hermit until the widow Circe Berman steps in and badgers him into writing.
I loved this. It was a surprisingly quick read mainly because I just kept giggling all the way through it so you know it's a brilliant satire. Vonnegut usually amuses me but few of his novels really make me laugh. I think this one is a bit underrated to be frank.
Karabekian is a guy who bounces between the present (and his fear of the widow Berman) and his past (as the patron of the Abstract modernist art movement). He is a very human character: bitter, cynical, crotchety old man who has a secret in his potato barn. You spend most of the novel hoping that Circe will/will not succeed in irritating him enough into revealing it before he dies.
This review is rubbish, I can't capture why this particular novel is absolutely splendid. Was it the wonderfully sparse but evocative language? Was it the rich irony of a technically skilled artist funding Abstract modernism? I don't know but I recommend this one to everyone.