Iain Pears An Instance of the Fingerpost

ISBN 13: 9780425167724

An Instance of the Fingerpost

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9780425167724: An Instance of the Fingerpost
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In a literary epic, when a fellow of New College in seventeenth-century Oxford is found dead and a young woman is accused of his murder, four witnesses, each with their own agenda, tell what they saw, but only one speaks the truth. Reprint.

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Product Description:

Title: An Instance of the Fingerpost <>Binding: Mass Market Paperback <>Author: IainM.Pears <>Publisher: BerkleyPublishingGroup

Review:

An Instance of the Fingerpost is that rarest of all possible literary beasts--a mystery powered as much by ideas as by suspects, autopsies and smoking guns. Hefty, intricately plotted, and intellectually ambitious, Fingerpost has drawn the inevitable comparisons to Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose; and, for once, the comparison is apt.

The year is 1663, and the setting is Oxford, England, during the height of Restoration political intrigue. When Dr Robert Grove is found dead in his Oxford room, hands clenched and face frozen in a rictus of pain, all the signs point to poison. Rashomon- like, the narrative circles around Grove's murder as four different characters give their version of events: Marco da Cola, a visiting Italian physician--or so he would like the reader to believe; Jack Prestcott, the son of a traitor who fled the country to avoid execution; Dr. John Wallis, a mathematician and cryptographer with a predilection for conspiracy theories; and Anthony Wood, a mild- mannered Oxford antiquarian whose tale proves to be the book's "instance of the fingerpost" (the quote comes from the philosopher Bacon, who, while asserting that all evidence is ultimately fallible, allows for "one instance of a fingerpost that points in one direction only, and allows of no other possibility").

Like The Name of the Rose, this is one whodunit in which the principal mystery is the nature of truth itself. Along the way, Pears displays a keen eye for period details as diverse as the early days of medicine, the convoluted politics of the English Civil War, and the newfangled fashion for wigs. Yet Pears never loses sight of his characters, who manage to be both utterly authentic denizens of the 17th century and utterly authentic human beings. As a mystery, An Instance of the Fingerpost is entertainment of the most intelligent sort; as a novel of ideas, it proves equally satisfying.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781573227957: An Instance of the Fingerpost

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 1573227951 ISBN 13: 9781573227957
Publisher: Penguin, 2000
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Hardcover

9780099751816: An Instance of the Fingerpost

Vintage, 1998
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9780783802800: An Instance of the Fingerpost (G K Hall Large Print Book Series)

G K Ha..., 1998
Hardcover

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