Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A-Z Wednesday: The Quincunx by Charles Palliser




Title: The Quincunx
Author: Charles Palliser
ISBN: 978-0345371133
Publisher: Ballantine Books/1990
Pages: 800

From Publishers Weekly

Palliser, an English professor in Scotland, where this strange yet magnetic work was first published, has modeled his extravagantly plotted narrative on 19th-century forms--Dickens's Bleak House is its most obvious antecedent--but its graceful writing and unerring sense of timing revivifies a kind of novel once avidly read and surely now to be again in demand. The protagonist, a young man naive enough to be blind to all clues about his own hidden history (and to the fact that his very existence is troubling to all manner of evildoers) narrates a story of uncommon beauty which not only brings readers face-to-face with dozens of piquantly drawn characters at all levels of 19th-century English society but re-creates with precision the tempestuous weather and gnarly landscape that has been a motif of the English novel since Wuthering Heights . The suspension of disbelief happens easily, as the reader is led through twisted family trees and plot lines. The quincunx of the title is a heraldic figure of five parts that appears at crucial points within the text (the number five recurs throughout the novel, which itself is divided into five parts, one for each of the family galaxies whose orbits the narrator is pulled into).

12 comments:

Beth F said...

This is new to me. Sounds interesting -- I like the concept of the number 5 appearing over and over.

Kristen said...

What a very different book for a Q book. Sounds fascinating (and I loved Bleak House!).

Nise' said...

Great Q book.

Joyful said...

Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Snowbell said...

sounds like an interesting read - and I like the title!
Here is my Q book

Beth said...

Very interesting! Here is my "Q" book.

Vicki said...

You always post the most interesting books!!

Thanks for playing this week!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

This sounds fascinating!

My Q is here:

http://weboftyranny.blogspot.com/12/z-wednesday.html

Kristen M. said...

This is a great book! I read it last year ...

http://webereading.com/2008/07/it-must-have-been-late-autumn-of-that.html

me again said...

This looks like a book I would really enjoy; thanks for the heads-up.

Here's my Q book, if you want to have a peek.
:-)

==lennie==

carolsnotebook said...

Sounds fascinating. I don't think I've ever seen the word "quincunx" before.

Irene said...

I don't know sounds a little complicated to be enjoyable. Have you already read it? My post is here.