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Rustication: A Novel
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Published:
W. W. Norton & Company 2013
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Description

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year. "A literary Dr. Frankenstein, [Palliser] has stitched together parts of Jane Austen and Edgar Allan Poe. The result is deliciously wicked." —Ron Charles, Washington Post


Charles Palliser's work has been hailed as "so compulsively absorbing that reality disappears" (New York Times). Since his extraordinary debut, The Quincunx, his works have sold over one million copies worldwide. With his novel, Rustication, he returns to the town of Thurchester, which he evoked so hauntingly in The Unburied.


It is winter 1863, and Richard Shenstone, aged seventeen, has been sent down—"rusticated"—from Cambridge under a cloud of suspicion. Addicted to opium and tormented by sexual desire, he finds temporary refuge in a dilapidated old mansion on the southern English coast inhabited by his newly impoverished mother and his sister, Effie. Soon, graphic and threatening letters begin to circulate among his neighbors, and Richard finds himself the leading suspect in a series of crimes and misdemeanors ranging from vivisection to murder.


Atmospheric, lurid, and brilliantly executed, Rustication is sure to spin readers into its "spider's web of intrigue and violence" (Jane Jakeman, The Independent).

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
11/04/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780393241501
ASIN:
B00CF2MB5S
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Charles Palliser. (2013). Rustication: A Novel. W. W. Norton & Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Charles Palliser. 2013. Rustication: A Novel. W. W. Norton & Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Charles Palliser, Rustication: A Novel. W. W. Norton & Company, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Charles Palliser. Rustication: A Novel. W. W. Norton & Company, 2013.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Jun 12, 2018 17:55:31
Date Updated:
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shortDescription

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year. "A literary Dr. Frankenstein, [Palliser] has stitched together parts of Jane Austen and Edgar Allan Poe. The result is deliciously wicked." —Ron Charles, Washington Post

Charles Palliser's work has been hailed as "so compulsively absorbing that reality disappears" (New York Times). Since his extraordinary debut, The Quincunx, his works have sold over one million copies worldwide. With his novel, Rustication, he returns to the town of Thurchester, which he evoked so hauntingly in The Unburied.

It is winter 1863, and Richard Shenstone, aged seventeen, has been sent down—"rusticated"—from Cambridge under a cloud of suspicion. Addicted to opium and tormented by sexual desire, he finds temporary refuge in a dilapidated old mansion on the southern English coast inhabited by his newly impoverished mother and his sister, Effie. Soon, graphic and threatening letters begin to circulate...

isOwnedByCollections
True
title
Rustication
fullDescription

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year. "A literary Dr. Frankenstein, [Palliser] has stitched together parts of Jane Austen and Edgar Allan Poe. The result is deliciously wicked." —Ron Charles, Washington Post

Charles Palliser's work has been hailed as "so compulsively absorbing that reality disappears" (New York Times). Since his extraordinary debut, The Quincunx, his works have sold over one million copies worldwide. With his novel, Rustication, he returns to the town of Thurchester, which he evoked so hauntingly in The Unburied.

It is winter 1863, and Richard Shenstone, aged seventeen, has been sent down—"rusticated"—from Cambridge under a cloud of suspicion. Addicted to opium and tormented by sexual desire, he finds temporary refuge in a dilapidated old mansion on the southern English coast inhabited by his newly impoverished mother and his sister, Effie. Soon, graphic and threatening letters begin to circulate among his neighbors, and Richard finds himself the leading suspect in a series of crimes and misdemeanors ranging from vivisection to murder.

Atmospheric, lurid, and brilliantly executed, Rustication is sure to spin readers into its "spider's web of intrigue and violence" (Jane Jakeman, The Independent).

sortTitle
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Ron Charles;Washington Post
      • content: A literary Dr. Frankenstein, [Palliser] has stitched together parts of Jane Austen and Edgar Allan Poe. The result is deliciously wicked.
      • premium: False
      • source: Lev Grossman;Time
      • content: A crooked, deeply involving story.
      • premium: False
      • source: Nicholas Mancusi;The Daily Beast
      • content: Readers will have as much grisly fun just sorting out the facts as they will solving the mysteries.
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: A wickedly entertaining, intricately plotted read.
      • premium: False
      • source: Tucker Shaw;The Denver Post
      • content: Engrossing... an entertaining, stylized, Gothic-esque read.
      • premium: False
      • source: D.J. Taylor;The Spectator
      • content: Palliser's hold on his narrative is enough to turn it into an exercise in pure form. As in a superior detective novel, character, scene and incidental detail fade away and all that remains is the thrill of the chase.
      • premium: False
      • source: Stephanie Merritt;The Guardian
      • content: A gothic puzzler perfect for misty autumn evenings.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from September 2, 2013
        Palliser juxtaposes Gothic melodrama, a metafictional frame, a vividly unreliable narrator, and a roiling mix of mysteries in this provocative Victorian thriller, his first novel since 1999’s The Unburied. Earthier in milieu and more rollicking in tone than The Unburied or his classic, The Quincunx, Rustication showcases the author’s originality, boldness, and range. Expelled from Cambridge in disgrace in 1863, 17-year-old Richard Shenstone returns to remote Thurchester and a family hiding in its own secrets. His father has died, tainted by scandal no one will explain; his mother and sister, now penniless, cling to a decaying mansion. Along with lubricious fantasies and opium highs, Richard’s journals chronicle their puzzling behavior. Who is the “Willy” his mother briefly mistakes him for? What is his sister’s real relationship with her wealthy former suitor Davenant Burgoyne, now engaged to another woman? Anonymous letters full of crude sexual taunts and a rash of animal mutilations soon begin to plague the district. Evidence implicates Richard in these crimes, and in Burgoyne’s subsequent murder and mutilation. As he discovers the truth, Richard matures from careless rake into a man facing a moral dilemma. Though its graphic passages may be disconcerting to some readers, the novel wraps a genuinely memorable reflection on family and human fallibility in a wickedly entertaining, intricately plotted read.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 15, 2013
        A reprobate college student stands accused of a host of moral failings in an intensely gothic tale from Palliser (The Unburied, 1999, etc.). Richard Shenstone, author of the diary entries that make up this novel, was once his family's great hope: With his father dead, his sister despairing of finding a rich husband and his mother despairing in general, earning a living and upholding the family's good name has fallen to him. But when he arrives at the family's bayside British home in December 1863, he's in no position to help. He's been rusticated--effectively expelled--from college for poor conduct, thanks largely to the opium habit he's picked up. The opening pages have a pitch-dark cast: Richard's sister, Euphemia, pounds out angry music on the piano; the roads are muddy when they're not frozen; and every local seems to drip contempt upon the family. As Richard befogs his brain and pursues an untoward relationship with a homely maid, the plot comes into view: Somebody is sending vicious, profane letters to various townspeople threatening violence and accusing the local women of all manner of sexual indiscretions. The letters, along with Richard's entries about his sexual adventures, are deliberately provocative, but, like most gothic literature, this is a highly moral novel: It's about the struggle to live rightly when nature and man alike send storm clouds your way. The story turns on whether or not Richard is the author of the letters, but--odd for an epistolary novel--Palliser doesn't go as deeply into Richard's head as the setup and themes demand. Much time is spent elaborating on the complex web of relationships in the town, particularly Euphemia's pursuit of a husband, which saps the emotional power of Richard's effort to redeem himself. Appropriately moody, lurid stuff but with plenty of plot cogwheels exposed.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2013
        Something wicked this way comes, and this time it is in the heart of a small town in mid-Victorian England. Sent down from Cambridge in disgrace, 17-year-old Richard Shenstone retreats to an ancient, crumbling house on the edge of a marshy bay occupied by his recently widowed mother and his enigmatically secretive sister. As he records, a series of confusing and increasingly terrifying happenings in his journal, the reader is initially left to wonder how much of the story is real and how much of it is fueled by Richard's opium-impaired imagination. Beginning with vicious rumors and lurid poison-pen letters and culminating in mayhem, mutilation, and murder, the escalating crimes ripple out, infecting an entire community of grotesques. Paranoia reigns supreme as the twists and turns keep multiplying in this gothic horror show adeptly spun by the author of The Quincunx.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2013

        Fans hooked on Palliser's writing since his engrossing puzzle-box debut, The Quincunx, will be delighted to learn that he has returned to mid-1800s England, where Richard Shenstone has been sent down from Cambridge in uncertain disgrace. Living with his newly impoverished mother, he learns that creepy letters making the village rounds speak of wicked crimes, even murder.

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 15, 2013

        Seventeen-year-old Richard Shenstone finds that his mother and sister are far from happy to see him when he unexpectedly returns home from Cambridge, and his suspicions that the two are hiding something deepen as he meets their equally secretive neighbors. Meanwhile, an unknown culprit terrorizes the town by brutalizing animals and mailing anonymous letters detailing residents' sexual misconduct. Richard records his investigations in carefully kept diary entries, but his own opium addiction and fondness for nighttime wandering will keep readers guessing about his possible role in the town's misfortunes. VERDICT Palliser, best known for his Dickensian epic The Quincunx, returns to the setting of his earlier suspense novel The Unburied for another gothic tale that will appeal to fans of John Harwood or Michael Cox. Palliser vividly captures the claustrophobic feeling of a small Victorian community being overwhelmed by anxiety and mistrust, and fans of twisty plots will enjoy guessing at the town's many secrets as they sift through the rumors and gossip offered up by a well-drawn cast of darkly quirky characters. [See Prepub Alert, 5/13/13.]--Mara Bandy, Champaign P.L., IL

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
A Novel
popularity
49
publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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