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The Crimson Petal and the White
The Crimson Petal and the White
Author: Michel Faber
Meet Sugar, a nineteen-year-old prostitute in nineteenth-century London who yearns for escape to a better life. From the brothel of the terrifying Mrs. Castaway, she begins her ascent through society, meeting a host of lovable, maddening, unforgettable characters on the way. They begin with William Rackham, an egotistical perfume magnate whose e...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780156028776
ISBN-10: 0156028778
Publication Date: 9/1/2003
Pages: 944
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 349 ratings
Publisher: Harvest Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I really enjoyed this novel. I prefer longer books because you really get wrapped up the story lines and the characters. The book is based around a very likable and understandable character named Sugar. It's very easy to comprehend where Sugar is coming from and why she makes the choices she does. The back of the book is a bit misleading because it says she climbs the ranks of society which made it sound Evita-esque, which isn't the case. The narrative is refreshingly different and it pulls you along through the story and you get to be in the heads of most of the characters at one point or another. I expected it to be much more graphic than it was from what others have said, but in my opinion it's not very graphic at all. Normally I like a neat and tidy story ending to sum things up, but somehow the way this novel ended seemed very fitting.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
A fascinating peek inside English upper crust and the 'lower' crust. Set in the early 1800s (I think), it's the story of an intelligent whore and the man who is so captivated by her, he loses himself.

The pictures of her life on the street and his, spent navigating the murky waters of his wife's bizarre beharior, is rather Dickensian.

The title, which immediately sets a contrast, kept me guessing all the way through. Which character is the Crimson Petal and which is the White? Faber continually shifts the characterizations so that the reader is always guessing.

Would I read this book again? I loved it, but probably not. The reason? The major effect of this book is the mystery inherent in the title. Now that I've read it and know the ending the enigma is solved for me.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 64 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
If you can stomach through sexually explicit scenes and language, you'll find a delightful read. This will explore themes of religion, social stratification, cleanliness and family. The characters are vividly portrayed.
bookaddict avatar reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on
Helpful Score: 8
A well-written but a bit rambly story of a prostitute in 19th century London. Some great details. Loved the way the story ended, although some I know felt that it disappointed. Just not sure it had to be as long as it was--a bit diffuse. Enjoyable read on the whole--I would recommend this.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I picked this book up because my book club was reading it, and then I never got to read it at that time or discuss it with them. Not all that intrigued with the story synopsis on the book's cover, I read it quite a bit later. I thought I was going to hate it, but I had this brand new (very long, expensive) book and felt I needed to pick it up and give it a try. I was surprised... I enjoyed the story more than I thought I would.

The story takes place in victorian England. It's the story of a prostitute, her client, and his extremely proper family. The characters are all very interesting and well developed. There are parts of the story that are a little slow, but if you stick with it, it gets interesting again.

If you're easily offended, I would steer clear of this. There are some parts of the story that are a little gross. However, if you don't mind some graphic descriptions, you'll probably like this book. It's different from anything else you've ever read.
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angelhlb avatar reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on
This was a very interesting read. I found myself pushing thru it trying to get more information. It was long and at times slow, but I had to know what was going to happen..... Only to be left not knowing at the end. The people were very real. There were no heros or villians, except for Sugar's mother. Each person had good points and bad ones. They could all be kind or cruel, gentle or rough. I don't think I would read again, but enjoyed it for the most part. It is a long book, but not a hard read.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 37 more book reviews
It was good for a fiction novel. A thick read and unique perspective, not your usual period romance nor prostitution tale.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 47 more book reviews
I ordered this because of all the great reviews I had read. It is a very good book, though long. I agree that once we got through the beginning narration, it got better. I would be careful who I recommend this too, as it is, as my mother would say, "racy!"


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