Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darkly Fascinating Literary Mystery, 7 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Rustication: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
At the heart of Palliser's "Rustication" is a series of anonymous, sexually charged letters (reminiscent in style of Jack the Ripper and/or the Edalji Case!) supposedly found by Palliser pasted into a mid-Victorian journal. Who wrote them, why, and to what eventual end forms a satisfying mystery, though one told by the most unreliable (and annoying to one and all) of narrators.

Anyone who pored over Palliser's great "Quincunx" will surely want to devour the much shorter "Rustication"; and anyone who enjoyed the author's "The Unburied" will find "Rustication" to be, in some particular senses, a "prequel" to that dark and foggy tale.

I had first reported a curiosity of the Kindle version - that the several hand written letters were were poorly reproduced, rendering them illegible in all but the brightest light. The author has had this problem promptly and wholly fixed, and the book now renders those letters in a bold italic, fully re-sizeable. The book dwells occasionally on the art of "lucubration", and ours will now be easier!

[Anyone who subscribes to Amazon 'Automatic Book Update' will find that the corrected version appears on their device as if by magic, as mine did this morning...]

AGB
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Nov 2013 11:02:01 GMT
C. Ellis says:
Hello Mr Brown,

I am a friend of the author, so alerted him to your review when I saw it. He was glad that you had been enjoying the book, but was distressed to learn of the frustrating difficulties with the electronic form. He has contacted the publishers with your complaint and they are going to fix the matter. He has further asked them to encourage Amazon to allow you to download the book again if you would like when the problem has been rectified.

I don't know how long this will take, but on Charles's behalf I wonder if you would be willing to reconsider the star-rating you have awarded the book so as to reflect what you think of the novel itself apart from the present deficiencies of the electronic form. The award of two stars is about the first thing one sees on opening the relevant Amazon page, and it would be a great shame to put off people who might be considering buying the print-form of the book this very weekend.

Thanks for your attention.

Chris Ellis

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Nov 2013 12:48:18 GMT
You make a very fair point, and I have amended and expanded the review, making it a 4-star response overall. I've read each of Mr Palliser's books, "The Quincunx" about 20 times! And I am a very great admirer.

I do hope that the assorted publishers can be persuaded to make a rapid fix to the very curious "font" decision they made for the letters - I nearly threw my Kindle across the bedroom in frustration when I discovered I could not physically follow the plot in anything other then the brightest daylight on the the screen (an irony for this particular book that I hope the author might one day be able to chuckle about, darkly)!

AGB

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Nov 2013 13:21:11 GMT
C. Ellis says:
You've read The Quincunx about twenty times! This news along with the rest of your gracious response will surely bring CP great pleasure.

I gather that Rustication is to be discussed on Saturday Review (Radio 4) at 7.15 this evening.

Chris

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2013 00:10:25 GMT
C. Ellis says:
Hello again. Charles downloaded the book for his own Kindle today as a check and he finds the problem you complained of has been resolved. If you haven't already been offered a new download, then it should be possible to request permission from Amazon. If you are then satisfied, could you amend your review again, please, so as not to put anyone off buying the Kindle version? It would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your patience.
Chris Ellis

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2013 17:52:27 GMT
Hi Chris,

I subscribe to Kindle Automatic Book Update:

"Automatic Book Update
Opt in for automatic book updates to receive new versions of your books when we have confirmed that improvements were made."

No update received as yet. Will be happy to edit the review as and when I do get such.

BTW, the "handwritten" font resolves quite well on backlit devices (smartphones, tablets, monitors etc), but really terribly on the Kindle II itself. The contrast there between the heavier, darker strokes of the letters, and the lighter, thinner ones is so exaggerated that certain letters all-but disappear (e, especially) while others are only partly legible (m, t, d, c especially....). And, as I said, in low light (I stayed up 'til 1.00am to finish the book at one read....), it's maddening.

Final point, on the preview option on the Amazon sales page, the letters are not rendered in the handwritten font at all, but just in the regular font (perhaps the italic version - not sure from memory...). Doubly odd.

[BTW, I'm not sure Amazon allows private email adresses in these posts, but you can contact me direct via agbrown008atgmail.com, mutatis mutandis.

AGB

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2013 14:50:34 GMT
Valeria says:
I've been reading the book on the Kindle Paperwhiteand the font is perfectly fine - though I can't tell if that's because they've resolved the problem or because the Kindle Paperwhite is such a stunning device. (Greatly enjoyed the book as well.)
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4.0 out of 5 stars (22 customer reviews)
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