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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Charles Jessold; Considered as a Murderer

Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer
Wesley Stace
Picador, 2011

Set in 1923 England, this intricate novel tells the macabre story of a gifted young composer, Charles Jessold, who on the eve of his revolutionary new opera's premiere murders his wife and her lover, then commits suicide in a scenario that echoes the plot of his opera.

I have enjoyed this author’s other books, but this one is too “intricate” for me. I found it confusing with too many characters and far too descriptive for my level of patience, so I abandoned it after the first few chapters. The narrator, one of the characters in the novel, employed quite a large vocabulary with extensive and clever wordplay that I tired of rather quickly. Readers who enjoy music and narrators who find themselves infinitely amusing will probably enjoy this – all others should try one of the author’s other novels instead.


Other books by this author:
Misfortune (2005)
By, George (2007)

Other titles you may enjoy:

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue (2008)
Emily "Fido" Faithfull, a spinster pioneer in the British women's movement, is distracted from her cause by the details of her friend's failing marriage and affair with a young army officer, in this drama of friends, lovers, and divorce, Victorian style.

Engleby by Sebastian Faulks (2007)
Follows narrator Mike Engleby through adolescence in the 1970s, as he suffers bouts of memory loss and tells up front that he might or might not have committed the brutal murder of his classmate, Jennifer Arkland.

The Night Climbers by Ivo Stourton (2007)
Seduced into an underground circle of thrill-seeking fellow students at Cambridge's Tudor College, James Walker enters obsessive relationships with a beautiful coed and the group's ringleader before becoming involved in an audacious art fraud scheme.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, I am so glad your review matches my thoughts. I put the book aside after a few chapters. I thought the words, the sentence structure, the confusion of characters, would all sort themselves out. Or that I would sort them out. I never did.

    Thank you for suggesting his other books!