This blog is for me to keep track of and review the books I read for the 100+ Book Challenge.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
#47 - The Crimson Petal and the White
This book is very slow getting started, and at nearly 900 pages, that makes it intimidating. It picks up tremendously before the halfway point, so if you can hang in there, it's worth it! I rated it three stars, but the slow start is the only reason it didn't get a higher rating. Here is a synopsis copied from Barnes and Noble:
At the Heart of this panoramic, multidimensional narrative is the compelling struggle of a young woman to lift her body and soul out of the gutter. Michel Faber leads us back to 1870s London, where Sugar, a nineteen-year-old whore in the brothel of the terrifying Mrs. Castaway, yearns for escape into a better life. Her ascent through the strata of Victorian society offers us intimacy with a host of lovable, maddening, unforgettable characters.
They begin with William Rackham, an egotistical perfume magnate whose ambition is fueled by his lust for Sugar, and whose patronage of her brings her into proximity to his extended family and milieu: his unhinged, child-like wife, Agnes; his mysteriously hidden-away daughter, Sophie; and his pious brother Henry, foiled in his devotional calling by a persistently less-than-chaste love for the Widow Fox, whose efforts on behalf of The Rescue Society lead Henry into ever-more disturbing confrontations with flesh. All this is overseen by assorted preening socialites, drunken journalists, untrustworthy servants, vile guttersnipes, and whores of all stripes and persuasions.
Twenty years in its conception, research, and writing, The Crimson Petal and the White is a singular literary achievement -- a gripping, intoxicating, deeply satisfying Victorian novel written with an immediacy, compassion, and insight that give it a timeless and universal appeal.
My progress in the 100 Book Challenge so far:
1. An Idiot Girl's Christmas - Laurie Notaro - 142 pages 2. The Missing - Chris Mooney - 360 pages 3. All the Numbers - Judy Merrill Larsen - 269 pages 4. The Quickie - James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge - 274 pages 5. The Darkest Evening of the Year - Dean Koontz - 354 pages 6. Plea of Insanity - Jilliane Hoffman - 598 pages 7. When Madeline Was Young - Jane Hamilton - 274 pages 8. Sunshine - Robin McKinley - 405 pages 9. Spying in High Heels - Gemma Halliday - 318 pages 10. I Am Legend - Richard Matheson - 312 pages 11. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer - 563 pages 12. Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City - Kirsten Miller - 380 pages 13. The Husband - Dean Koontz - 415 pages 14. Kiki Strike: The Empress's Tomb - Kirsten Miller - 369 pages 15. Plum Lucky - Janet Evanovich - 166 pages 16. Blood Rites - Jim Butcher - 372 pages 17. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox - 245 pages 18. Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist - 513 pages 19. The Spellman Files - Lisa Lutz - 368 pages 20. Little Stalker - Jennifer Belle - 333 pages 21. Watchers - Dean Koontz - 352 pages 22. Lost and Found - Carolyn Parkhurst - 289 pages 23. Dead Beat - Jim Butcher - 396 pages 24. Steve & Me - Terri Irwin - 273 pages 25. Bright Lights, Big Ass - Jen Lancaster - 385 pages 26. Curse of the Spellmans - Lisa Lutz - 407 pages 27. Bleeding Kansas - Sara Paretsky - 431 pages 28. Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison - 416 pages 29. The Abstinence Teacher - Tom Perrotta - 358 pages 30. The Good Guy - Dean Koontz - 493 pages 31. The Double Bind - Chris Bohjalian - 368 pages 32. Dork Whore - Iris Bahr - 216 pages 33. Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer - 629 pages 34. Monkeewrench - P. J. Tracy - 404 pages 35. Diablerie - Walter Mosley - 180 pages 36. After Dark - Haruki Murakami - 191 pages 37. Remember Me? - Sophie Kinsella - 389 pages 38. The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson - 246 pages 39. Heart Sick - Chelsea Cain - 324 pages 40. Dearly Devoted Dexter - Jeff Lindsay - 292 pages 41. Ice Trap - Kitty Sewell - 340 pages 42. The Bad Place - Dean Koontz - 381 pages 43. All We Know of Heaven - Jacquelyn Mitchard - 310 pages 44. The Dollmaker - Amanda Stevens - 376 pages 45. Shakespeare's Landlord - Charlaine Harris - 214 pages 46. The Senator's Wife - Sue Miller - 306 pages 47. The Crimson Petal and the White - Michel Faber - 895 pages