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Il petalo cremisi e il bianco by Faber…

Il petalo cremisi e il bianco (2002)

by Faber Michel, Parwschi Monica (Translator), Dal Pra Elena (Translator)

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5,123166871 (3.88)1 / 358
Title:Il petalo cremisi e il bianco
Authors:Faber Michel
Other authors:Parwschi Monica (Translator), Dal Pra Elena (Translator)
Collections:Your library
Tags:2000, romanzo storico

Work details

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (Author) (2002)

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English (157)  Dutch (4)  Italian (2)  German (2)  French (1)  All languages (166)
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
Do you love to get lost in a tale so deep and it's like swimming in an ocean of sadness? I loved this book and feel blessed there are a couple more books from Michel Faber that I have yet to read. Poor Sugar, poor Sophie, poor Agnes, poor everybody, life is just too hard and too sad. But for me, the reader, it was pure pleasure. Now onto the BBC mini-series, the only problem I had with the book is that once I knew the teleplay existed, William Rackham took on the semblance of Chris O'Dowd and I couldn't shake it. But it didn't diminish his ineptitude or literary persona. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  deborahk | Jun 12, 2015 |
The only problem with this book was it was too long. I liked the story and the main character Sugar. I was hoping for a good life for her. The Victorian era in England was so stifling and constrictive, I don't know how everyone survived during those times, especially women. A more strict editing would have gotten this book a better rating from me. 200 pages too long. ( )
  janismack | Mar 30, 2015 |
Set in Victorian England, this is the story of Sugar, a prostitute, and her relationship with William Rackham, a wealthy perfume manufacturer. William is drawn to Sugar based on a description of her "abilities" in a popular men's magazine. When they first meet, he is a young man who has not quite assumed responsibility for his father's business. But Sugar inspires him to get his life together. William strikes a deal with the madam, Mrs Castaway, for Sugar to be his mistress, and installs her in a house closer to his home. He begins to take his professional responsibilities more seriously, the business prospers under his hand, and Sugar experiences a lifestyle she had never dreamed of.

But all is not well in Rackham-land. Mental illness and repression run rampant. His wife, Agnes, is an invalid and subject to mental breakdowns. His daughter Sophie is rarely seen or heard. His brother Henry aspires to the clergy, but can't quite make that happen and meanwhile, is shamed by his attraction to Emmeline Fox. These sub-plots move along, weaving in and out of the story of William and Sugar, for nearly 900 pages.

Yes, that's right: 900 pages. I don't shy away from long books, but I'm hard pressed to describe this novel in a way that justifies its length. At first I enjoyed the rambling story, rich with Victorian detail. About 2/3 of the way through, I began to tire of it. And then there was the sex, which given Sugar's background is rather necessary to the plot. But there was little love or tenderness in the encounters between Sugar and William, which made me question how they maintained any sort of relationship. In the end, the story lines resolved in sometimes unrealistic, and sometimes ambiguous, ways, which I assume was intentional but it also felt a bit like the author just ran out of steam. ( )
4 vote lauralkeet | Mar 1, 2015 |
I love a good tome, one that ferries you off to a different time and place and is concluded with a moment of sweet parting sorrow. Such is the leisurely veil I bask in until… my hand falls quietly upon the pile of books waiting to be devoured, and I am off on my next adventure. ( )
  BALE | Feb 16, 2015 |
Although I expected to enjoy this book, as I voraciously consumed Faber's "Under the Skin" in almost a single sitting, I did not expect to love it. Historical fiction isn't really my bag, and I don't have a lot of interest in Victorian London. But everything about the novel drew me in at once, from the narrative style to the cast of characters to the thoroughly gritty depictions of the assault to all five senses that their London must have been. Unlike "Under the Skin" I savoured this story in small pieces over the course of a month; anything else would have been too bleak. I am looking forward to watching the BBC miniseries next. ( )
  cygnoir | Jan 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Faber, MichelAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Świerkocki, MaciejTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dal Pra, ElenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Damsma, HarmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larsson, NilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Möhring, Hans-UlrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miedema, NiekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Omland, StianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pareschi, MonicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, HilkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saint-Aubin, Guillemette deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Varrelmann, ClausTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vigild, NielsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zulaika, JaimeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The girls that are wanted are good girls
Good from the heart to the lips
Pure as the lily is white and pure
From its heart to its sweet leaf tips.

The girls that are wanted are girls with hearts
They are wanted for mothers and wives
Wanted to cradle in loving arms
The strongest and frailest lives.

The clever, the witty, the brilliant girl
There are few who can understand
But, oh! For the wise, loving home girls
There's a constant, steady demand.

from 'The Girls that are Wanted' J.H. Gray, c. 1880
To Eva, with love and thanks
First words
Watch your step.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
blurb : Meet Sugar, a nineteen year old prostitute in Victorian London who yearns for escape to a better life. From the brothel of the terrifying Mrs. Castaway, she begins her ascent through society. Beginning with William Rackham, a perfume magnate whose lust for Sugar soon begins to smell like love, she meets a host of lovable, maddening, unforgettable characters as her social rise is overseen by assorted preening socialites, drunken journalists, untrustworthy servants, vile guttersnipes, and whores of all kinds.
Haiku summary
Soapmaker's mistress
Wants to be secretary
But does a "Jane Eyre"

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156028778, Paperback)

Although it's billed as "the first great 19th-century novel of the 21st century," The Crimson Petal and the White is anything but Victorian. The story of a well-read London prostitute named Sugar, who spends her free hours composing a violent, pornographic screed against men, Michel Faber's dazzling second novel dares to go where George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss and the works of Charles Dickens could not. We learn about the positions and orifices that Sugar and her clients favor, about her lingering skin condition, and about the suspect ingredients of her prophylactic douches. Still, Sugar believes she can make a better life for herself. When she is taken up by a wealthy man, the perfumer William Rackham, her wings are clipped, and she must balance financial security against the obvious servitude of her position. The physical risks and hardships of Sugar's life (and the even harder "honest" life she would have led as a factory worker) contrast--yet not entirely--with the medical mistreatment of her benefactor's wife, Agnes, and beautifully underscore Faber's emphasis on class and sexual politics. In theme and treatment, this is a novel that Virginia Woolf might have written, had she been born 70 years later. The language, however, is Faber's own--brisk and elastic--and, after an awkward opening, the plethora of detail he offers (costume, food, manners, cheap stage performances, the London streets) slides effortlessly into his forward-moving sentences. When Agnes goes mad, for instance, "she sings on and on, while the house is discreetly dusted all around her and, in the concealed and subterranean kitchen, a naked duck, limp and faintly steaming, spreads its pimpled legs on a draining board." Despite its 800-plus pages, The Crimson Petal and the White turns out to be a quick read, since it is truly impossible to put down. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

From the Publisher: At the Heart of this panoramic, multidimensional narrative is the compelling struggle of a young woman to lift her body and soul out of the gutter. Michel Faber leads us back to 1870s London, where Sugar, a nineteen-year-old whore in the brothel of the terrifying Mrs. Castaway, yearns for escape into a better life. Her ascent through the strata of Victorian society offers us intimacy with a host of lovable, maddening, unforgettable characters. They begin with William Rackham, an egotistical perfume magnate whose ambition is fueled by his lust for Sugar, and whose patronage of her brings her into proximity to his extended family and milieu: his unhinged, child-like wife, Agnes; his mysteriously hidden-away daughter, Sophie; and his pious brother Henry, foiled in his devotional calling by a persistently less-than-chaste love for the Widow Fox, whose efforts on behalf of The Rescue Society lead Henry into ever-more disturbing confrontations with flesh. All this is overseen by assorted preening socialites, drunken journalists, untrustworthy servants, vile guttersnipes, and whores of all stripes and persuasions. Twenty years in its conception, research, and writing, The Crimson Petal and the White is a singular literary achievement-a gripping, intoxicating, deeply satisfying Victorian novel written with an immediacy, compassion, and insight that give it a timeless and universal appeal.… (more)

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