An extraordinary modern novel in the Victorian tradition, Charles Palliser has created something extraordinary--a plot within a plot within a plot of family secrets, mysterious clues, low-born birth, high-reaching immorality, and, always, always the fog-enshrouded, enigmatic character of 19th century -- London itself.
"You read the first page and down you wonderfully fall, into a long, large, wide world of fiction."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
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Charles Palliser was born in the US but has lived in the UK since childhood. For a number of years he lectured in English at the University of Strathclyde but resigned to write full time after the success of The Quincunx. He is the author of four novelsFrom Publishers Weekly:
The epic length of this first novel--nearly 800 densely typeset pages--should not put off readers, for its immediacy is equal to its heft. Palliser, an English professor in Scotland, where this strange yet magnetic work was first published, has modeled his extravagantly plotted narrative on 19th-century forms--Dickens's Bleak House is its most obvious antecedent--but its graceful writing and unerring sense of timing revivifies a kind of novel once avidly read and surely now to be again in demand. The protagonist, a young man naive enough to be blind to all clues about his own hidden history (and to the fact that his very existence is troubling to all manner of evildoers) narrates a story of uncommon beauty which not only brings readers face-to-face with dozens of piquantly drawn characters at all levels of 19th-century English society but re-creates with precision the tempestuous weather and gnarly landscape that has been a motif of the English novel since Wuthering Heights . The suspension of disbelief happens easily, as the reader is led through twisted family trees and plot lines. The quincunx of the title is a heraldic figure of five parts that appears at crucial points within the text (the number five recurs throughout the novel, which itself is divided into five parts, one for each of the family galaxies whose orbits the narrator is pulled into). Quintuple the length of the ordinary novel, this extraordinary tour de force also has five times the ordinary allotment of adventure, action and aplomb. Literary Guild dual main selection.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS LTD, 1990. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 140132481
Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS LTD, 1990. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140132481