Wordsmith's Reviews > The Crimson Petal and the White

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
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Mar 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: sex, literature, award-winning-book-or-author, lit-british, star-four, historical-faction, family-dysfunction, ranking-2012-reads-processing, over-500-pages
Recommended for: Brit Vic Lit-Love A Long Read

Beautifully written, well-researched, this rollicking tale rolls on along that after so long it's abundantly clear you've invested much of your reading time inside of Faber's world. Not that I'm saying it's a waste of time spent, this ride has been a vastly layered one. A multi one too. But after you've read on and on and invested so much of yourself and your time, in his world, following his narrator, politely, as asked, only to reach the last 40 or 30 or 20 or so pages and feel all that investment fizzle away simply because Mr. Faber has fizzled away, in some fundamental, indefinable way, is rather off putting, to say the least. The abruptness I can handle, I suppose, as most readers do, or should, have a LITTLE imagination in 'em. I don't mind imaging my own futures for certain characters at least sometimes, over most times when every step and every breath that they take is indelibly etched into my brain as if their life were etched in stone, as if it was, or more likely would have all been written down. But in this case, in this book, the effect was just a little too jarring, it wasn't in pace with all, and I do mean ALL that bulk of a book that precedes it. Still worth a read, just prepare yourself, be forewarned, getting towards the very end is not going to be like sliding home, it will be more like "Yerrr Out!" Suddenly.
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Reading Progress

March 16, 2012 – Started Reading
March 16, 2012 – Shelved
March 16, 2012 –
page 220
26.35% "Just like all the reviews said, both the yays and the nays at this point. But I'm not hating it."
March 17, 2012 –
page 450
53.89% "Leaning more towards the the yays camp at this stage of the of the story, but still sympathetic to the nays reservations."
March 19, 2012 –
page 512
61.32%
March 19, 2012 – Shelved as: sex
March 19, 2012 – Shelved as: literature
March 19, 2012 – Shelved as: award-winning-book-or-author
March 19, 2012 – Finished Reading
June 11, 2012 – Shelved as: lit-british
June 11, 2012 – Shelved as: star-four
June 11, 2012 – Shelved as: historical-faction
June 11, 2012 – Shelved as: family-dysfunction
November 25, 2012 – Shelved as: ranking-2012-reads-processing
November 25, 2012 – Shelved as: over-500-pages

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Steve Uh oh, this one had been high on my list, but now I'm not so sure. The 900 page investment daunts me, too. Thanks for the warning.


Wordsmith I think a lot of it would depend on, as you say, time invested. If you read rather quick, the story does "rollick" along, and Faber does tell his story very well. Just be prepared for loose strings at the ends. He does not tie these life's all up with a pretty bow, packaged all neat and nice for our approval. One thing: I've always wondered; why on earth I threw that baseball analogy in there. Very odd. I don't un-recommend this book. I say, proceed with caution.


Steve Thanks for elaborating.

And hey, I liked the baseball analogy (though I know college football is more your thing).


Wordsmith Rolllllll Tide Roll ; )


Sarah (Presto agitato) Wordsmith wrote: "I think a lot of it would depend on, as you say, time invested. If you read rather quick, the story does "rollick" along, and Faber does tell his story very well. Just be prepared for loose strings..."

There is some follow-up in The Apple: New Crimson Petal Stories, but I agree - in this big, long book it's not unreasonable to expect a little more tying up of loose ends. I still loved it, though.


message 6: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn I have wanted to read this book for years. However, I haven't known anyone whose read it, but have seen mixed reviews. You've made me think about this one again, but, I don't know....Some of the things you said are things I don't like in novels. Hmm...but the premise makes it sound interesting. Argghh..


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