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Rustication: A Novel (Unabridged)
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Rustication: A Novel (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Charles Palliser (Author), John Lee (Narrator)
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 35 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 12 Nov 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GM9YA4U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Product Description

A vertiginous gothic masterpiece from the best-selling author of The Quincunx. 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 new 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 17, 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 confirms Palliser's reputation as "our leading contemporary Victorian novelist" (Guardian).

©2013 Charles Palliser; (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another strong novel from Palliser 19 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rustication is Charles Palliser's latest novel (published November, 2013). His first novel, The Quincunx, was published in 1989 and it was written in the style of Charles Dickens as a literary exercise, Palliser being at the time a lecturer in literature and creative writing. Quincunx is a masterpiece.

His latest novel, while not the masterpiece that Quincunx was, is still an interesting book and an enjoyable read. Its format is that of a journal written by a seventeen year old boy, Richard Shenstone, who has been rusticated by Cambridge University, i.e. "sent down", or more literally, "sent to the country", or in more modern terms, suspended from college as a punishment. The Journal spans the days from his arrival in his mother's house on 12th December 1863 to the culmination of events in the story on the 13th January 1864.

This story is a mystery and I will go into no more detail about the plot but I will comment on Palliser's skill at misdirection and obfuscation. Even in the final pages of the novel I was not sure how it was going to end.

Throughout the book the reader is fed the views and thoughts of the author of the journal and his journal entries purportedly record his interactions and conversations with other people in the district and within his family. As a reader I was constantly asking myself if I was dealing with an unreliable narrator, was the reportage accurate, was the journal an elaborate red herring, etc...

The book holds the attention but the pace is a little slow for the first one hundred pages but it picks up speed for the final chapters. This is the second Palliser novel I have read but I will certainly be reading his others.

This is a book I would love to discuss with someone who has read it but I do not want to give away too many details in this review as that would spoil the experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promises but doesn't deliver. 21 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A pastiche of a Victorian novel which starts promisingly enough but the development isn't sustained. The plot, even by Victorian standards, is wildly improbable.There are so many twists and turns to the plot that this reader just felt irritated and didn't finish. Perhaps it might be better to go for the real thing, try Dickens!.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unpalatable characters 3 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read both 'the Quincux' and 'the Unburied' twice already (and thinking of reading' the Unburied' for a third time) it gives me no pleasure at all to write a negative review about 'Rustication'. I was so pleased to see that Charles Palliser had written another novel and I trusted it to be as brilliant as the other two had been. I bought it straight away and started reading the moment it arrived. Unfortunately 'Rustication' is in another league entirely and not the first league either. What irked me the most was the great number of utterly unpleasant characters. From Richard to his sister, his mum and all the village gossips we only read about selfishness, corruption,addiction, greed, cruelty, malicious meddling... The Shenstone household is a cross to bear for the reader indeed if we consider the all pervading hatred and bickering existing between siblings and their mother. The constant squabbling and repetitive conversations bored me to death and it was with a sigh of utter relief that I finally read the last word.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic and gripping 1 Feb 2014
By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a rare treat; one where the atmosphere is almost palpable within the first few pages. There's a real sense of menace and claustrophobia as the protagonist makes his way home on a dank, dark night. The cloistered confines are tangible as he enters a decrepit and dark house inhabited by a recently widowed mother, sister and maid. A family mystery builds layer by layer with revelations and dark hints about the reasons for the family's current state of penury and exclusion from polite society.

This is the first book I've read by Charles Palliser and I really enjoyed the narrative style; the linear plot moves forward by journal entries recounting significant events and thoughts. Small town introspection and suspicion are caught to perfection as we hear snippets of conversation and speculate about what's going on and why. There's a very strong sense of Victorian period with their grubby double standards and repressions running throughout as an undercurrents. The writing is elegant and the characters individual and convincing. There were shades of Mrs Gaskell at times, particularly in some of the attitudes and behaviours of the females. A number of satisfying mysteries and enough pace to keep me engrossed, so all in all a very satisfying read. I'm keen to read other books by this author after this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent slice of mock-Victoriana 26 Jan 2014
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Charles Palliser is about as far as you can get from those writers who churn out a book every few months: this isn't quite as good as The Quincunx or The Unburied but is another piece of superbly crafted mock-Victoriana.

Told in a series of journal entries written by 17 year old Richard who has been sent down from Cambridge, this has enormous fun with the creaking, dilapidated old mansion, dark family secrets, subversive sex, gossiping neighbours, and the quest for an inheritance with which it is concerned.

Saying the things that authentic Victorian novelists were forbidden to spell out, this is like the dark underbelly of Trollope's Barchester novels. Palliser writes with elegance and a nicely old-fashioned attention to character, voice and plot which is refreshing - hugely enjoyable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read- almost
Pity about the ending. I like closure and I'm a sucker for happy endings. I didn't get that- sorry 4 not 5 stars.
Published 1 day ago by Julaka
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read
Once started, I could hardly put this book down. A dark and complex plot cleverly entices the reader through unexpected developments and a wide variety of vividly portrayed... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Anon
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad I stuck with it
This is a most clever book, though I was somewhat bored with it at the beginning: it seemed as if the author was slighly overdoing the 19th-century British novel, Wilkie Collins in... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Dog Lady
1.0 out of 5 stars Rusticated.
Only one word to describe this book ,boring. It was so obvious, and a novel of manners more than of suspense.
Published 1 month ago by Nnimue
5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzling
Richard Shenstone, aged 17, in the winter of 1863 returns home to Herriard House under a cloud, after having been rusticated from Cambridge after only a couple of months. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Didier
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Clever Stuff
I did enjoy this novel though at times I felt its contrivance showed. On the really up side, I felt I had entered the world of peculiar Victorian will makers and the legal twists... Read more
Published 2 months ago by CAROL MCGRATH
5.0 out of 5 stars Intricate page turner
If you've read The Quincunx - you won't be disappointed. This intricate, yet dark novel returns to some of the themes Palliser has visited before. Read more
Published 3 months ago by L. PENNINGTON
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Starts well, and is sufficiently creepy and puzzling to keep ones interest, but to me at least an unsatisfactory ending. But OK to while away an evening by the fire.
Published 3 months ago by Peter Burke
4.0 out of 5 stars Very clever
The anti hero of this book is a rather foolish boy who is so easily deluded that his impressions of people veer headily from total trust and admiration to suspicion and loathing... Read more
Published 4 months ago by jackrock
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