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Topic: Has Anyone Read "The Crimson Petal and White" by Michael Faber?

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Subject: Has Anyone Read "The Crimson Petal and White" by Michael Faber?
Date Posted: 5/16/2008 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I am just curous what you thought of the book.  I am in the middle of reading it and find it hard to put down but at the same time a different writing style than I am used to.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2006
Posts: 295
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It's on my TBR pile but I'm a little frightened of its size. It's a huge book.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I just read a long thread on another forum I frequent that was discussing this book. Like Leigh, it is on my TBR pile, but it hasn't floated to the top yet.

 

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2008
Posts: 15
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I read it about 2 months ago.  It wasn't a hard read and it went relatively quickly for such a long book, but my overall reaction was just...meh.   I found all the characters either unlikeable or irritating or just boring (with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions).  I know that sometimes characters are meant to be unlikeable, but they should still be interesting-unlikeable if that makes any since.  I know some people really love this book though, so for anyone who is into historical fiction, this could be a good choice.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I like the book but have never read a book where some of it is written in the second person.  The book is long but reads quickly.  I love historical fiction and will send this book to my sister.

That is what life was in the 1870s in England.  Hard.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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I'm going to agree with Angela on this one.......I'm not sorry I read it but when I was finished I felt a bit cheated by the ending........like I had invested all this time reading that very BIG book and the ending seemed hurried and slapdash.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I have found that a lot of books have hurried and slapdash endings.

Date Posted: 5/17/2008 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 230
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The ending was a bit odd, although I thought the writing was great.  It's been pointed out to me that it's sort of consciously Dickensian, with numerous subplots and rambling style.

The last quarter of the book is a sort of agonizingly slow decay, and even though its a good read, I really just wanted to stomp on all of the characters.  I'm constantly being told that that's a sign of great literature, but I'm not really sure I agree.  Wouldn't you think great literature would be a character that was sympathetic despite being a jerk?

Date Posted: 5/17/2008 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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I loved it but it ends rather abruptly...I wanted it to continue....

Date Posted: 5/17/2008 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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Well, I am almost finished and like the book.  It is certainly different.

Date Posted: 5/18/2008 3:33 AM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2007
Posts: 652
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I read it a few years ago, but I remember having trouble getting used to the writing style.  And not wanting it to be over, I wanted to know more about the characters.

Date Posted: 5/19/2008 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 2,940
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I got about halfway through it and never finished it.  I found it slow and boring.  After reading about 450 pages with nothing happing, I just didn't care enough to continue.

Date Posted: 5/19/2008 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2007
Posts: 100
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This is one of those books I tell people to NOT read.  I read it a couple years ago, so I don't really remember a whole lot, but what I remember most was the ending.  It left the reader hanging.  If I remember correctly, the last page even says something along the lines of "and I'm not going to tell you want happens next.  This is the end."  If for no other reason that that, I would not recommend it. 

Date Posted: 5/19/2008 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,474
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Don't let the length scare you away, it's a pretty fast read.  The characters are compelling, but the ending does leave you wanting to know more about what happens to them.

Date Posted: 5/19/2008 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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Well, I finished it and the ending was strange but I sure was hoping Sugar got away.  So I am putting my own ending on the book.  Too bad Caroline didn't push William into the river.

Date Posted: 5/24/2008 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 1,424
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I read about half of the book for a book group and ended up passing it off before I was done. I really didn't like the writing style.

Date Posted: 5/24/2008 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
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I read the book. From someone that does NOT typically read romance, erotica, etc.  I must say, some of it was a bit shocking.  I don't know if anyone else had that take on it - maybe I'm a prude, I dunno.

I like period pieces and historical fiction, which is why I picked this up - but the sexual innuendo between the women was unsettling to me.  The writing, however, was enjoyable and the story read smoothly for me.  The fact of underground london in the late 17th century was a realistic portrayal, overall. 

I liked his work enough to give it another shot - I just picked up the Courage Consort.

Date Posted: 5/24/2008 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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I agree that there were some shocking parts to The Crimson Petal and The Rose but it was pretty much what I expected in a book about prostitution. It was a very revealing look at the oldest profession,  what made it interesting was the viewpoint of the women involved and the details of the way of life.

Kimberly, I hope you like The Courage Consort more than I did. While I liked The Crimson Petal and The White, I really was disappointed with The Courage Consort.

 

Date Posted: 5/25/2008 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2005
Posts: 339
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It was a DNF for me. I think I made it through about 200 pages before I put it away. I found it boring and didn't find a single character that I cared about.

 

Date Posted: 5/25/2008 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 28
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Date Posted: 5/29/2008 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
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I just finished the first novella of "The Courage Consort".  I just thought I'd mention to you all that I really liked it! 

It was certainly VERY different than the Crimon Petal and the White.  I think what I liked most about it so far is the writing style.  Thats one of the things I enjoyed most about The Crimson Petal and the White - that the writing was just "sharp".  He has a way of writing characters that gets you to love them in spite of, or perhaps BECAUSE of their flaws.  It still has that abrupt end and a lingering moroseness about the whole thing, but I am looking forward to the next part of the book.

They appear to be much "darker" than the first one!  Atleast the next novella in the line definately is...



Last Edited on: 5/29/08 11:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/10/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,783
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Absolutely and unhesitatingly recommended by me. If you like it, also be sure to read FINGERSMITH by Sarah Waters. Indeed, if you have to pick one, that's the better book, and one of my all-time best reads.

Last Edited on: 6/10/08 6:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/10/2008 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
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Ohhh but I couldn't STAND fingersmith!  I just had issues with the female sexuality - Becuase it was SOOO blatent and just came out of nowhere....I think in Crimson petal and the white it was there, but not as blatent.  In this book it just seemed like I was reading erotica or something!  (Forgive me - not a romance reader even, so maybe my prude line is just a bit too glaring!!)

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2007
Posts: 681
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I will be sure to check back to this thread with an opinion, this book is up next out of my TBR pile, reading all of the opinions on it make me want to read it even more! 

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 3:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,783
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Well, Punkin, this is what democracy's all about: I could not disagree with you more. I think FINGERSMITH is a triumph across the board, infusing a pitch-perfect homage to the potboiler with a modern inner sensibility and a self-referential twist on the traditional theme of women in peril -- you can't read it without participating in precisely what the characters are fighting against. This is what CRIMSON PETAL attempts to do, entertainingly as all getout but less deeply -- indeed, CRIMSON aims to a certain deliberate shock value, which FINGERSMITH weaves more naturally into its tale. I won't elaborate to color anyone's reading of it, but it's hard to miss. Might change your mind if you think back on, or read if you haven't, two of FINGERSMITH's primary forebears: Wilkie Collins' THE WOMAN IN WHITE (another personal favorite), and Waugh's A HANDFUL OF DUST. Might not :-)
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