Tag Archive > Michel Faber

The Crimson Petal and the White

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The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber, book reviewThe Crimson Petal and the White is a Victorian blockbuster for the modern world. I read it shortly after it was originally published, but have returned to it because of the current BBC television adaptation which I have been watching with interest. I have enjoyed the adaptation, but it does not come close to capturing the richness and complexity of the novel.

It is a huge volume, taking the form and preoccupations of a Victorian blockbuster, but with a modern perspective and use of language. In particular, there is a frank treatment of the sexual content – the subtext for many a Victorian novelist but never addressed directly.


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This is No Sugar Coated Tale

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The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber, book reviewIt is London in the 1870s and it is common practice for all men who can afford it to head for a high-class prostitute when they can. One of these prostitutes is Sugar, who has the added benefit of doing things that other girls generally won’t do. William Rackham, the heir of Rackham Perfumeries, hears of Sugar and seeks her out. Thrilled by what he finds, he moves Sugar into her own lodgings, for which he pays, so that he can ensure Sugar is his and his alone. Sugar, a clever, street-wise teenager, soon finds a way to establish herself in Rackham’s own home, as a governess to his daughter, Sophie.

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Gothic Whitby

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The Hundred and Ninety-nine Steps By (author) Michel FaberSian has recently joined an archaeological dig in Whitby. Troubled by horrifying nightmares after an accident in Bosnia that left her badly injured, she is trying to get by one day at a time, while trying to forget about the pain in her leg that she believes could be cancer. When she meets Mack and his gorgeous dog, Hadrian, she feels a flash of life return to her again; even more so when Mack presents her with a centuries old murder mystery that she feels compelled to solve. She also hopes that the fact that she can do something so satisfying will bring her closer to Mack. Will she be successful? Will she forge a new relationship with Mack – or are her deep-rooted issues too great to overcome?

Set in Whitby around the Abbey, there is a very Gothic theme to the book, backed up by the numerous references to Dracula. This is perfect for a murder mystery, because it sets the scene perfectly.


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Under The Skin

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Under the Skin By Michel FaberIsserley spends much of her time driving up and down the A9 in Scotland in her old Toyota Corrolla, looking for male hitchhikers. After driving past a hitchhiker two or three times looking to see if he is well built and alone, she stops and offers them a ride.
Why does she do this?

All the reader is told about this book is that Isserley picks up well-built male hitchhikers. Of course this is not something you come across every day and it did sound intriguing. Along with the words ‘macabre mystery’ on the cover, it was enough to make me want to find out more.

Right from the first page I was drawn into this book which is quite possibly the strangest book I have ever read!


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