I really enjoyed this very dark novel about life and superstitions in the early 18th century. Clark did a marvelous job of describing the time period especially the squalor of old London. The monsters in the book could have been many of the characters or all of them including the protagonist Eliza's employer and master, the apothecary Grayson Black, his wife, or the apprentice Edgar. Or was Mary, the "idiot" servant who was also vile-looking and generally disgusting, considered a "monster". Or could it be the monsters that Grayson Black is trying to create in a woman's womb by imprinting the mother with horrific experiences. Then there are the supposedly honorable characters such as the bookseller that Eliza gets betrothed to to escape her misery. In the end, all of these and more could be considered monsters. This was a fascinating read and really placed the reader in another time period quite expertly - very Dickensian. This is the second Clare Clarke novel I have read - the first was "The Great Stink" which I also enjoyed. I'll be looking for more of her work.
I really enjoyed this book and it's main character. It's at times disturbing, dark throughout, but has shafts of light that give hope. It shows and interesting side to the science and thoughts of the times.
It's one of the books that I will keep on my bookshelf for future re-reading.
A Dickensian tale of the clumsy gropings of the early pyschologist/anatomists in the Georgian age that gives a wonderful sense of the era with pungent description and stinging social analysis. A study of class discrimination and the true nature of "monsters." If you are a fan of Caleb Carr, you should love this book!
The story is dark and disturbing, for sure. I loved this book, and could not put it down. I even got up at 4:45 this morning so I could finish it before going to work. Two thumbs up!