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Preview — The Pesthouse by Jim Crace
Jim Crace is a writer of spectacular originality and a command of language that moves a reader effortlessly into the world of his imagination. In The Pesthouse he imagines an America of the future where a man and a woman trek across a devastated and dangerous landscape, finding strength in each other and an unexpected love.
Once the safest, most prosperous place on earth, t
The event - which apparently consisted of multiple seismic shifts - has destroyed America's infrastructure and demolished her cities and factories, stripping the continent of its industries and technological advances - and strippe...more
Longtime followers of my creative projects know that in general I don't like publishing bad reviews; that for the most part I see it as a waste of both my time and yours, in that I could be spending that time instead pointing out great artists you may have never heard of. However, since one of the things this website is dedicated to is honest artistic criticism, I also feel it's important to acknowledge books th...more
First off, there's that whole "how can a Brit write about America" thing. Well pish-tosh, what Mr. Crace has written isn't just about America. It could have been set in England. Or Germany. Substitute any technologically advanced culture. It works. Eco-di...more
Whereas The Road is set within living memory of...more
The setting is many generations after an apocalyptic event that ruined most of North America. Crace doesn't describe the nature of the apocalypse or when it happened (I was guessing around 500 years prior), but these details don't matter. The entire story could have taken place in potato-famine Ire...more
Anyway, the story really doesn’t go anywhere and seems to get bogged down with narrative. I honestly can’t find anything remarkable about the book. At the same time, I can’t find anything remarkably terrible about it either. I guess I’d say that reading it was like being...more
For now I will assume that it doesn't reflect on Jim Crace's less commissioned works.
Margaret is infected with the "fl...more
My issue with this book was with its dystopian elements. I am a big fan of the genre, and in the best examples of these books the setting is just as important as the characters. Why t...more
I so wanted to like this, if just for Crace's admirable ability as a writer. That said, the long, descriptive paragraphs, full of sentences, skillfully put together, broken by numerous commas, used to say the same thing, again, in another w...more
The Pesthouse is set in a 1000-year-old America which has seen better days. Technology is a thing of the past and li...more
Most critics compared The Pesthouse to Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize?winning The Road (****1/2 Nov/Dec 2006). While The Pesthouse is equally devastating in its postapocalyptic vision, the novel, less spare in its sensory descriptions, contains a mordant wit and rounded female characters. Jim Crace, the author of eight previous novels (including the 2000 National Book Critics Circle Award?winning Being Dead), compellingly chronicles a reverse migration and abandoned moral codes while raising i...more
Although this book falls into that definition, I think that this has been the least engaging one that I have read. The story is slow, I couldn't care less about our two main characters, and the writing was soporific. The two main characters exhibit lapses in logic that ar...more
Other than that I was very disappointed in this novel. The author's style is very much to stay in the heads of his characters which dra...more
People in this new America have been hearing rumors for several years that at the east coast there are sailing ships that will take them to Europe, to a new life. So, many Americans have le...more
This is a post-apocalyptic novel set in America destroyed by unnamed forces. Although it's set further after the apocalypse and features a young couple instead of a father and son, it reminds me of The Road, but I actually preferred this book because to me at least, it is just a bit more positive than Cormac McCarthy's world view, which I find too da...more
Crace grew up with his siblings Richard, Cyril, and Graham in Forty Hill, a...more