Pilcrow and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £8.99
  • You Save: £1.80 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Pilcrow has been added to your Basket
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
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 this image

Pilcrow Paperback – 5 Mar 2009


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.19
£1.46 £0.01

Trade In Promotion


Frequently Bought Together

Pilcrow + Cedilla
Price For Both: £17.18

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (5 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571217044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571217045
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 401,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Book Description

Adam Mars-Jones's Pilcrow is a wonderful and much-anticipated coming-of-age story from an acclaimed literary author.

About the Author

Adam Mars-Jones's first book of stories, Lantern Lecture, was published in 1981 and won a Somerset Maugham Award. In 1983 and again in 1993 he was named one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists, despite not having produced a novel at the time. His Zen status as an acclaimed novelist without a novel was dented by the appearance of The Waters of Thirst, and can only suffer further with the appearance of Pilcrow.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Purpleheart TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
'The spring I learned to drive, the cherry tree in front of our house in Bourne End flowered as never before'. It was 1968'.

From these opening lines I was expecting a David Mitchell ( in Black Swan Green mode) exploration of adolescence. Instead there is a slow moving, incredibly detailed account of firstly bed rest for rheumatic fever - absolutely the wrong treatment for the Still's disease that it turns out that John Cromer really has - and then life in the special hospital for children with Still's.

It's a strange rites of passage novel as John Cromer is a strange boy. The detail of the descriptions can be excruciating - his pain at the hands of the nurses rather than his mother's care, his first sexual encounters and the logistical and physical difficulty of them considering his handicaps and those of his partners.

The detail and the length give us some insight into a life which is so severely curtailed physically if not in thought and spirit...but I'm still left wondering what Adam Mars-Jones was telling us.

The writing is good and funny - but the book just ends - I've since read that this is the first book in a trilogy - in which case I don't think it works fully as a stand alone volume.
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
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Swift on 17 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a truly remarkable novel, a masterpiece. It is a Proustian evocation of a fifties childhood, recaptured in extraordinary detail, and with great wit and good humour. Mars Jones is well known as a critic and for his shorter fiction, and here for the first time he writes at leisurely length. A second volume is promised, and is eagerly awaited by his admirers.
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
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
I had to give myself a little break from Pilcrow before I could review it so that I could take it all in and let it digest. Adam Mars-Jones has been heralded for some time as one of the best writers by Granta and other such places... before he had even written his first novel, so Pilcrow had a lot to live up to before it was even published and released, it manages to live up to and beyond expectations. The book deals with so much its difficult to sum it up in a review of any length but I shall do my best for you all.

John Cromer is the unusual and fantastic narrator starting around the age of five when doctors diagnose him with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis leading to him having several years of bed rest. From there we are given the often hilarious thoughts and theories that John has as a young boy growing up in the 1950's. From what he thinks happens in the outside world which he hasn't seen much of to his mother's obsession with breeding budgies and cockatiels. It also gives us the underlying insight into marriages and society in that period from things that Johns mother (who is a brilliant gossip) says that we the reader can understand and piece together even if the narrator is too young and doesn't himself. It also looks at a child's idea of what life is like to be stuck in that environment in that time and how he feels at the prospect of it being forever.

However it isn't forever as during a visit to the dentists his mother reads a piece on the misdiagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and Still's disease of which John is discovered to have the latter and the one thing you should have if you have Stills disease is bed rest leaving him with lasting disabilities.
Read more ›
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
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book really surprised me. It's a bit of a brick of a thing, a huge novel with small print, but it is incredibly easy to read and I flew through it.

The novel tells the story of a boy called John Cromer, who succumbs to illness at an early age and is prescribed bed rest by his doctor, ordered to remain as still as possible as any physical effort whatsoever could prove fatal. However, it later transpires that John is actually suffering from a different condition - Still's Disease - where a lack of movement causes ankylosis, where the joints sieze up and calcify. As a result, John is crippled, with only a little movement in one arm and his head, and consigned to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

This all sounds unremittingly grim, not to mention dull (a motionless leading character, after all) but instead of focusing on his own predicament the narrator simply tells the story of his life, his friends, and his family. As the story progresses John goes to school - or a hospital school at least - and eventually enters adolescence where he starts to experience his first sexual feelings and homosexual encounters. The only negative point of the book is that it ends abruptly, but I understand that Adam Mars-Jones intends to write a trilogy, of which "Pilcrow" is the first part.

This is a superb book, written in a light and engaging style. The attention to detail throughout is remarkable, and surprisingly for a book as large as this I never once found myself wishing it would end. Simply put, it is one of the best books I've read in a long time.
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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Hunt on 4 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel is difficult to describe. I should just say: read it and see! I could say it's "about" a disabled boy and his path to becoming a young man – a sort of coming of age tale. But that would be misleading. I could say it's "about" someone coming out, or rather, realising that he's gay. Again, that doesn't begin to describe the book.

To try a bit harder in describing it: this is a series of minute, perfectly vivid, reflective snapshots of time and place that capture what life was like in the late 50s and through the 60s, building up gradually into a coherent whole. It's a long book, but not a slow one. Although if I had to characterise it simply, one way of doing so would be to say that it is to most contemporary novels as slow food is to a Mickey D's.

This is funny yet restrained, poignant, idiosyncratic, and well worth a read. Remarkably, it escapes being pessimistic despite its protagonist's circumstances.
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 Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback