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The Fraud

por Zadie Smith

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7423730,314 (3.51)48
It is 1873. Mrs Eliza Touchet is the Scottish housekeeper - and cousin by marriage - of a once famous novelist, now in decline, William Ainsworth, with whom she has lived for thirty years. Mrs Touchet is a woman of many interests- literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her cousin, his wives, this life and the next. But she is also sceptical. She suspects her cousin of having no talent; his successful friend, Mr Charles Dickens, of being a bully and a moralist; and England of being a land of facades, in which nothing is quite what it seems. Andrew Bogle meanwhile grew up enslaved on the Hope Plantation, Jamaica. He knows every lump of sugar comes at a human cost. That the rich deceive the poor. And that people are more easily manipulated than they realise. When Bogle finds himself in London, star witness in a celebrated case of imposture, he knows his future depends on telling the right story. The 'Tichborne Trial' captivates Mrs Touchet and all of England. Is Sir Roger Tichborne really who he says he is? Or is he a fraud? Mrs Touchet is a woman of the world. Mr Bogle is no fool. But in a world of hypocrisy and self-deception, deciding what is real proves a complicated task... Based on real historical events, The Fraud is a dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity, and the mystery of 'other people.'… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente poraketchum, ELibrary_ISDM, LindaEdwards, winterson, lilibrarian, biblioteca privada, JoeB1934, pjdscca, sammimag, JJConnolly
  1. 00
    Trust por Hernan Diaz (allthegoodbooks)
    allthegoodbooks: Similar themes - who do we believe and how do we know
  2. 00
    The Lacuna por Barbara Kingsolver (allthegoodbooks)
    allthegoodbooks: Similar themes of truth and lies
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Mostrando 1-5 de 34 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Historical fiction just how I like it - based on real happenings this story is set in a time when Charles Dickens was writing, slavery was officially abolished yet racial prejudice was rampant, and a trial was holding everyone's attention. Eliza Touchet was the Scottish housekeeper (and more) of her cousin a once-famous author. Eliza was very close to his first wife before she died; the second wife once being a servant in the house and the total opposite of the first and Eliza. Eliza can never quite find her place in society being a single woman.

The Tichborne Trial involved a man who claimed to be the heir of a wealthy and important family in England whose son had supposedly disappeared when a ship drowned off the coast of South America. This man had none of the refinements of a gentleman and is believed to be a butcher from Australia.

The book is about half of Eliza's life and the other half interspersed is the story of the trial. Both are interesting. Good writing; good story. ( )
  maryreinert | Apr 9, 2024 |
Great writing…lacking a story line, i couldn’t tell what was going on or who was who; i didn’t get it ( )
  JosephKing6602 | Apr 4, 2024 |
In an absorbing and fascinating novel that spans 1830s to 1870s England, Zadie Smith has woven a story based on characters and events of the time, that has many resonances with today’s Britain. She introduces writers such as Charles Dickens, William Thackeray and William Ainsworth, concentrating mainly on the latter and his relationship with his cousin Eliza Touchet. Added to the mix, are the trials of Roger Tichbourne in the 1870s, as he attempts to prove that he has a rightful claim to an inheritance, an event that provoked high public feelings. Through these two topics, Smith explores such themes as the role of women in society, the perception and treatment of black people, class conflict and power and jealousy between authors. This is such a rich novel and makes for a thought-provoking read, with a choice of characters vying to be “The fraud”.
  camharlow2 | Apr 3, 2024 |
I listed to the audiobook version.

The Fraud is about.....well that's the problem. Despite one great character and an interesting setting it didn't seem to be about much of anything. I knew this book had mediocre reviews but the premise sounded so good. I made it about 1/3 way through it and finally gave up. Eliza was fascinating and well drawn. Everyone else just kind of blended together and the story did'nt seem to have a strong plot thread to keep me interested. And reading of the cockney accents grated on my nerves so much. Ugh. ( )
  technodiabla | Mar 29, 2024 |
An accomplished book. The portrayal of Victorian society is so well researched and presented , it’s amazing. I am a huge Dickens fan and that made this a somewhat difficult read. While his more well known sins, such as his treatment of his wife are presented, it is his occasional smallness that she captures so brilliantly, all the while acknowledging his wit and observational powers.

The story is all about frauds of one type or another….including the lies we tell about ourselves.

Perhaps for this reason, it feels a bit cool and intellectual…more of an analytical experience than a heartfelt story….
Technically,thoroughly brilliant ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
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It is 1873. Mrs Eliza Touchet is the Scottish housekeeper - and cousin by marriage - of a once famous novelist, now in decline, William Ainsworth, with whom she has lived for thirty years. Mrs Touchet is a woman of many interests- literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her cousin, his wives, this life and the next. But she is also sceptical. She suspects her cousin of having no talent; his successful friend, Mr Charles Dickens, of being a bully and a moralist; and England of being a land of facades, in which nothing is quite what it seems. Andrew Bogle meanwhile grew up enslaved on the Hope Plantation, Jamaica. He knows every lump of sugar comes at a human cost. That the rich deceive the poor. And that people are more easily manipulated than they realise. When Bogle finds himself in London, star witness in a celebrated case of imposture, he knows his future depends on telling the right story. The 'Tichborne Trial' captivates Mrs Touchet and all of England. Is Sir Roger Tichborne really who he says he is? Or is he a fraud? Mrs Touchet is a woman of the world. Mr Bogle is no fool. But in a world of hypocrisy and self-deception, deciding what is real proves a complicated task... Based on real historical events, The Fraud is a dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity, and the mystery of 'other people.'

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