Andrew Kaufman, Fiction
Comments 6

The Tiny Wife

The Tiny Wife - Rating


A robber charges into a bank with a loaded gun, but instead of taking any money he steals an item of sentimental value from each person. Once he has made his escape, strange things start to happen to the victims.

A tattoo comes to life, a husband turns into a snowman, a baby starts to shit money. And Stacey Hinterland discovers that she’s shrinking, a little every day, and there is seemingly nothing that she or her husband can do to reverse the process.

Following on from reading All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman, The Literary Boutique book club continued to read another Kaufman novel: The Tiny Wife. Like his first novella, The Tiny Wife is short, quirkier and all-out bizarre. Throughout the hardback copy, the book also displays some delightful silhouette illustrations by Tom Percival.

I’m here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. Your soul is a living, breathing, organic thing. No different than your heart or your legs. And just like your heart keeps your blood oxygenated and your legs keep you moving around, your soul gives you the ability to do amazing, beautiful things. …When I leave here, I will be taking 51 percent of your souls with me. This will have strange and bizarre consequences in your lives. But more importantly, and I mean this quite literally, learn how to grow them back, or you will die.”

Let’s be honest first, Andrew Kaufman’s novels are just plain weird. Is it too weird perhaps? With each character that’s introduced to us, they all eventually face an unusual circumstance. From a woman who discovers she’s made out of candy to a baby that excretes money. The Tiny Wife is a very peculiar short story. Yet somehow it works. It sort of makes sense.

Eight days after the robbery, Grace Gainsfield, who had given the thief a small pressed flower that she used as a bookmark, had woken up in cold wet sheets and discovered that her husband had turned into a snowman.

Most stories like to contain morals, in other words, lessons to be learned; something significant for the readers to gain about themselves. For example, children’s literature contains morals for them to understand and grow in life. In The Tiny Wife, characters are confronted with dilemmas, relationship problems and learning to face fears and accept struggles in life. All things that readers can relate to. Kaufman certainly likes to use moral lessons within his novels. In a way, that’s what makes him a great writer.

Perhaps one of the hardest things about having kids is realizing that you love someone more than your wife. That it’s possible to love someone more than you love your wife. What’s even worse is that it’s a love you don’t have to work at. It’s just there. It just sits there, indestructible, getting stronger and stronger. While the love for your wife, the one you do have to work at, and work so very hard at, gets nothing. Gets neglected, left to fend for itself. Like a houseplant forgotten on a windowsill.

However, the novel is just too short. Hence, the novel ended rather abruptly. In some ways, Kaufman introduced too many characters to this novella. Consequently, the readers were jumping from one character to the next. I would have liked a bit more depth and explanation, so that the characterisation didn’t feel rushed. Towards the end, the novel just left readers with too many unanswered questions.

The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman is a very quick read. It won’t take you long at all. It’s one of those books where you read it once and then brush it off to the side. The Tiny Wife is not as good as Kaufman’s first novel, All My Friends Are Superheroes. There’s simply not enough detail and depth to excite readers. Nonetheless, if you want a quick and quirky read; then why not pick up this novel today.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


  1. Thanks for sharing! Very nice review! Since it’s a short read, I’ll have to pick it up sometime soon.From the synopsis, I’m pretty interested in just how strange this one is, so I’ll have to see for myself!


    • You’re welcome. If you haven’t already, you should pick up ‘All My Friends Are Superheroes’. It’s written by the same author.


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