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The Nature of Monsters
The Nature of Monsters
Author: Clare Clark
1666: The Great Fire of London sweeps through the streets and a heavily pregnant woman flees the flames. A few months later she gives birth to a child disfigured by a red birthmark. — 1718: Sixteen-year-old Eliza Tally sees the gleaming dome of St. Paul's Cathedral rising above a rebuilt city. She arrives as an apothecary's maid, a position hasti...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780156034081
ISBN-10: 0156034085
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 400
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 53 ratings
Publisher: Harvest Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Nature of Monsters on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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!
reviewed The Nature of Monsters on + 614 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed The Nature of Monsters on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed The Nature of Monsters on + 157 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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!
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reviewed The Nature of Monsters on + 167 more book reviews
Others have described this book as "dark" and that it is. You will find yourself immersed in the early-18th-century setting of Clark's novel. The author is quite gifted in her ability to draw you in until you actually can hear the yelling, the padding hooves, the creaky wagons and smell the rank odors.

A great read for those who like mysteries and historical novels.
reviewed The Nature of Monsters on + 1265 more book reviews
This is a very dark book. Showing the not so glamorous side of London and the state that many lived in. Excellent description of the sites, sounds and smells of the area in which they lived. The madness that comes over those who seek enlightenment through so called science and experiments with the help of opium. Very Dickens in style.
reviewed The Nature of Monsters on + 2 more book reviews
This book is definitely not what I thought it would be. Unfortunately it has a really dull plot, the author feeds you crumbs of actually happenings while you struggle to get through the molasses of historical description.