By Michel Faber
Do you like Pétalo carmesí, flor blanca ?
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film-only, winter-20112012, victoriana, published-2002, books-about-books-and-book-shops, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, recreational-drugs, plague-disease, mental-health, london, period-piece, revenge
Recommended to Bettie by: Wanda
Read from February 04 to 09, 2012
Romola Garai ... Sugar (4 episodes, 2011)
Chris O'Dowd ... William Rackham (4 episodes, 2011)
Amanda Hale ... Mrs. Agnes Rackham (4 episodes, 2011)
Shirley Henderson ... Mrs. Emmeline Fox (4 episodes, 2011)
Katie Lyons ... Clara (4 episodes, 2011)
Eleanor Yates ... Letty (4 episodes, 2011)
Elizabeth Berrington ... Lady Constance Bridgelow (4 episodes, 2011)
Richard E. Grant ... Doctor Curlew (4 episodes, 2011)
Low 3* - glad I didn't bother with the book.
Bettie said on Apr 04, 2013, 11:02
Jo Wilson said on May 09, 2012, 19:53
Polkadotty said on May 05, 2012, 19:19
Reading The Crimson Petal and the White is a surreal experience. It has the rare ability in a postmodern novel to transfer you to the Victorian London without bumps in the road, no evidence of being carried there, not even intentional. It could be easily been associated with the major realist text of the XIX century. It is not important to know what fate has decided for Sugar, what is really important is to keep on reading, keep on meeting the fascinating and at times disturbing inhabitants of that luminous yet bleak conglomerate of souls which is the fin de siècle London.
Black Mamba87 said on Feb 14, 2012, 21:37
It's so refreshing when you find a book which is completely out of your comfort zone and it delights you so much that you just don't want it to end.
The Crimson Petal and the White was a) sized more like a brick than any book I would normally be attracted to read and b) Historical fiction which I would normally completely avoid as a genre.
I decided to read it because I had enjoyed the BBC adaptation - again, never normally the basis I would normally choose to read a book on. From the first chapter to the last, Michel Faber had be completely lost in the world of Sugar and her Mr Rackham.
It keeps you hooked like a soap opera, and the plot lulls and falls tugging at every emotion, Faber makes you feel like you are actually in the presence of the characters throughout the book - a secret onlooker privy to all and every tiny important detail.
I would recommend this book to anyone, especially someone who wants to leap out of their comfort zone and read something different for a change.
Danielle D said on Dec 09, 2011, 10:56
Caballerog91 said on Nov 29, 2011, 21:32
coquette said on Sep 07, 2011, 17:14
(I'm quoting some other reviewer on this site, I loved the description).
The modern take on Victorian times already existed - The French Lieutenant's Woman - but this takes it to the extreme. You are definitely there looking from ten inches away at all the horrors that Dickens didn't dare to describe.
The basic plot is an old trope - smart whore crawls her way up in society - and so are the banal subplots (madwoman in the attic, neglected little girl, a couple of repressed Victorians to offset the definitely non-repressed protagonists). Nothing new there then - but this goes on for 700 pages and it's a relentless HOOT. I could say it loses its hammering rhythm around the end, but that still means that you've read 600-plus pages of literary dynamite and it only stops for breath in the very last chapters (predictably, Sugar's life gets boring the more respectable she becomes - yet another trope).
Some books have this rare ability to conjure a whole time and place as a whole and close the real world off - not many, I could mention Buddenbrooks or The Magus. But the "just like I was there" feeling gets a new level here; I actually FELT I was the one screwing Mr Rackham (often, and inventively), or I was the one scratching my hands because of a mild skin condition that might be God knows what venereal disease.
Paola said on Jun 22, 2011, 23:47
Read this several years ago during a rainy holiday in Norfolk and fell in love with Faber's vision of Victorian London. The clever use of the 2nd person, the rich language and Sugar - what's not to love?
Paula Jeffery said on Jun 19, 2011, 06:10
frustrated... said on Feb 11, 2010, 18:16