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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.
Sugar, An alluring, nineteen-year-old whore in the brothel of the peculiar Mrs Castaway, yearns for a better life. And when she is visited by William Rackham – the somewhat reluctant heir to Rackham Perfumeries – she begins an ascent through the strata of 1870's London society that offers us intimacy with a host of loveable, maddening and superbly realised characters. Gripping from the first page, this immense novel is an intoxicating and deeply satisfying read – not only a wonderful story but the creation of an entire, extraordinary world.
Sugar, an alluring, nineteen-year-old whore in the brothel of the terrifying Mrs Castaway, yearns for a better life and her ascent through the strata of 1870's London society offers us intimacy with a host of loveable, maddening and superbly realised characters. Gripping from the first page, this immense novel is an intoxicating and deeply satisfying read, not only a wonderful story but the creation of an entire, extraordinary world.
One of the most talked-about novels of the year, this international bestseller gives new meaning to the term “unputdownable.” Reviewers and readers everywhere have been eagerly abandoning their everyday lives for days and even weeks on end, refusing to leave Michel Faber’s vividly realized fictional world. They are captivated by Sugar, an enigmatic nineteen-year-old prostitute whose story begins in a hellish nineteenth-century London brothel. Struggling to lift her body and soul out of the gutter, Sugar claws her way up the social ladder to gain refuge in the wealthy family of her besotted lover, William Rackham, unwilling heir to a perfumery. Now in the popular Perennial format, The Crimson Petal and the White is a gripping tale, extraordinarily rich, intricate and intoxicating to the final page.
Take a saunter down Silver Street once more for an encounter with the determined heroine of The Crimson Petal and the White, and find out more of what became of her. In this collection, Michel Faber revisits the world of his bestselling novel, briefly opening doors onto the lives of its characters to give us tantalising glimpses of where they sprang from and what happened to them. In The Crimson Petal and the White, we came to know Sugar, the alluring nineteen-year-old in Mrs Castaway's brothel, and followed her rise through 1870s London society. The Crimson Petal was not only a wonderful story, it created an entire, extraordinary world. Now, with the wonderful new stories in The Apple, Michel Faber has opened the door once again onto that world, and takes us into the lives of the characters we came to love.
A new cover edition of Michel Faber's bestselling blockbuster about a 19th century London prostitute
In this masterful combination of theological satire and book-world farce, the bestselling author of The Crimson Petal and the White allows his storytelling talent free rein. Theo Griepenkerl is a scholar of ancient languages, grudgingly resigned to a life of obscurity. Then, on an artefact-finding mission to Iraq, he 'rescues' some Aramaic scrolls from a bombed museum and smuggles them home to Canada. Translating furiously, Theo reveals the work of a scribe called Malchus: an early Christian and a contemporary of Christ himself. It is a fifth gospel that gives an all-too-frank eyewitness account of the Crucifixion. It could have incendiary implications for the faith of millions. But in the meantime Theo Griepenkerl has a publishing sensation to promote... By turns comic, thought-provoking and shocking, The Fire Gospel, another title in the International Myths Series is a celebration of human fallibility that will delight Faber fans old and new. Michel Faber has written six previous books, including the novels The Fire Gospel, Under the Skin and The Crimson Petal and the White. He has won several literary awards, among them the Neil Gunn, Ian St James, Macallan and the Saltire First Book of the Year Award. Born in Holland and brought up in Australia, Faber now lives in the Scottish Highlands. textpublishing.com.au 'This highly entertaining recasting of a Christian myth is witty and intelligent...Highly recommended.' Canberra Times 'This is a man who would give Conrad a run at writing the perfect sentence.' Guardian 'Manages the difficult task of being a hugely entertaining narrative about our depthless human capacity for stupidity, hatred and greed...Faber is a beguiling entertainer.' Geordie Williamson, Australian 'An entertaining story, with a vein of playful symbolism running throughout...A provocative little volume with a strong element of knowing humour. Its most strikingly mischievous feature is that, while it appears at first to be a satire on religious extremism, at root it is a satire on the book business, the pliable nature of readers and the egotism of authors.' Financial Times

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