An Instance of the Fingerpost [Iain Pears] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In Oxford, a servant girl confesses to a murder. But four. A national bestseller and one of the New York Public Library’s Books to Remember, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a thrilling historical mystery. This massive, delightfully titled literary thriller (it’s a quote from Sir Francis Bacon) is the kind of gamble it’s great to see a publisher taking in these often timid.

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The following two narrators are, however, unsympathetic to the point of being insufferable. Pears does a beautiful job of capturing a period of history, not only political, but social and religious. The testimony related in the final section shares its title with that of the novel.

An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears – Reading Guide – : Books

Let the reader cingerpost. Good historians are not necessarily good authors and good authors are not necessarily good historians, but in Fingerpost Pears manages to strike a comfortable balance between both professions.

Want to Read saving…. Now that I have earned the wrath of the literati, let me conclude that I would highly recommend this book to serious readers, not only of the mystery genre, but of the historical novel genre fingerpkst well.

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A student of medicine with interest in theories of blood circulation, he is soon befriended by Richard Lower, an Oxford doctor and actual historical figure who would later become the best-known physician of his day. The cynical but unhinged paranoia of the seventeenth-century police state looms over the dingerpost to chilling effect. Yet there are other ideas which are most disturbing; one woman who has complained of rape is discovered to be lying as tye has fallen pregnant by her supposed attacker and everyone knows that this only happens if the instnace experienced an orgasm during the act.

Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Jun 30, Lee rated it it was amazing Shelves: What is each character’s true politics? Can you think of other books in which this multi-perspective technique was used to similar ends, or other books that feature unreliable narrators?

The novel is narrated by four different narrators, each of which tells his version of the story: There is the brash and arrogant young Fongerpost Prescott, obsessed with clearing his father’s name of treachery, then the cold and manipulative Dr Wallis, also consumed with his own quest for revenge. John Wallis, a mathematician and cryptographer with a predilection for conspiracy theories; and Anthony Fingerposg, a mild-mannered Oxford antiquarian whose tale proves to be the book’s “instance of the fingerpost.


This is what superb storytelling is about.

They give an insight into their own lives, their motivations and priorities. How can we avoid the sad fact that the victors usually write, disseminate, promote and inatance history?

Wood has given us the truth such as it is, he will tell nobody else. Jul 15, Slayde rated it liked it Recommends it for: If you felt it in your soul, I could accept easily, but you do not.

As with Stone’s Fall, there is more than a pinch of the supernatural sprinkled through An Instance of the Fingerpost yet somehow it blended in far more so than in the former.

It is easy to thr Oliver Cromwell with Thomas Cromwell as both did rise to great heights of power. An Instance of the Fingerpost finerpost Iain Pears. While the plot of the book revolves around a murder, the mystery is the nature of truth itself. His paranoia causes him to see conspiracies – much as Prestcott does.

Four men of different backgrounds who recount the events that led to the murder and beyond. But, because of this expectation-of-awesomeness and maybe a tiny smidgin because of sore wrists? Each tells his own version of what happened. Stay in Touch Sign up.

None of them is reliable in their recounting of the events. His Iain Pears is an English fungerpost historian, novelist and journalist. Consider other criminal trials of that era, either historical or fictional accounts.

My only complaint is that it is over-long and becomes tedious to the point where I was glad to finish it. At other times, however, you follow them only because the writing is excellent, and from ot morbid amusement can be gleaned from their misfortune, stupidity and blinkered inanity. There’s a problem loading this menu right now. Refresh and try again.

An Instance of the Fingerpost

Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Torturing a corpse seems like an odd thing to do. I can feel it hiss in the night and off its coldness in the day. But first a few teasers in the grand Hollywood tradition: His former servant Sarah Blundy comes under suspicion of having poisoned him and no one can quite seem to agree about her true nature.


Other than Gillespie and I, I can’t remember another novel which pulled off the notion of the unreliable narrator quite so masterfully, and Gillespie and I was only working with one lead.

He and the second narrator start with their conclusions and subsequently gather their evidence. An Instance of the Fingerpost is a novel to savour and consider and rabbit about at length to friends – it is a true tour de force. This is one of the few books that I felt compelled to start immediately again, from page one, after reaching the end — even though it has close to pages.

Review: An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears – Girl with her Head in a Book

Fingerpist turns his hand to being a physician, untrained, but it seems that in gingerpost time period men with a degree in most anything would occasionally turn their hand to doctoring.

A contrast portrayed in the novel is, on one hand, a philosophy based on ancient and medieval learning, and, on the other, the scientific method that was beginning to be applied in physics, chemistry and medicine. I actually liked An Instance of the Fingerpost even better than the previous Iain Pears book I read, Stone’s Fallwhich I also found enjoyable and impressive and just a bit beyond me at times but not to the point where I couldn’t appreciate the reading experience.

Get fast, free inetance with Amazon Prime. Oxford, Englandmore than 20 years of civil and religious upheaval. All are connected by the same figures and also by the murder of an Oxford don and the execution of a young woman. It is one of those cities which keeps one foot proudly in the past.

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