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The Quincunx (1989)

by Charles Palliser

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Quincunx (Complete)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,396576,360 (4.11)135
A young man searching for his origins is drawn from the Northern England countryside into the violent and corrupt London underworld of the late Regency.
  1. 70
    The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (Booksloth)
  2. 10
    The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Limelite)
    Limelite: Another neo-Victorian complex mystery novel but set in New Zealand.
  3. 10
    An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears (bookfitz)
  4. 00
    The American Boy by Andrew Taylor (loccaro)
  5. 01
    The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett (feeling.is.first)
    feeling.is.first: Complex Victorian world-building. Mrs Quent is set in alternate reality, while Quincunx is set in Dickens' London.
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» See also 135 mentions

English (50)  Dutch (6)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
A good yarn in the fashion of Name of the Rose but set in early 19th century London. Rich and many-layered. ( )
  jemisonreads | Jan 22, 2024 |
exciting, intricate tale, but the idiocy of the mother drove me up the wall. this did not ruin the book though.
  lidaskoteina | Jul 22, 2023 |
Reading this epic story is like trudging through mud, the details and characters like a recipe for Mexican mole sauce! Tedious, I decuded its not worth the effort especially with nearly 800 pages of 9 point size text! ( )
  Jonathan5 | Feb 20, 2023 |
Huzzah! What an adventure! Couldn't put it down. Contemporary writer deftly delivers a sprawling Dickensian masterpiece with unreliable narrators thrown in to boot. The reader has to actually solve all the unanswered questions without the direct help of the narrator/sequential plot. Hidden within the quincunx of The Quincunx, the true story is apparently accessible (from reviews I've read) if one carefully rereads and studies the clues... ( )
  invisiblecityzen | Mar 13, 2022 |
Huzzah! What an adventure! Couldn't put it down. Contemporary writer deftly delivers a sprawling Dickensian masterpiece with unreliable narrators thrown in to boot. The reader has to actually solve all the unanswered questions without the direct help of the narrator/sequential plot. Hidden within the quincunx of The Quincunx, the true story is apparently accessible (from reviews I've read) if one carefully rereads and studies the clues... ( )
  invisiblecityzen | Mar 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
'"The Quincunx" deserves the hoopla; it's an astonishing imitation, a Borgesian feat of sustained imaginative anachronism, the fictional equivalent of Colonial Williamsburg.'
 
"Quintuple the length of the ordinary novel, this extraordinary tour de force also has five times the ordinary allotment of adventure, action and aplomb."
added by bookfitz | editPublishers Weekly (Jan 1, 1990)
 
"Palliser's first novel is an extraordinary achievement: a triple-decker (800-page) Victorian pastiche, obviously modeled on Bleak House, unfolding the staggeringly complex tale of young John Huffam's attempts to ward off ruin and death until he can solve multiple family mysteries."
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Palliser, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jonkers, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Phillips, JennyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
Quid Quincunce speciosius, qui, in quamcunque partem spectaveris, rectus est? (Quintillian)
Dedication
For My Mother
(4th May 1919—22nd February 1989)
First words
It must have been late autumn of that year, and probably it was towards dusk for the sake of being less conspicuous.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the omnibus of the 5 Quincunx books, do not combine single split books into it.

Amendment: Originally published as one volume in English language editions, this was subsequently published as five separate books in France and some other countries - The individual editions should not be combined with the single volume English editions, the English listing on Amazon with the subtitle 'The Inheritance of John Huffam' is for a combined edition and is not in fact 'part 1'; the same goes for the Dutch edition 'De Quincunx : de erfenis van John Huffam', which is a translation of the complete work.
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A young man searching for his origins is drawn from the Northern England countryside into the violent and corrupt London underworld of the late Regency.

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