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The Paying Guests por Sarah Waters
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The Paying Guests (original 2014; edição 2014)

por Sarah Waters (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,6731883,961 (3.58)245
It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.… (mais)
Membro:JennCipher
Título:The Paying Guests
Autores:Sarah Waters (Autor)
Informação:Virago (2014), Edition: First Edition, 576 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Pormenores da obra

The Paying Guests por Sarah Waters (2014)

  1. 20
    Falsas Aparências por Sarah Waters (queencersei)
  2. 20
    Life Mask por Emma Donoghue (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Intimate friendships between women give rise to scandalous rumors and interpersonal drama in these character-driven historical novels. Although both London-set stories are atmospheric and richly detailed, The Paying Guests opens in the 1920s, Life Mask in the late eighteenth century.… (mais)
  3. 10
    Frog Music por Emma Donoghue (sturlington)
  4. 00
    Burnt Bones por Michael Slade (Sandwich76)
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» Ver também 245 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 189 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
What a cheat: Waters wields her well-fashioned, direct prose with all the discretion of a toddler picking up a firearm, suckering Dear Reader into a 560-page novel by promising an honest-to-God throwback and delivering instead a melodrama cobbled out of the lamest tripe imaginable. About a quarter in it's revealed that this is another novel about repressed sexuality in an older era, which the prose seems to promise a fresh view upon, but it indeed ends up being almost a paint-by-numbers lesbian potboiler. Ever see that tawdry original paperback artwork for The Price of Salt? That's this book. Gracious, this was a waste. It was my first Waters, and I look forward to Fingersmith anyway.
  brendanowicz | May 9, 2021 |
I loved Juliet Stevenson's reading but did not care for the story at all. ( )
  jlweiss | Apr 23, 2021 |
It is 4.5 stars! I hesitate giving 5 stars because it felt long winding at times. Yet, this is certainly my favorite book by Sarah Waters. One can feel her growth as a writer with each one of her books.

The historical background is flawless. It envelopes the reader and transports us to the years just after WWI England, among a people still in grief for the dead, the economic hardships, and the women left behind in a world that had systematically shifted.

But this historical panorama does remain in the background giving a sturdy canvas for the story, yet not overpowering the main plot, which is dense and erotic in the right doses.

Like other reviewers I do agree that it is too long introducing the reader to the main plot, but I want to tell everyone to hang in there, because the story does unravel into an almost thriller with very well developed characters. I love that it defies genre too.

I should add that I listened in audio book with a narration by Juliet Stevenson. Her performance and characterizations were great.
( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
I feel relieved to have finished this book! For most of the book, I had it in my head that I'd rank it around a 3 . . . but, the ending. Nope, not happy about it. I waded through all the melodrama. "Oh, but for a cup of tea!" All the "woe is me" that whiny Francis could muster because there was enough suspense to offset it whilst I rolled my eyes. Lillian is a terrible person and annoying. I did not like the main characters. I felt sorry for everyone surrounding them. Leonard, especially, the poor chap. I do admit, I did get quite drawn into the story and could not have put it down despite my disdain for the leading ladies and my disappointment in the ultimate conclusion. Ms. Waters did do a fantastic job of compelling the (in my case disgruntled) reader to stick it out to the end. ( )
  mbellucci | Apr 10, 2021 |

Camberwell, 1922. Frances Wray and her mother lead a lonely life in a house which has become too big for them, too costly to maintain. The death of Frances's two brothers and her father during the Great War still casts a shadow over the household. To make ends meet, the Wrays have to take in lodgers or "paying guests". Horror of horrors! What will the neighbours say? The arrival of Leonard and Lilian Barber will indeed have far-reaching consequences, very different from those feared by the Wrays...

I have read all Waters's works and none has disappointed me so far. This has come very close. I squarely blame the blurbs on the cover for this. Let's start with the claim that the book is "unputdownable" and "page-turning". Well, the first 200 pages or so were quite soporific. Well-written by all means and definitely finely crafted. But not "unputdownable" in my understanding of the word. In fact, I decided to take a break from the novel, and read two or three others before returning to it.

Things pick up when the relationships (and tensions) between the Wrays and the Barbers develop. But we're still far from the wild ride of "Fingersmith" or "Affinity". In its second and third parts, the novel moves into the crime territory and suddenly Waters builds up the tension. Yes, the novel does become page-turning, but only out of the build-up of curiousity as to how the narrative will wrap up - John Grisham style. Ironically, Lauren Owen's historical vampire novel [b:The Quick|18050175|The Quick|Lauren Owen|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1391414209s/18050175.jpg|25332934] (admittedly a very different sort of book) was slated by many critics for exactly these same type of gear/genre changes.

Waters has been praised for her powers of observation and for her use of the "domestic novel" to probe at the social divisions inherent in the world she portrays. One critic compared her to Zola and Flaubert. Yes, the novel is successful from this point of view. But let's not forget that friction between different social classes and communities has been a recurring subject in all her novels. And one might argue that it's more challenging to address such a social theme within the genre strictures of a ghost story (as she did in The Little Stranger) than in a ... social novel about class friction in 1920s London.

A related problem is the fact that, perhaps because of its very genre, the novel contains long sections of dialogue. Waters does a good job at crafting a pastiche of the style of the era - but this makes long passages of the book read as if it were a Downton Abbey script. I preferred the third-person passages, where a striking metaphor or turn of phrase would remind me of why I love reading this author.

Another critic praised Waters for "not being afraid of being explicit". There are indeed some sexually charged scenes, but her most transgressive novel to date is her very first one - Tipping the Velvet. Nothing new here.

So why do I give this novel a decent three stars? Because notwithstanding my doubts about the book, it contains many hallmarks of Waters's style. Because, despite the longueurs and fact that it could have done with some editing, some passages are truly gripping. Because if I hadn't been led to expect a "masterpiece", a "perfect novel" and "Sarah Waters's best novel to date" I might have simply enjoyed it for what it is. ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Mar 5, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 189 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
"Some novels are so good, so gripping or shattering that they leave you uncertain whether you should have ever started them. You open “The Paying Guests” and immediately surrender to the smooth assuredness of Sarah Waters’s silken prose. Nothing jars. You relax. You turn more pages. You start turning them faster. Before long, you resemble Coleridge’s Wedding-Guest: You cannot choose but read. The book has you in thrall. You will follow Waters and her story anywhere. Yet when that story ends, you find yourself emotionally sucked dry, as much stunned as exhilarated by the power of art."
adicionada por lorax | editarWashington Post, Michael Dirda (Sep 10, 2014)
 
The superbly talented Sarah Waters — three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize — leads her readers into hidden worlds, worlds few of us knew existed. And so it is with The Paying Guests. ..Amid this heart-crushing drama, uncaring London grinds on, a cacophony of “hooves, voices, hurrying steps, the clash and grinding of iron wheels” that threatens to destroy the hopes of summer: an utterly engrossing tale.
 
Novel tackles big themes but lacks bite...Yet the love story’s progression – to say more would give too much away – is not entirely convincing by the end..Characterisation has a hint of familiarity, as if characters have been derived from Waters’ bank of past creations, and they lose some of their gleam for it, though the story stays emotionally-charged...
 
The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters' superb, bewitching new novel, is set in 1922 London...My only quibble with The Paying Guests is its length; the last hundred pages or so chronicle a court trial and feel padded, the first time I've ever had that reaction to a Sarah Waters novel. Otherwise, this is a magnificent creation, a book that doubles as a time machine, flinging us back not only to postwar London, but also to our own lost love affairs, the kind that left us breathless — and far too besotted to notice that we had somehow misplaced our moral compass.
adicionada por vancouverdeb | editarNPR
 
This fascinating domestic scenario might have made for an absorbing short novel;... Its pastiche propriety and faux-Edwardian prose (people are forever "colouring" and "crimsoning" and "putting themselves tidy") become irritants; and the novel's descent into melodrama as a murder is committed – and the inspector called – turns this engaging literary endeavour into a tiresome soap opera....Waters's unusual gift for drama and for social satire is squandered on the production of middlebrow entertainment:.. it would be good to see Waters produce something corrective and sharp, in which her authoritative and incisive dramatic style was permitted to be sufficient satisfaction on its own.
 

» Adicionar outros autores

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Waters, Sarahautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Stevenson, JulietNarradorautor principalalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bützow, HeleneTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Carra, LeopoldoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Defossé, AlainTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Groen, NicoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Jong, Sjaak deTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Leibmann, UteTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lyng, HildeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mörk, YlvaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Versluys, MarijkeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Zulaika, JaimeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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The pavement threw up heat like a griddle; they kept to the shade as much as they could as they made their way down the hill, but it was warm even on the platform of the station, in the bluish dusk of the railway cut.
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It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

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