The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

Published June 1, 2011

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

Book info

  • Title
  • Author Michel Faber
  • Year
  • Genres


I hold my hands up now and say I hadn’t even heard of this book before I watched the BBC adaptation. Having seen it, though, I was keen to read the book - even when I realised how flipping long it is.

The story itself is fascinating, essentially made up of a whole host of not very likeable characters. Sugar, being something of the hero, is still an angry and scary young woman, although with ever reason, of course. William is just all kinds of wrong.

The amazing thing, really, is the writing. From the start of the book, where it seems a distant narrator is leading you through the story, introducing you to characters as if you are actually there shaking hands with the characters, things are done very differently. The detail the book goes into is incredible, but without getting boring at all. My only complaint is an overuse of the word bilious, and that’s only because I first read it and thought - ooh, good word - and then saw it a gazillion other times throughout the story.

It’s taken me ages to get through this one, but it was worth it. I really enjoyed the whole thing, and am amazed at how faithful to the novel the TV adaptation was. That doesn’t happen too often.

Rating: Unrated

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