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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A hypnotic murder mystery, a scathing literary parody, and a brilliant pastiche of genres, Betrayals once again demonstrates the virtuosity of the irresistibly entertaining author of The Quincunx, working at his "fiendishly clever" (San Francisco Chronicle) best. "Ingenious in the higest degree."--The Boston Globe.
Hardcover, 353 pages
Published January 24th 1995 by Ballantine Books (first published 1994)
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Did you enjoy House of Leaves? How about A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters? Do you like puzzles? Murder mysteries?

Betrayals is a collection of seemingly disparate narratives: an obituary for a scientist written by a colleague who seems to delight in his rival's passing; the tale of four passengers stranded on a snowbound train, seemingly told by two very different people, with the stories the passengers tell one another to stave off cold and fear embedded within in it Canterbury-style;...more
I remember enjoying Palliser's The Quincunx when I read it many years ago, and his The Unburied when I read that about ten years ago. But neither really prepared me for Betrayals, which I thought absolutely superb. It's a type of postmodern fiction I especially like, in which a number of disparate stories eventually form an overall story from the hints and clues they drop. Betrayals opens with a report of a group of people trapped by snow in a train in late Victorian Scotland. To pass the time u...more
Though brilliant in the embedded plot twists and intertwining, I felt that the author was 'Too Clever by Half' and lost me (and most readers I'm sure). I felt that I caught some but not all of the inter-relationships between the separate stories in this novel. This left me frustrated that there were connections I know I should have seen, but that I didn't connect and so only understood the top two-thirds of the total plot twists and tricks.

I think this is a very well written book, but to be app...more
I loved Charles Palliser's The Quincunx and so I bought this slimmer novel in hopes that he would rekindle some of the magic I found in the earlier book. A couple of weeks ago my wife was looking for a new book and, although I hadn't yet read this, I gave it to her. She laughed her way through it and after finishing it she insisted I read it immediately. Naturally I did so and after finishing it she asked me,"well did you like it?" I replied, "No, it was terrible." To which I received the rejoin...more
Il est interdit à quiconque, sous peine des sanctions les plus graves, de déflorer l'histoire de ce livre. On avancera donc ici avec une extrême précaution…

On confirmera simplement, pour tous ceux qui seraient tentés, en cours de lecture, de prendre ce récit pour un recueil de nouvelles, que l'ouvrage qu'ils ont entre les mains est bien un roman.

Oh, certes, un roman un peu compliqué, tout en fausses pistes, fausses portes et fausses barbes (mais les cadavres et les crimes sont vrais).

So, Father's Day - also Bloomsday, it turns out - what's a doting Dad to do? Me, I spent most of it on the porch enjoying the low clouds, the cool breeze, the distant cries of unicyclists on the Square and read Betrayals by Charles Palliser. Eventually I went inside and read it some more, because the grey clouds did what grey clouds do and chased even the unicyclists away.

Betrayals was an unalloyed pleasure from first to last, and a reread at that. Since at least two of the disparate ten chapter...more
A clever set of related documents - newspaper clippings, diaries, book chapters, letters - that shed partial light on a "famous" Scottish murder mystery. Very, very funny and addictive. Do not read this book if you like to close the final page and feel that you've wrapped the story up! I'm still thinking about it - and I've read this book twice!
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Lisa Daleiden-brugman
Eck. I can't really rate this because I actually abandoned this book. Too many freaky stories leading to some odd dreams.
what a bloody disappointment
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Charles Palliser (born 1947) is an American-born, British-based novelist. He is the elder brother of the late author and freelance journalist Marcus Palliser.
Born in New England he is an American citizen but has lived in the United Kingdom since the age of three. He went up to Oxford in 1967 to read English Language and Literature and took a First in June 1970. He was awarded the B. Litt. in 1975...more
More about Charles Palliser...
The Quincunx The Unburied Rustication The Sensationist Le Quinconce, tome 2 : Les Faubourgs de l'enfer

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“To exist is to be betrayed, since we exist for others only by virtue of what we betray of ourselves to them.” 10 likes
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