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The Crimson Petal And The White Reviews

The Crimson Petal And The White by Michel Faber

The Crimson Petal And The White

Michel Faber

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1 review

Imprint: Canongate Canons
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Publication date: 10 Apr 2014
ISBN: 9781782114413

Michel Faber's bestselling blockbuster set in 19th-century London

4 stars out of 5
Kathryn Hughes
11 Mar 2019

"Michel Faber has produced the novel that Dickens might have written had he been allowed to speak freely"

This is a supremely literary novel. Everyone in it is a reader and writer of some kind. Sugar has been busy putting together her own narrative of vengeance against the male species, the kind of thing that Dickens's Estella might have written if she had taken to literature. Agnes Rackham, meanwhile, has spent her parallel youth pouring out a gush of unremarkable thoughts to her Dear Diary, a multi-volumed document that Sugar reads compulsively for clues to the secrets of the house in which she and Agnes now live side by side. William, who at the start of the novel is still planning amusing little pieces for the better kind of gentleman's periodical, swiftly descends to tinkering with advertising copy and dashing off bullying letters to suppliers... In less able hands this updating might have resulted in a novel that felt tricksy without being especially innovative. But Faber's writing is so dizzyingly accomplished that he is able to convince you that, just sometimes, the old stories really are the best ones.