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The Pesthouse By Jim Crace

The Pesthouse
by Jim Crace

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Jim Crace returns to Picador with an evocative novel about the transformative power of love
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The Pesthouse Summary


The Pesthouse by Jim Crace

This used to be America, this river crossing in the ten-month stretch of land, this sea-to-sea. It used to be the safest place on earth.

America as we know it has fragmented. Its machines have stopped, its communities have splintered, its history is virtually forgotten, and the great migration has started: eastwards, through the mountains and down the perilous Dreaming Highway, to ships rumoured to sail to a land of greater promise. Into this landscape stumbles Franklin, who has left his home only to find new ties in a pesthouse perched above a valley. Margaret, suffering the early stages of plague, has been carried up from Ferrytown to recuperate or die alone. When her village is destroyed, she and Franklin set out together, compelled to leave everything they love behind them.

The Pesthouse is realized with the flair, conviction and intensity for which Crace is admired all over the world. It imagines an America adapting to a future without technology, without science, without social cohesion; and it tells of how two people find strength in one another when the world as they know it is falling apart.

'A writer of hallucinatory skill' John Updike

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The Pesthouse Reviews


"The Pesthouse exudes a kind of eerie charm." --"Time Out"
"A book that I read hungrily for what it might have to say about the fix we are all in on this planet. . . . Crace's distinctive marked rhythms, just one draft away from blank verse, are at odds with satire. He can't quite extinguish the joy that percolates through all his writing, and The Pesthouse ends up being a lovely literary cipher in the way that Crace's work always is." --Joan Thomas, "The Globe and Mail"
"Crace brings his unsentimental but unflagging imagination to the ruined landscape and battered scavenger societies of this new America. . . . He is especially good at documenting the bodily toll that unrelenting life on the road exacts. . . . Franklin's and Margaret's journey, as brutal and hopeless as it often seems, transforms into a kind of allegory for the human capacity for loyalty, love, humour and imagination." --"Toronto Star"
"[Crace] takes us straight to the heart of what it means to be human. . . . He has always exhibited an uncanny gift for tapping into the horrors that wake us, heart pounding, in the middle of the night. . . . It's a tribute to Crace's skills that we so rapidly get our bearings in a radically altered landscape." --Francine Prose, "The New York Times" Book Review
"Crace has built a loyal following for the old-fashioned reason that he produces consistently dazzling work, matching sublime language with conceptual daring and an insistence on tackling the big themes head-on." --"The Gazette"
"AS Byatt has described [Crace] as the most significant writer in English fiction of the past 10 years and in The Pesthouse he continues to build his self-contained worlds that, inmirroring our own in crucial, though subtle ways, offer up universal insights." --"Scotland on Sunday
""Entirely compelling. The story is a gripping, harrowing adventure tale and Crace's language is extraordinary: he has immersed himself in his own kind of variant American idiom . . . which is simple, often beautiful, as touch and workable as leather. . . . The Pesthouse resonates like an unresolved chord." --"New Statesman
""While the plots and settings vary, Crace's unerringly stunning style doesn't. Even the most mundane of his characters beguile readers with their emotional authenticity and detailed psychologies. His prose carries the contours of a Donatello sculpture as Crace chisels gracefully flowing sentences with eloquence, precision and the occasional cheeky hint of the impish." "The San Francisco Chronicle
""At its heart, The Pesthouse is a meditation on deep questions about America: the costs of relentless expansion, the fate of a wasteful industrial society." --"Los Angeles Times"
"Crace's America lies not in the future but in our uneasy consciences. What's remarkable is the fortitude, grace and patience he grants to the wary people who must make a life there, must remember and love, against all odds." --"Washington Post"
"A writer of hallucinatory skill."
--John Updike
"[Crace] has an almost uncanny ability to nail down a dramatic situation, and the characters to enact it, in one or two sentences. . .one of the best writers around."
--"Toronto Star"

"From the Hardcover edition."


A "GLOBE & MAIL" BEST BOOK OF 2007
"The Pesthouse exudes a kind of eerie charm." --"Time Out"
"A book that I read hungrily for what it might have to say about the fix we are all in on this planet. . . . Crace's distinctive marked rhythms, just one draft away from blank verse, are at odds with satire. He can't quite extinguish the joy that percolates through all his writing, and The Pesthouse ends up being a lovely literary cipher in the way that Crace's work always is." --Joan Thomas, "The Globe and Mail"
"Crace brings his unsentimental but unflagging imagination to the ruined landscape and battered scavenger societies of this new America. . . . He is especially good at documenting the bodily toll that unrelenting life on the road exacts. . . . Franklin's and Margaret's journey, as brutal and hopeless as it often seems, transforms into a kind of allegory for the human capacity for loyalty, love, humour and imagination." --"Toronto Star"
"[Crace] takes us straight to the heart of what it means to be human. . . . He has always exhibited an uncanny gift for tapping into the horrors that wake us, heart pounding, in the middle of the night. . . . It's a tribute to Crace's skills that we so rapidly get our bearings in a radically altered landscape." --Francine Prose, "The New York Times" Book Review
"Crace has built a loyal following for the old-fashioned reason that he produces consistently dazzling work, matching sublime language with conceptual daring and an insistence on tackling the big themes head-on." --"The Gazette"
"AS Byatt has described [Crace] as the most significant writer in English fiction of the past 10 years and in The Pesthouse he continues to buildhis self-contained worlds that, in mirroring our own in crucial, though subtle ways, offer up universal insights." --"Scotland on Sunday
""Entirely compelling. The story is a gripping, harrowing adventure tale and Crace's language is extraordinary: he has immersed himself in his own kind of variant American idiom . . . which is simple, often beautiful, as touch and workable as leather. . . . The Pesthouse resonates like an unresolved chord." --"New Statesman
""While the plots and settings vary, Crace's unerringly stunning style doesn't. Even the most mundane of his characters beguile readers with their emotional authenticity and detailed psychologies. His prose carries the contours of a Donatello sculpture as Crace chisels gracefully flowing sentences with eloquence, precision and the occasional cheeky hint of the impish." "The San Francisco Chronicle
""At its heart, The Pesthouse is a meditation on deep questions about America: the costs of relentless expansion, the fate of a wasteful industrial society." --"Los Angeles Times"
"Crace's America lies not in the future but in our uneasy consciences. What's remarkable is the fortitude, grace and patience he grants to the wary people who must make a life there, must remember and love, against all odds." --"Washington Post"
"A writer of hallucinatory skill."
--John Updike
"[Crace] has an almost uncanny ability to nail down a dramatic situation, and the characters to enact it, in one or two sentences. . .one of the best writers around."
--"Toronto Star"

"From the Hardcover edition."

About Jim Crace


Jim Crace is the prize-winning author of several books, including Continent (winner of the 1986 Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize), Quarantine (1998 Whitbread Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Being Dead (winner of the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award) and Harvest (shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize and winner of the International Dublin Literary Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize). He lives in Worcestershire.

Additional information

GOR001089882
The Pesthouse by Jim Crace
Jim Crace
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Pan Macmillan
2007-03-02
320
0330445626
9780330445627
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.