An Instance of the Fingerpost
"It is 1663, and England is wracked with intrigue and civil strife. When an Oxford don is murdered, it seems at first that the incident can have nothing to do with great matters of church and state....Yet, little...more
The measured revelation -- and eventual closure -- of what ends up being a complex event, initially disg...more
If all the men were like the characters in this book, then I'm glad I didn't live in that time period! The 2 q...more
This story has four parts, each told in the first person by a different narrator. Each tells about roughly the same events in the same place (Oxford, 1663, and a little bit of London), but the narratives a...more
Next up, by the way is Mafouz’s Cairo Trilogy. I started it last night, and am already a hundred pages in. It is really, really good, and I feel so lucky that I am getting to read it here. The goal is to finish the trilogy before I leave (it clocks in around 12,000 pages) incl...more
In essance, the story is 4 parts: each part with one narrator retelling their experiences leading up to the night of a crime and their oppinions of who-did-it, which will give you doubt about each story you read. A GREAT structure for t...more
This mystery is told from multiple perspectives. Pears does a fascinating job of telling a story with characters who tell skewed stories and half-truths, and rarely garner much sympathy from the reader.
It's loaded with philosophy (highlighting the Empiricism/Rationalism/Late Thomism debates), and also focuses on the changes occurring in the sciences. The disc...more
The opinions I've come across on this book are divided pretty evenly between 'couldn't read it' and 'absolutely loved it' - no one seems to end up on the middle ground. I thought the lack of averageness was as good a reason to read it as any, and besides, it sounded fascinatingly different from the mysteries I generally devour.
The story is divided into four separate narratives; each detailing some of the same events from another point of view, each adding to and changing the reader's idea of wh...more
I mean, I read as damn much as I could. which was roughly 1/3. it was going nowhere, and honestly, I didn't find it compelling enough to move much further. there's a sort of mystery I couldn't really get into, and there's regular (and, at the end of the book, carefully cited) appearances by british scientists and philosophers of the period, but there was nothing that actually made me want to pay attention. I didn't care about the characters or their progress.
I almost always write my own summaries of the books I read. I’ve decided to make an exception for this book tho...more
Iain Pears' current best seller is something of a tour-de-force of historical detective novel writing. It is the story of the visit made by a Venetian, Marco de Cola, to Oxford during the 1660s - the early years of the Restoration of the monarchy after the rule of Cromwell. Politically, these were days of shifting loyalties (due in large part among the upper classes to Charles II's somewhat inconsistent rewarding of services made to him and punish...more
It's a kind of historical myste...more