Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “All the Perverse Angels” as Want to Read:
All the Perverse Angels
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

All the Perverse Angels

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Anna, an art curator, leaves a psychiatric hospital and finds herself in an English village, sharing a rented cottage with her partner. Seeking refuge from the aftermath of past infidelities, she constructs a personal reality from the brushstrokes and histories of her favourite artworks.

A chance discovery in the cottage's attic leads Anna on a journey back to the late nine
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 22nd 2018 by Unbound
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about All the Perverse Angels, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about All the Perverse Angels

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  24 reviews

Sort order
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"van gogh's church is all curves in a miraculous balance. his church buckles and looms, but never seems precarious. in places it resolves into the straight lines of buttress and tower window, providing subtle anchors for the building. my church was everywhere perpendicular, or, at least, that's how i saw it. the fault might have been with my eyes, or vincent's."

i'm so profoundly surprised by this book. my first few steps were hesitant; there was something self-conscious, almost laboured, in the
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, netgalley
Was it the title or was it the cover? Either way this book appealed to me. We start off with Anna and Emily in the Cotswolds. Anna is "recovering" from something, Emily is her partner and looking after her. I found the writing lovely however I confess to being a little confused at times. The story switches to Victorian times (mostly around 1887) and a very new Ladies College in Oxford. There is a painting that links the two threads and art is a very important part of this story.

The story then sw
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One can’t really use the adage perfect on paper for a book. It just doesn’t seem right, too punny or something. And yet it’s a perfect way to describe my opinion of this book. It had all the correct elements, all the things I like, alternating timelines, historical fiction, investigation into the past involving art/literature and yet…there was something hypnotically soporific about the execution that made me put it down over and over again in favor of more dynamic stories until I finally powered ...more
Niall Slater
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was blown away by this - it's been ages since I read a book that I could sink completely into just for the quality of the writing. It's surprising and beautiful (and occasionally very funny) and I really didn't want it to end. All the Perverse Angels was well out of my comfort zone, but the characters are so well realised that I found myself completely absorbed from the first page to the last. READ IT.
Bill Colegrave
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have put down All the Perverse Angels, and sadly so, because it has been my friend these past few days. Sad for other reasons.....but stimulated and enriched. That is a sign of a really fine book; and this surely is one. I felt some intellectual complicity with Sarah/Anna, for which I have little justification because I have none of her talent for vivifying works of art. I was carried as an enchanted observer to the romantic relationships. I found myself recalling Brideshead; not just the loca ...more
Stevyn Colgan
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, clever, occasionally heartstrings-tugging, this is a beautifully written debut. Deserves to be entered for a few literary awards. Read it. You'll love it.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
All the Perverse Angels is a book I feel quite personally about, because I inititally came across it about two years ago, when it was still being crowdfunded on Unbound. At the time I was skint, and couldn’t support it financially—but now that it’s been published, I can support it by selling the hell out of it. A dual-timeframe narrative is one of those techniques that either works brilliantly, or fails miserably; Marr manages hers very well, by keeping her point of view characters to two, and b ...more
Maximilian Hawker
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
'All the Perverse Angels' is Sarah K. Marr's debut novel and is breathtakingly written. It weaves together two core narratives separated by over a century, though linked together through art and diary entries in a very pleasing way.

The book deals with the profundity of loss and identity, conceived and delivered with striking intelligence and thought; it is easily the most accomplished novel I have read in some time. At the heart of it is the emotional and intellectual link between our two heroi
Patrick Kincaid
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's pleasure and anxiety in picking up something by a debut novelist: you really don't know what to expect. But you won't have got far into All the Perverse Angels before realising that Sarah K Marr is a writer with an assured and individual voice.

I loved this book, and it did remind me of two others I've loved: AS Byatt's Possession and (perhaps more relevantly) Peter Ackroyd's Chatterton. There's something in the way all three novelists explore the deep resonances between lives lived in d
Tabatha Stirling
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beautiful
Once in a decade or two there comes along a writer who does dazzling things to my brain. That makes me want to write more, to read more and to live more.

It happened with Somerset Maugham, Jean Rhys, Lesley Glaister, Simone De Beauvoir and now, again with Sarah K Marr’s, ‘All The Perverse Angels’.

The publisher described it as a quiet book and I would agree but only because great literary fiction is often labelled as such. But this book is also vocal, pioneering, candid and accessible.

And it is me
Ann T
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you a Unbound and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this ARc in return for my honest review.

This is an engaging debut novel based around the stories of two different characters, from different times.
If you love art and language you will love the way this book has both woven throughout.

Anna is an art curator who suffers from mental illness and who is seeking refuge. This book starts slowly but it drew me in and left me wishing for another book by this new author soon.
Michael Tweed
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Clever and thoughtful.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Judging by all the rave reviews, I am obviously missing something here. I couldn’t get into this book at all. It was long-winded and I struggled to finish it.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a brilliant, wonderful book. I loved it. If you're a fan of Sarah Waters, I think you'll love it too.
Rachael Eyre
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara Logan
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. From the start, I became completely invested. Marr writes of her characters with such sensitivity. They are vulnerable and compelling, and each one, satisfyingly unique. These two different stories, from different times, are expertly woven together in this sophisticated - yet utterly accessible - work; lovers of language and art will relish it. Anna, the narrating character, is an art curator whose knowledge and insight into classic works - and their artists - help her make tr ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
A cottage in the Cotswolds seems like the perfect place for Anna to recuperate from a serious psychological trauma, with her partner, Emily. But then, near the beginning of Sarah K. Marr’s All the Perverse Angels, Anna finds a Pre-Raphaelite painting from the late Victorian era and her obsessive art conservator’s brain kicks into high gear. Instead of resting and taking her pills like a good girl, Anna dives into a quest to find out everything about the painting and the models who sat for it—any ...more
Cath Barton
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a novel in which chapters alternate between the present day and the late nineteenth century. I have read books in which this is a clunky device, but in All the Perverse Angels there is a gradual and genuine coming together of the parallel stories, until they read almost seamlessly, and very effectively, as one.

I really liked the way in which Anna, the narrator of the present day story, brings in descriptions of pictures. I could see them so clearly, and they contributed really well to u
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book absolutely enamored me.
It's so well balanced between the two timelines, and the characters are also all around endearing and sympathetic. It is definitely written and best appreciated by art and history lovers/scholars.
If I had any criticism, I would say that a bit more exposition behind Emily's character would be advantageous towards a better climatic resolution.
Overall though, this really is a stunning debut. I hope Marr stays at her craft.
Mark Bowsher
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read with an amazing set of characters. Anna and Emily's relationship is my favourite part of the novel - for all the grand, sweeping themes Marr weaves throughout the novel it's the heartfelt relationship between these two characters that stood out to me.
Lev Parikian
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A beautifully written and accomplished debut. Warm and engaging, wearing its deep intelligence lightly, All The Perverse Angels is a thoroughly satisfying and thought-provoking read. Strongly recommended.
Hannah Newill
rated it really liked it
Aug 15, 2018
Edward Higgins
rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2018
rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2018
rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2018
Beth  Bennett
rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2018
Stephanie Bretherton
rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2019
Kelly Mccallum
rated it it was amazing
Jan 26, 2018
rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2018
rated it liked it
Oct 10, 2018
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Sarah K. Marr started writing fiction at school, but got distracted. After studying law, anthropology and theoretical physics at the Universities of Oxford, Manchester and London, respectively, she finally returned to her first love and wrote "All the Perverse Angels". She lives in London, where she spends too much time in art galleries and buys too many second-hand books.