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The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

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That really is an excellent review chesilbeach, as I mentioned on the other thread, I've had The Crimson Petal and the White in my TBR stack, literally, for years. Have to get to it. Maybe this summer....../fingers crossed/

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Thank you! I find it's easy to write a review when I've enjoyed a book this much :smile2:

 

With such glowing praise for this book, I could not resist adding it to my tbr pile. :) It seems to be a different yet very interesting read. Thanks for the review.

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For those of you with a Kindle, The Crimson Petal and the White is only £1.47 at Amazon at the moment. A bargain price for a fantastic book. Needless to say, I bought a copy, even though I have the paper book on my shelf. :giggle:

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For those of you with a Kindle, The Crimson Petal and the White is only £1.47 at Amazon at the moment. A bargain price for a fantastic book. Needless to say, I bought a copy, even though I have the paper book on my shelf. :giggle:

 

Don't tell me that :irked: I paid £5 something for it two weeks ago

 

I have only made it to 22% (its like 30 page turns for each 1%) but have decided to watch it as well and I am affraid I am preferring the programme. I partuclarly like Mrs Rackham.

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Oh yes I absolutely lovd this book too, the writing style was refreshing, and made me giggle.

 

If you found Michel Faber an entertaining author then also try Under the Skin. This is a completely different read

and somewhat unorthodox storyline, which I wont give away. But if you like something original and altogether

surprising, I don't think you will be dissapointed.

 

Liz

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Faber's writing style is simply stunning in parts...I am very impressed with Faber's ability to write female characters thoughts and feelings so convincingly and in such detail such as Sugar, Agnes and Mrs Fox.

 

CS, I agree with you. The writing style and tecnique is something to be envied. Absolutely beautiful

 

I would have liked to have known a little more at the end but over all a fantastic read.

 

The end did not satisfy me as I too was left with a hunger for a little more resolution, but like you said a fantastic read. Thanks for the recommendation everyone.

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(This is a copy of the book review on my reading blog. I saw there was a thread here so hope nobody minds if I put it here too)

 

The Crimson Petal And The White        5/5

 

Michel Faber

 

 How to review this fantastic book? I can't describe the plot as I don't want to spoil it for anybody. So I hope these few words can do it justice.

 It is set in late Victorian London,  the events all happening in a short span of time between 1874 and 1876. The blurb at the back of the book will tell you that Sugar is a 19 year old prostitute in St Giles, a rough part of London, so that isn't giving anything away. Sugar is unusual; she spends her money on books and has taught herself to speak well, which enables her to attract educated men as customers. She has a reputation for doing anything a customer wants; however, unknown to them she secretly burns with hate for men and at night alone writes a book full of sadistic revenge and death against these same men. 

 One of the things I like about the book is that  Sugar does not stay the same. At the beginning she is a predator, very much in control of her world, yet as things start to happen she is forced to change and becomes a different person. It would be a very different book, and not half as good, if she was still the hate filled lowlife at the end she is at the beginning.

The catalyst for the change is William Rackham, heir to a wealthy perfume manufacturing business. The author gives us a well rounded character study here. William feels rather sorry for himself; his trophy wife has turned out to be sick and increasingly embarrassing; his father is not sympathetic to his wish to be a writer, he has a girl child he doesn't want to know and he is weak and easily led. Sugar controls him and things start to change for the better for Rackham, although this means that the balance of power shifts and Sugar is soon the one who is in thrall.

There is a narrator who addresses us directly, invites us into rooms and tells us who to follow and watch. This works very well. 

One thing the writer always makes us conscious of is people's bodies and bodily processes. Doctor's examinations, going to the toilet in chamberpots, the ablutions of the prostitutes. The unwanted erections of William's overly religious brother, people's lumps and bruises and pubic hair. Sugar herself is not perfect;  she is ugly, tall, thin, and has a skin condition which gives her permanently dry cracked lips and scabby hands. (No doubt Hollywood would cast Scarlet Johanson and completely miss the point).

Sugar is at the beginning jealous of the beauty of Mrs Rackham.

Ah well I think I have said enough. I think this will be my best book of 2015; I doubt if anything else will match it.

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Thank you! I find it's easy to write a review when I've enjoyed a book this much :smile2:

 

Orwell said the best way to figure out the best books would be letting the reviewers only write about those they deem worth of praise. Not quite these words, but the same idea.

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After 600 pages I gave up.

I agree it's well written but I do not like the less believable aspects eg a change of job or role for a character and the stilted representation of Dr Curlew's views about mental illness and women. Not to my liking.

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What a shame you didn't like it.  600 pages is a lot of investment before giving up, but I've done it myself before now when I just can't face reading any more.  I'm actually considering reading The Crimson Petal and the White again at some point as I enjoyed it so much, and I hardly ever re-read modern novels, only classics and children's books when I want to relive my childhood.

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What a shame you didn't like it.  600 pages is a lot of investment before giving up, but I've done it myself before now when I just can't face reading any more.  I'm actually considering reading The Crimson Petal and the White again at some point as I enjoyed it so much, and I hardly ever re-read modern novels, only classics and children's books when I want to relive my childhood.

Good points chesilbeach.

I have mixed feelings all told.

Quite complex really.

I began to find it dragging so gave up.

Who knows maybe I may try to complete it at a later date.

He's a good writer but at times the plot didn't strike much of a chord with me.

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If you gave up after 600 pages, how many pages were left?!

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It's a shame you gave up after getting about 3/4 of the way through.  I did start to watch the TV version but didn't like it so only saw the first part, and it didn't make me want to read the book.

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I watched precisely halfway through the DVD set of the BBC thing and again I have to Say it was underwhelming.

 

I didn't like it much either.  I think I watched the first episode and didn't bother after that.

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