The novel opens in London, in the 1880s, with the Barton household on the brink of collapse. ...more
The premise is this: Constance Barton, after two miscarriages, gave birth to a daughter whom she and her husband, Joseph, named Angelica. ...more
Phillips is a beautiful writer. I mean really, really good with creating textured sentences, mind-boggling prose. If I only had one-fifth of this guy's writing ability I'd be happy. So as far as just enjoying a wonderfully written piece of writing, this.is.it.folks.
If you are searching for other and possibly ...more
Alright, I persevered. I think a big part of the problem is that the ...more
The book is broken down into four sections - each section tells the same story, but from the differing points of view of the four major players in the plot. The first section - from Constance's (the mother) point of view - is the strongest and has the most supernatural, ghostly feel. From there, the story becomes less about the supernatural and more about the facts, as the other characters - whether from profession (Joseph-the father; Anne-the "medium") or from youth (Angelica-the ...more
My 2nd Arthur Phillips. I picked up Prague on a whim MANY years ago and remember loving it. I enjoy reading books by the same author so was looking forward to another mind-bending, if a bit dizzying, writing ...more
first from the view of the hysterical, haunted mother, second from the charlatan spiritualist and third, from the cold, domineering father. Each version manipulates the reader's perspective, fears and sympathies in a different manner and upends previous assumptions.
The final entry is sure to frustrate some readers and please ...more
It's a ghost story. Or is it? I can't possibly say after having read the whole thing.
One good thing about the book is that it's told in four parts, each focusing on the same story through the perspective of each of the four main characters. That in itself could have been pretty interesting if it weren't ...more
In Angelica, the talented Arthur Phillips (Prague, ***1/2 Nov/Dec 2002) pays homage to Henry James's famous ghost story, "The Turn of the Screw," but piles on multiple viewpoints to add maddening and obscure layers to the story. Reviewers loved the way Phillips tackles Freudian issues and shows how men and women process the same narrative differently. His pacing may strike some as slow__it is a Victorian novel, after all__but it yields a chilling, surprising tale of great psychological depth....more
This was agony to get through. I appreciated the unique viewpoints but all of the characters were deplorable. I simply could not get "into" it without a single likable character. It's not just that they were not likable, I really tried to like them, and ended up detesting them all. I found myself yelling ...more