Adam's Reviews > Fingersmith

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jun 19, 2007

did not like it
Recommended for: people who like lesbian sex

Boring. Just boring. Painfully painfully boring. Are you willing to slough through 592 pages of wanna-be Victorian writing for a couple of plot twists and lesbian sex scenes?

Half the damn book was Waters narrating in excruciating detail who blushed when. Or, as she puts it, whose "face coloured" when. Note the 'u' in colored. That means that it's a classy British book and not at all a bland excuse to foist a little bit of bean-fiddling on those who are too repressed to admit that that's what they really want to read about.

I will never forgive the person who recommended this book to me.
39 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Fingersmith.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Stacy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stacy Small minds need constant entertainment. Small words and short page lengths help, too. That doesn't mean the book's not great. It's a taste of Victorian life wrapped up in a tale of love, deceit, and, yes, lesbianism. The plot twists are unexpected and the characters are skillfully portrayed. Highly recommended.

message 2: by Adam (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Adam The characters are skillfully portrayed only if they are actually one-dimensional people. I assumed that they were multi-dimensional people who were unskillfully portrayed by an author who clearly struggled to describe anything other than a woman's vagina.

That Waters could take such a complicated, twisted plot and bore me to death with it is its own kind of skill. Just not the kind that makes one a good author.

message 3: by Stacy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stacy Those are mighty strong words for somebody with a teddy bear icon.

message 4: by Holly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Holly Yeah, we spell it with a 'u' over here. We don't do it to be classy, that's just how it is. And we're not gonna change that, kthnxbai.

Nikki Strangely enough, British writers do tend to spell coloured with a 'u'. That's the way British people spell coloured.

I haven't read the book yet, but the fact that it's a bit of Neo-Victorianism makes it more interesting for those with the patience, I should think. I think the only other Neo-Victorian novel I've read is The French Lieutenant's Woman, so this should be interesting.

I think the point of the lesbian parts of the storyline was more due to the fact that the author is bisexual and came across a lot of the research for her novels while doing her PhD in gay and lesbian literature over the past couple of hundred years.

message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Hmmm, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel might be Neo-Victorian, but is a novel that extremely cleverly uses a pseudo-Victorian style to ironically examine the assumptions of Victorian writers and Victorian society as a whole?

Is there a Neo-Victorian literary movement? How retrograde if there is!

It should be noted that the British spelling of "colour" more closely reflects its pronouciation on both sides of the Atlantic and if one were to drop one letter from the word in order to more closely reflect its pronounciation it should be the second "o" not the first "u"!

Nikki From remarks by the lecturers when studying The French Lieutenant's Woman, yep, there is a Neo-Victorian movement. I can't say I've come across it much other than that -- although JS & MN kind of counts (I believe it's intended to be a pastiche of Austen, though, if I remember rightly -- Austen is pre-Victorian, right?).

...My knowledge of literary movements is kind of woeful, given that I'm an English Lit student.

'Color' always looks so wrong to me. Kind of... naked. And it tastes different. /synaesthete

message 8: by Robert (last edited Jun 24, 2009 04:20PM) (new)

Robert OK - so Austen died in 1817 and Victoria was born in 1819, so they were never even contemporaries - I have to say I never knew Austen was that early.

American elision of the "u" from from the -our suffix gives me deep shudders every time but its not merely British aesthetic prejudice - it's not justified by pronounciation either. Even Webster was opposed to it!

Nikki I always kind of classed Austen in with the Victorian period, but got corrected -- around the time when I read JS & MN, actually.

message 10: by C. (new) - rated it 3 stars

C. 'Bean fiddling': ha ha ha! Never heard that one.

Dalton Adams bean fiddling! Hilarious. I agree with your review, completely.

Lucinda The "lesbian sex scenes" as you call them are numbered as two. And the crafty details and plot and meant to emulate the novels of Victorian literature.

back to top