Book Reviews of The Crimson Petal and the White

The Crimson Petal and the White
The Crimson Petal and the White
Author: Michel Faber
ISBN-13: 9780151006922
ISBN-10: 015100692X
Publication Date: 9/16/2002
Pages: 848
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 93

3.8 stars, based on 93 ratings
Publisher: Harcourt
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

12 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on
Helpful Score: 3
An excellent and incredibly long read (over 800 pages)! Think an R rated Anne Perry - same attention to detail, same time period, same ponderous writing style. More true to life than other books covering this era as the strange sexual mores of that Victorian English era aren't ignored in context, especially how they permutated and effected human to human relationships...
I didn't give it a 10 because the beginning literary technique was distracting at best and the ending was quite abrupt, but probably a mere quibble.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on
Helpful Score: 2
So-so book. Be prepared to really sit down and "dig in". Not recommended for "light" reading.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I loved this book. The first pages drew me in, the author is speaking to you, it made me feel like I was walking just behind them in the dark. I couldnt put it down. Read for days and enjoyed every word. I have to say I was very upset over the abrupt ending. I felt almost abandoned.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I was very excited to read this book. I have never read anything about 19th century prostitutes and I thought it would be interesting. And it was interesting. The book is very descriptive and the characters were well written. I was totally into the book. The two things that I didn't like about the book were that it could have been 200 pages shorter (It kind of dragged at the end) and I wasn't crazy about the end.

There is also very graphic sex scenes in this book which might bother some people. However, I didn't think they were gratuitous, but went with the storyline. The main character is a prostitute after all. All in all, worth a read.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 143 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is very graphic but beautifully written. It's the story of Sugar, a prostitute. I read it as a book club selection.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An atmospheric book with believable, well-written characters. Caring about them is easy, which is why the ending, resolving none of the conflicts raised by the plot, was such a letdown for me, especially having invested so much time in reading this long text.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 4 more book reviews
Slow start-it took about 100 pages or so to get into it. But then, I couldn't put it down. Interesting story about a prostitute in Victorian England.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 6 more book reviews
This book is very long, but I found it addictive. I like long reads and was happy to have a book that I could go back to over a couple of weeks. It was like having a secret world to inhabit for a while.
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 11 more book reviews
It took the author 20 years to complete this book. Here is a professional review

By Michel Faber - Harcourt (2002) - Hardback - 838 pages - ISBN 015100692X

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. 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 to 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 brings her into proximity to his extended family and milieu: his unhinged, childlike wife, Agnes, who manages to overcome her chronic hysteria to make her appearances during the Season; his mysteriously hidden-away daughter, Sophie, left to the care of minions; 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 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 teeming with life, rich in texture and incident, with characters breathtakingly real. In a class by itself, it's a big, juicy, must-read of a novel that will delight, enthrall, provoke, and entertain young and old, male and female. « less more »
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 528 more book reviews
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.

reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 3 more book reviews
This is one of my favorite book!It gets 5 stars plus!
If what you read about it sounds like something you would like, don't pass this by!
reviewed The Crimson Petal and the White on + 4 more book reviews
Hardcover edition.