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Transgressions Paperback – 3 Mar 2005

3.9 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (3 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844081796
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844081790
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A chilling - sometimes terrifying - and tautly written thriller (THE TIMES)

A bold, intelligent assault on the masculine conventions of the thriller genre (THE SUNDAY TIMES)

Dunant's unsettling novel is compelling to the end (THE EXPRESS ON SUNDAY)

Her narrative pulses with emotional truth and heart ...Compelling and distressing (MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Book Description

From the highly acclaimed writer of THE BIRTH OF VENUS comes a breakthrough psychological thriller where the means of survival are just as shocking as surrender.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Lizzie is a translator, of Czech to English. Her relationship of seven years has ended and she is a few months into the single life and celibacy. At times, her large London terrace seems an empty place, animated only by the presence of her cat, Millie. But Millie has made the house vulnerable to the predations of a prowling tomcat which has learned to use the cat flap to enter, rob the food bowl, and dole out a few wounds in the process.
Lizzie's friends worry about her. She reassures them, and herself, that everything is fine. She has a new contract, to translate a European bestseller for the English-speaking ... and Hollywood ... market. It's a tale of cops and robbers, a high body count, and explicit sex, and it will keep her too busy to fret about her own life, loneliness, and celibacy.
Is it her imagination? One of her albums is missing. When the second disappears, she suspects her ex is playing tricks. But the third incident with the CD's shakes Lizzie's confidence. Someone, or something other than the tomcat, is getting into the house.
Sarah Dunant writes a very sophisticated, very elegant thriller. Juxtaposing the violence of excerpts from Lizzie's translation with the psychological chill of her own fears and realisation of what is happening, this is a first class novel.
Dunant is a very fine writer. She dissects the sexual mores and sexual desires of her characters with a skill and sensitivity few other novelists manage. Lizzie is no passive victim. She is a literate, intelligent young woman who opts to fight whatever it is that has determined to invade her world. In places disturbing, even shocking, certainly explicit, Dunant delivers some fascinating insights into her characters.
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By A Customer on 26 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
A very strange story. Elizabeth has recently split up from her long-time lover and is trying to adjust to life on her own terms. She begins to translate a novel from Czech to English for a job assignment, but then strange events occur and she becomes suspicious that her ex, or even her best friend, is responsible. Soon, to Elizabeth, the line between fact and fiction becomes rather blurred. The tension mounts as Elizabeth thinks she is losing her mind only, when confronted by the truth, to struggle with obsession and reality. I thought this book was very "edge-of-your-seat", but (although I'm not prudish) I did think that some of the sexual scenes were too vulgar. The author seemed to be fixated on female violation and some of the descriptions made me squirm as I felt they were gratuituous. "Transgressions" started out as a promise of enjoyment, but then became something that I wouldn't have necessarily read by choice.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Elizabeth, after splitting up with her long-standing boyfriend, finds herself more and more isolated in her big house, immersed in the translation of a Czech thriller into English. As she progresses in her work the violence of the book and the sexual aggressivity shown towards its female protagonists has an uncanny effect on the young woman who also has to deal with strange happenings in her abode. CDs go missing or start playing when she comes home... Wondering whether she has to contend with supernatural manifestations Elizabeth seeks the advice of her local vicar but she will soon discover that the danger facing her doesn't come from the nether world... I found myself enjoying the story at the beginning except for the trashy extracts from the book the protagonist is translating and which I knew to be necessary in the unfolding of the tale. But after a while a sense of unease crept in and I found Elizabeth's character and the choices she made less and less plausible. There's something unsettling in this story of her growing obsession and I couldn't relate or understand her after a certain point. There's a good amount of perfectly
unsavoury details, which didn't seem indispensable so all in all the book didn't find that much favour with me...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a fan of Sarah Durant`s historical novels, this book came across as a forced transition into contemporary writing. The beauty of her talent was there but it was tarnished by what seemed to be glassy eyed sex scenes throughout, off-key characterisation and an incredibly odd ending.

The whole thing made me wonder if her publishing company were pushing her in this direction. Due to her spectacular writing ability, the book does well to hold your attention. But if you're familiar with her work and love the poetic spirit of her books, you may find yourself disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
Dunant has real mastery of the suspense narrative -I certainly couldn't put the books down - her heroine is in one of those alienated, lonely moods in which the world seems hostile, reflecting her own coldness. The worst (nearly) does happen but she survives, and finds surprising strength in the psychic battle her intruder subjects her to. There's no flinching at examining the layers of sexual fantasy most of us won't look at but the shocking quality is softened by Dunant's refusal to resort to anti-male rhetoric and actually you finish the book feeling that you understand better the mind of the rapist, that there is hope for sexual relations between men and women inspite of all the traps. My only criticism is that the genre militates somewhat against real insight and the end seems a bit ot a cop-out.
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