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The Quick [Kindle Edition]

Lauren Owen
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £3.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


"A sly and glittering addition to the literature of the macabre . . . As soon as you have breathed with relief, much worse horrors begin. It's a skilled, assured performance, and it's hard to believe it is a first novel." (HILARY MANTEL)

"A Gothic blockbuster." (Independent)

"Energetically throwing together real history and gothic fantasy, Owen has produced a novel that is macabre, readable and atmospheric." (Nick Rennison Sunday Times)

"A suspenseful, gloriously atmospheric first novel, and a feast of gothic storytelling that is impossible to resist." (KATE ATKINSON)

"Debut gothic mystery from a new British talent." (Kate Figes Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

A major debut adventure

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1619 KB
  • Print Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (3 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099569973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099569978
  • ASIN: B00H4EM4WW
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,908 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The quick can be too slow. 28 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I gave up after about 5 chapters; as far as I can see, this is a strange mixture of some sort of vampirism and of the love that dare not speak its name.
I found it slow going at first, and what made it so difficult, was I did not care what happened to any of the characters. I finally admitted defeat when I found myself faced with what appeared to be extracts from a journal written by Augustus Mould. For the life of me I couldn't work out where Mr Mould had come from, and was not sure whether his name had been mentioned earlier.
When that sort of thing happens, I think it is time to give up.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Quick 3 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a promising debut novel, set in Victorian England. It begins with two children, Charlotte and James, who grow up in a rambling house in the country. Although this part of the book is quite slow, it does set the scene and establish the relationship between the siblings and show how much James means to his sister. After their father dies, Charlotte is left in the care of her aunt, while James goes off to school. While he is at Oxford he meets a young man in the library, although he doesn’t find out his identity. James is keen to become a poet and moves to London to attempt to try his hand at writing. While there, he again meets up with the young aristocrat that he first met at Oxford and ends up sharing rooms with him.

The storyline then switches to James and his new friend, Christopher Paige. Christopher has a distant relationship with his family and there is a disastrous dinner party, at which we begin to realise that all is not well. This then becomes somewhat standard fare, with a tale of vampires holed up in the mysterious Aegolius club. I have to admit that I felt somewhat cheated when I began to fall in with what was happening. James becomes embroiled with the Aegolius club, while Charlotte comes to London to try to rescue him, along with a cast of characters who have their own agenda to try to help her in her quest. What begins as an atmospheric and interesting novel somehow turns into something which is really quite mundane and the fact that we lose contact with Charlotte in the middle of the novel makes it harder to care for her – or her relationship with her brother – when we meet up with her again in the novel.

Overall, this is well written and atmospheric , but the storyline and point of view jumped around too much for my personal liking.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The not-so-Quick 11 Jan. 2015
I have a love-hate relationship with Victorian and Victorian-imitative fiction. It can be lush, eloquent and rich.... or it can be bloated like a dead whale.

And Lauren Owen's "The Quick"... has a little bit of both. It's an ambitious project, marrying modern vampire fiction to the dense Gothic horrors of the 19th-century, but it also has a staggeringly slow-moving first hundred pages. Once it does get moving, Owen delights in draping it with lush atmosphere and prose -- decaying country houses, the shadows of Oxford, and a gentleman's club of immortals.

For the last few years, shy James Norbury has been attending classes at Oxford, hoping to become a poet/playwright. He's also become friends with the decadent and charming Christopher Paige... and eventually the two young men become lovers. But since this was 1892 England, their love is very illegal. When Paige's brother threatens James, they decide to run away to Florence together... only to vanish.

We're then introduced to the Aegolius Club, an elite club of vampires. Yes, vampires -- the word is painstakingly blotted out, but the inquisitive Augustus Mould's investigations reveal that they are none other than vampires. They are the enemies of those whom they call "The Quick," and they have recently discovered that The Exchange (which makes vampires) can be done against the victim's will.

Charlotte comes in search of her brother, but is strangely unable to find him, which she chalks up to mental illness. But she soon runs afoul of one gang of vampires, and is narrowly rescued by a group of men whose quest is to protect the living from the dead. Can she save James from his bloodthirst, and from the Aegolius Club?
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Quick 18 May 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
The first pages of this novel offer a brief insight into the mysterious Aegolius Club - but as to why, the reader is left in suspense about that for a quite a while. The book is in five Parts. Part One is a narrative of the early years of young James Norbury in Victorian England. His mother dead and his father absent, James lives a quiet life with his sister Charlotte and a few servants. As a young man James attends College and then moves to London to pursue a writing career. Part Two tells of the work of Augustus Mould - who he is and what he is writing about slowly becomes clear, but how it can relate to James remains unclear. Part Three brings several elements together in the story, and the tension builds. But in Part Four it all seems to go a bit awry. There are new characters introduced, but these characters don't ring true - they are too far from an established truth even for a novel which is a gothic Victorian. Part Five brings all the action together into a frenetic search for ultimate truth and salvation; too late for some, maybe in time for others.

This is a book which left me with rather mixed feelings; good in parts (like the curate's egg), but there are elements which let the book down. I really enjoyed most of this book; it was Part Four that I found myself really not happy about, and I read that section feeling rather disappointed that Parts One through Three had led to this point. Part Five redeemed the overall book, but given that the book is a long one (more than 500 pages), I think it would have benefited from a rather more ruthless editor giving some of Part Four a total revision, benefiting the book as a whole.

It is possible, from the way the book ends that there is a sequel in the works.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent service
Published 6 days ago by Nigel Thornley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Looking forward to a sequel
Published 15 days ago by mrs j dawson
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Sad to say, what a load of rubbish.
Published 18 days ago by john P
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling & Interesting
I had a totally different idea of where the story was going! This book was compelling and interesting and I would recommend for all fans of gothic drama
Published 1 month ago by sm1975
3.0 out of 5 stars quite a good read
I found this book quite hard going at times. Some lovely characters and not too rambling, but a bit heavy in places. Really good ending though
Published 1 month ago by A. J. Botterill
1.0 out of 5 stars I did not like the book at all
I did not like the book at all. Unfortunately I cannot say much so I don't spoil it for others but the story is not what I expected it to be at all. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Miss Monika Vargova
4.0 out of 5 stars three Books in One
The Quick is a thrilling gothic horror novel. I won't give anything away suffice to say that there is a twist that changes the complexion of the novel part way through. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ccoa
4.0 out of 5 stars really good and made me feel like I was in London ...
really good and made me feel like I was in London long ago. much like Perfume by Paul Suskind made me feel in Perfume. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lavada Maples
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My sister bought this for herself and I haven't heard any complaints, so must be good
Published 1 month ago by chestnut
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, I enjoy multiple viewpoint novels and thought that ...
Very good, I enjoy multiple viewpoint novels and thought that the sister's recounting was the most interesting and engaging.
Published 1 month ago by Denyse King
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