The Crimson Petal and the White--Harper Perennial Canada Edition
11 journalers for this copy...
Also, the constant use of modern day slang i found rather rude to my intellect ;) Did anyone else find it odd? I will probably keep this book on my own actual shelf for awhile, but only because its so new, shiny and fat :) It looks more impressive then i found it to be! But it wasnt terrible.
AND Now...I give you my fourth book ray....
10. Blacksheeps99 (Austria)
11. Caracas (Germany - outside of contact)
12. Katayoun (Iran - asked to be skipped)
13. Monast (Malaysia)
14. Jawin (Australia)
15. Melydia (USA)
16. DrNoelle (USA)
17. hannahsc5 (Canada--can only ship within Canada)
18. SuorClarisse (Canada)
19. aaannddee (USA)
20. amber-h (USA)
Although it's billed as "the first great 19th-century novel of the 21st century," The Crimson Petal and the White is anything but Victorian. The story of a well-read London prostitute named Sugar, who spends her free hours composing a violent, pornographic screed against men, Michel Faber's dazzling second novel dares to go where George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss and the works of Charles Dickens could not. We learn about the positions and orifices that Sugar and her clients favor, about her lingering skin condition, and about the suspect ingredients of her prophylactic douches. Still, Sugar believes she can make a better life for herself. When she is taken up by a wealthy man, the perfumer William Rackham, her wings are clipped, and she must balance financial security against the obvious servitude of her position. The physical risks and hardships of Sugar's life (and the even harder "honest" life she would have led as a factory worker) contrast--yet not entirely--with the medical mistreatment of her benefactor's wife, Agnes, and beautifully underscore Faber's emphasis on class and sexual politics. In theme and treatment, this is a novel that Virginia Woolf might have written, had she been born 70 years later. The language, however, is Faber's own--brisk and elastic--and, after an awkward opening, the plethora of detail he offers (costume, food, manners, cheap stage performances, the London streets) slides effortlessly into his forward-moving sentences. When Agnes goes mad, for instance, "she sings on and on, while the house is discreetly dusted all around her and, in the concealed and subterranean kitchen, a naked duck, limp and faintly steaming, spreads its pimpled legs on a draining board." Despite its 800-plus pages, The Crimson Petal and the White turns out to be a quick read, since it is truly impossible to put down. --Regina Marler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition
That said, I started reading it last night and I'm already hooked. Thank you for including me on this ring - it's the perfect "large" book to keep me occupied during Thanksgiving so I don't go postal on the rellies! Will journal again once I'm finished and ready to send it on to Talkland.
First, to address Earthdance's comments - I HATED the change in the point of view. There were points where I just wanted to throw the book across the room when "YOU are following Caroline..." etc. Also, the Victorian slang interspered with the modern slang just didn't ring true to me.
Overall, I wasn't enamored of the book. I liked the concept, but I think this novel was a bold undertaking and perhaps the author wasn't ready for a book of this magnitude. By the end, I really didn't care for any of the characters and felt they all got their just desserts. For thick tomes and my reading pleasure, I think I'll stick to Gabaldon. At least I give a hoot about some of her characters!
On it's way to Talkland! Enjoy! Dpeending on price, it might go surface, so you may not get it until AFTER the holidays. If possible, it'll go airmail! :)
The social history side of the novel is fascinating, the characters we meet engaging but the plot is a little thin and this is especially apparent in the last part of the book when the really interesting stuff happens with Agnes and Sugar and then nothing. To wade through 800 pages plus and to be left hanging is cruel!!!
For the most part I enjoyed the book and it's characters, most dissappointing finish.
I will post onto next BC'er on Monday.
I don't give any stars because I hadn't time to finish the book. However, based on what I already read I would give at least 9 stars. :) When I have more time, I'm going to try to find this in my local library if they acquire it (they have a surprisingly good selection books in different languages). Then I can give the book my stars. :)
Happy reading, Tara-K, and greetings from (at this moment quite rainy) Finland! :)
A month and a half later, I've finally finished the book. It was really a good book. I'm just sorry I wasn't able to sit down with it for longer periods of time. It took me a while thus, to really get into it. Once I did though, it kept me wanting to keep reading. As Earthdance mentioned, the point of view of the book was "different" and yes the use of modern phrases and "historical" quips was a bit "unsettling". I was constantly thinking a person from that time would not be saying or thinking that. I was a bit disappointed with the ending. I kept turning the pages of the last chapter expecting to find out and it never happened.
I'll be sending the book out to the next person on the list as soon as I get the address.
This book seems very interesting but i have not the time to read it now. I keep the references and buy it in french.
Sorry EarthDance and thanks for your pms.
I'll send i to Deesse this week.
What a biiig book! It may take me some time to read it as I won't have a lot of time to read in the next few weeks, but I'll "attack" it pretty soon, I just have to finish the book I'm currently reading first.
I'm a bit disappointed with parts of the end, though - even angry at William who I pitied a bit when his wife died... It left a feeling of "That's all? Was that it?"
I learned a lot about the Victorian time while reading this novel - and must say that I'm glad that I didn't live at this time as a woman. Even the "rich" ladies' lives seemed to me pretty boring, shared between attending the "season", doing embroidery, having dinner (with a lot of servants) or learning how to play the piano, waiting to get married. And the poor women's lives... rather scary!
Thanks earthdance for starting this bookring and thanks for everyone for passing it on.
I'll send it on once I've got the next bookcrosser's address.
I'll send it on to Dani75 this afternoon!
Sorry for journalling so late...
At first, I liked the author´s twist of speaking directly to the reader: "Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing you to is vast and intricate." Too bad that he uses this twist too often and thus spoils it.
What I really don´t like is the occasional detour into language too modern - not in keeping with the detailled descriptions and jarring in comparison to the Victorian touches. And the ending is disappointing.
Not everyone can spin tales on a Dickensian scale. The good things of the story would fit into a book half as thick and it would make a more suspenseful read.
I´ll send the book on to Blacksheeps99 as soon as I have an address...
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
The book travels on to Austria.
Thanks for sharing!!!!
The first 100 pages are quite "hard" - but when you start to know the characters this book is really very gripping! It´s´interesting to see Sugar´s change....
But I was a little "surprised" by the sudden ending - I wnat to know what happend to all of them :-)
Thanks for sharing - will be off to Germany as soon as I´ll get the address.
Aug 1st: Still no contact to next one on list - will try again
Aug 6th: Could make contact to Caracas and Katayoun asked to be skipped. Now I´m trying the next one.