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Rustication - A Novel (Anglais) Relié – 4 novembre 2013

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Rustication A vertiginous gothic masterpiece from the best-selling author of The Quincunx. Full description

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 81 commentaires
37 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
an exciting nove 30 octobre 2013
Par Ray Garraty - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Rustication is written in the form of a diary that a seventeen year old protagonist of the novel Richard Shenstone had written for a several weeks. He was expelled from the university and forced to return home to his mother and sister. However, not much left of home: in the four months that Richard was studying, his father died of a heart attack, and Richard had not even been invited to the funeral, his mother and sister Effie had lost their means of livelihood and moved to a dilapidated house in the south of England.

Richard arrives before Christmas of 1863, alone, without a cart that will come later, but his mother and sister do not welcome the return of the young man. In the novel, with each diary entry the amount of mysteries and oddities is growing exponentially and they are all important elements of the puzzle, and it is not possible to mention them all.

Richard hides the events that occurred to him at the university, and his mother and sister hide the events that took place during his absence. Richard notes that Effie, a little older than him, goes somewhere by nights, and his mother turns a blind eye to it. The mother is holding a secret of her husband's death: why now is the family forced to live in poverty, without any support? Richard gradually reveals secrets about himself to his family and learns the secrets of his relatives.

What a puzzling story this Rustication - and a first-class mystery, and a disturbing neo-Victorian novel. From the first chapter and almost to the very end Palliser throws and throws the puzzles to the reader. Avalanche of oddities rushes at you without stopping. Everyone has something to hide, and the farther the worse. Small sins overshadow the big sins, and that’s what almost all the characters are trying to hide.

Palliser's novel has combined the classic mystery and neo-noir. There are mysterious letters, maniac, murder, family secrets: something will be false clues, but something will work in the final. In any case, the author has played a fair game. At the same time, Palliser significantly updated the classic detective story. Sex, violence, cruelty – that is all here. Noose is tightening around the narrator’s throat, and we sympathize with him, despite his weaknesses and sins. Respectable ladies, earles, teachers, young brides and students - the author turns the established images upside down. Every character is a fallen creature.

Palliser updated the language of Victorian prose as well. There are almost no tedious passages, but the dirty letters are here in full. In addition to that, there are also fragments of the diary, that Richard encrypted (they are written in Greek), where he describes his sexual fantasies. These letters do not shock.

It is an exciting novel, with an amicable confusing plot, presenting a new look at the XIX century England.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Pleasures of the unpleasant 10 novembre 2013
Par Jay Dickson - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
So many good novelists have tried their hands at ersatz Victorian sensation novels that it now practically forms its own subgenre. Sarah Waters, Michael Cox, D.J. Taylor, Louis Bayard, Michael Faber and many others have all tried their hand to reproduce the magic of nineteenth-century practitioners of sensation fiction such as Charles Dickens, Ellen Wood, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, J. Meade Falkner and (preeminently) Wilkie Collins. But the popularity for the revival of the form really got going in the late 1980s with Charles Palliser's impossibly long and involving attempt to revivify the form with THE QUINCUNX, which was an international best seller. A decade later, Palliser proved again he could write the most exciting and atmospheric instances of the form with THE UNBURIED, which was even better for being the more tightly contained. After another wait of more than ten years, Palliser again shows his mastery of the form with yet another engaging novel about a mystery surrounding a fascinatingly repulsive community of Victorians.

Almost no one in this novel is made to be likeable even from the start, and none is more contemptible than its protagonist and primary narrator, Richard Shenstone. Richard has been sent down, or rusticated, from Cambridge as the novel starts for unspecified reasons, and has come to stay with his recently bereaved mother and sister in a dirty and decrepit large house they have come to inhabit after the initially unexplained death of Richard's father. Knowing he is expected to comfort them both, Richard instead finds himself engaging in opium smoking, chasing after the housemaid, and making himself obnoxious to the neighbors. It really takes a novelist who knows what he or she is doing to have not just a protagonist but a whole cast of characters as disagreeable as in RUSTICATION, but Palliser knows that he can spin his mystery well enough so that despite the overwhelming selfishness and hypocrisy of Richard's family and his neighbors, readers will be impelled to find out what happens. The resolution to the mystery is not a cheat at all, and works to surprise as well as to satisfy; you don't ever get the sense that Palliser has cheated you by not giving you enough clues or making the stakes important or the resolution worthwhile. Now we just have to wait another yet decade for the next of these!
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
On being sent down to the country from town.... 5 novembre 2013
Par Amelia Gremelspacher - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
"Rustication" follows the struggles of the thoroughly unlikable Richard. At seventeen, he has been sent down from university over a murky scandal. He finds his mother and sister, Effie, living in unexpected poverty after the sudden death of his father. No one in the village seems to act the same way twice. A series of filthy letters and animal mutilations focus his attention on the mysteries around him that seem to lap against his very door.

Richard is an opium addict, incredibly selfish, and lecherous. He is broke and in debt with no relief in sight, although he clearly expects that the world in general will take care of him. I kept deciding that I hate the book, but not being able to put it down. Then I decided that the rural scenes from a vanished past England were outstanding in their detail. The book is broody, and then has a flash of sullen humor. The skulking Richard judges everyone on appearance, but seems to view people differently as he gets to know them. He spends a great deal of the novel sure he has found the solution to the mysteries, and waking up finding it is all false.

Finally I have to report that this book kept me thinking and kept tickling my curiosity. I almost made my peace with young Richard, but this tells me that he buzzed into my mind far enough to provoke a judgment. Rustication has always been a punishment. Living in the distant country life has been brought forward to inform the reason it is dreaded. It is in the end a fascinating trip.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Stripped Down Victorian Mystery 2 décembre 2013
Par Daniel W. Pyle - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I admire Charles Palliser's earlier novel, Quincunx, (can it really be twenty-five years since it was published?) a dense Victorian romance and mystery. With Rustication, the author has swept away the Victorian gewgaws, manners, and sensation to create a stripped down, very modern mystery set in the Victorian era. The narration is delivered in a limited first person point of view told through the journal of teenage Richard Shenstone. Richard has been sent down from Cambridge and finds his newly widowed mother and his sister living in a dilapidated old mansion on an isolated peninsula, near the marshy coast of Sussex. Questions quickly arise regarding the death of Richard's father, Richard's issues at University, his sister's unladylike behavior, and the spread of malicious and graphic gossip.

A problem with the narration is that Richard is not merely unreliable; he is addled, obtuse, delusional, and self-centered. All this serves the author's purpose to obscure an otherwise obvious plot. The novel contains recurring incidences of pornographic letters and sex scenes. None of the characters are likeable, and the reader is apt to feel grimy after putting down the book. Characterization is often little more that awarding the character a name, so that it becomes easy to confuse "Enid" with "Maud." One major character is only glimpsed once and from a distance. The resolution, in the modern manner, leaves many loose ends and does not seem entirely believable.

Palliser obviously retains his skill as a stylist, for there as some beautiful passages that emerge from Shenstone's journal, from a classical reference to Aeneas to the witty comment about the incompetent cook, "Mother said she's a plain cook, but she is plainer that I had expected." However, these occasional passages cannot rescue the book from mediocrity,
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not as Good as the Hype 2 mars 2014
Par Irishgal - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Richard Shenstone is a 17-year old Cambridge student whose father has recently passed away and who has been sent away - rusticated - from the university after his best friend is found dead under mysterious circumstances. He returns home to live with his mother and sister, Effie, in a dilapidated house on the peninsula, surrounded by marsh and sea. However, from the moment he arrives, strange things start happening.

Almost immediately, his mother and sister try to send him away. Soon after, strange, threatening letters are sent to residents of the village. Someone who has an education is writing them, but he or she is pretending to be illiterate as horrid gossip and accusations begin flying against residents. Not long after, animals become maimed - someone is wandering the fields at night, cutting them open and doing other unspeakable acts.

In the midst of all of this, Richard's sister wants him to accompany her to a ball that the family cannot afford. Why would she want him around? Is she truly trying to help him - or does she have some sort of plan of her own? Why is his mother so against him?

"Rustication" is hailed as a modern-day equivalent to something by Wilkie Collins, but, quite frankly, I don't see it. Both this and "The Woman in White" use a diary-type entry system, and both involve mysteries shrouded in deceit. But while Charles Palliser has created a fabulously flawed, unreliable narrator, his story fails to live up to the hype. As other reviewers have pointed out, it starts out okay and then...just kind of peters out. By the end, I was completely bored, and I only finished it because I was over halfway through when I lost interest.
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