FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Desideria has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Desideria Paperback – 1 Dec 2008


See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
£9.99
£8.05 £7.04
£9.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Product details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Prime (1 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809573377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809573370
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 766,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. D. MacFarlane on 9 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
A girl is brought to a madhouse with her lips sewn shut, carrying a small book that -- it is later revealed -- is sometimes blank and sometimes full of writing. A short time earlier, she was an actress in a play that couldn't be performed. The company turned to the play written in her book: "Desideria", the story of a man who paints two women and makes them real, one a servant and one a beautiful wife. In the madhouse, Ange (the girl) gradually remembers this -- except she's told it's not true.

Desideria is a refreshing novel. In plot, setting and characterisation it doesn't obviously lean on influences. Ange's character trait is one of my favourite aspects of the book -- unique, to my knowledge. The other characters are an entertaining bunch, particularly Natashe, a rogue-ish woman who works in the playhouse because she lost at cards to the owner. The language is often wonderful, and the author maintains an air of strangeness throughout.

The novel's major flaw is its pacing. It took a while to get going; things like the potted histories of many of the actors, while interesting, were quite slow. I thought the play "Desideria" could have been introduced earlier, along with the reveal about Ange's character (because I was absolutely hooked after that), and then the madhouse scenes could have been integrated more with the play rather than the latter chunk having almost all play and no madhouse scenes. Nonetheless, I found it well worth the read.

By the end, the author produced a fascinating and different read. I recommend it to readers of fantasy who tire of the similarities between many novels produced today.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Why it's worth buying 2 Dec. 2008
By Autumn Canter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book to read if you are looking for something unique. Too often fantasy novels fall into the same pattern of a chosen child, who grows up to fulfill an established, prophesied destiny. I hesitate to even label this novel as fantasy. It's a little bit horror. A little bit mystery. And being so, I can't compare it to anything else I've read.

Built as a story within a story, the writer weaves the tale of the girl, Ange, in a madhouse and her questionable madness, with the story of Ange's past before her captivity when she was an actress of mysterious talent. Embedded throughout the story is the play, Desideria, that acts as both Ange's damnation and salvation and the hinge on which the story comes together.

It is certainly worth reading- especially for anyone that craves rich literary talent with the fantastic elements of speculative fiction. You'll find yourself hooked on each section of the story-immersed in the voice of the writer, her unique turns of phrase and the language of the characters.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
masterful debut 12 Oct. 2010
By Liviu C. Suciu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Desideria" is mesmerizing from the first page and once you get into its flow, a page turner to boot. It takes place in an unnamed provincial European city cca 18th century with a mixture of French and English names which is under the power of the rich "Governor" while the "Specialist" is sort of an underground boss that becomes the de-facto patron of smaller run-down theater Minerva.

This we figure out as the book progresses since the novel starts with a striking scene in which a girl looks into a mirror, throws a lamp in the small room and then when the building gets on fire jumps from a window to be later found unconscious and led to the city madhouse.

"She swallows once and blinks caught light away.
Then hauls the lamp back, torquing at the waist, and hurls it at the mirror, all her strength behind the throw.
It shatters, they shatter, glass into glass, and the fire out onto the table, up into the air. Hard sparks of lamp, mirror, and flame fly winking out like fireflies. She stands there as the fire scales the walls, as the fire's scaled the walls, as the fire finds no higher purchase, dashes itself against the ceiling, hurtles raining down.
Beneath the fall of fire, her eyes still and sharpen off .
For the first time, they're aware."

If these lines hook you as they hooked me, get the novel as soon as possible since it keeps this superb lyrical prose to the end, though there is lots of action and intrigue to come later.

"Desideria" has a very intriguing premise: an actress who truly believes she is the character she plays - all actors have to believe that to some extent but for Ange it is *real* until she is led away from the props - and the execution alternating with surreal madhouse scenes that are as good as any such I've read is just perfect.

There are two story lines: Annie/Ange in the madhouse and Ange St.Loup in the Minerva intertwine and later conflict so the question of what is "real" and what is imagined becomes more and more important as the book goes on.

Split into named chapters alternating between the "present" when Ange has been taken to the madhouse and the past detailing her life as an actress in the theater, the novel features a lot of great characters, both in the theater troupe and in the asylum.

All the actors, including the manager and his wife, the screen writers, the thief turned actor by necessity have very interesting detailed life stories, though as the novel progresses we are starting to wonder if they are real or a figment of Annie's imagination who believes herself being an actress when she is just a regular mental inmate. What about the madhouse and her brutal guards and strange inmates? And then there is the play of the title with a scenario that somehow materializes into Minerva and resembles what is to come...

The resolution of the dual-storylines is excellent and the ending is great making this a debut to remember. Just unbelievably good!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Refreshingly different 9 Nov. 2009
By A. D. MacFarlane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A girl is brought to a madhouse with her lips sewn shut, carrying a small book that -- it is later revealed -- is sometimes blank and sometimes full of writing. A short time earlier, she was an actress in a play that couldn't be performed. The company turned to the play written in her book: "Desideria", the story of a man who paints two women and makes them real, one a servant and one a beautiful wife. In the madhouse, Ange (the girl) gradually remembers this -- except she's told it's not true.

Desideria is a refreshing novel. In plot, setting and characterisation it doesn't obviously lean on influences. Ange's character trait is one of my favourite aspects of the book -- unique, to my knowledge. The other characters are an entertaining bunch, particularly Natashe, a rogue-ish woman who works in the playhouse because she lost at cards to the owner. The language is often wonderful, and the author maintains an air of strangeness throughout.

The novel's major flaw is its pacing. It took a while to get going; things like the potted histories of many of the actors, while interesting, were quite slow. I thought the play "Desideria" could have been introduced earlier, along with the reveal about Ange's character (because I was absolutely hooked after that), and then the madhouse scenes could have been integrated more with the play rather than the latter chunk having almost all play and no madhouse scenes. Nonetheless, I found it well worth the read.

By the end, the author produced a fascinating and different read. I recommend it to readers of fantasy who tire of the similarities between many novels produced today.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know

Look for similar items by category


Feedback