By Gaslight

By Gaslight

Book - 2016
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London, 1885. The notorious thief Edward Shade exists only as a ghost, a fabled con, a thief of other men's futures. William Pinkerton is already famous, the son of a brutal detective, when he descends into the underworld of Victorian London in pursuit of a new lead. What follows is a fog-enshrouded hunt through sewers, opium dens, drawing rooms, and séance halls. Above all, it is the story of the most unlikely of bonds: between William Pinkerton, the greatest detective of his age, and Adam Foole, the one man who may hold the key to finding Edward Shade.
Publisher: Toronto :, McClelland & Stewart,, 2016.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780771069239
Characteristics: 731 pages ;,24 cm.


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Mar 25, 2019

I love this book. Could not put it down. Wonderful to get rid of punctuation that blocks the flow. For the serious reader, a lovely pleasure.

Aug 20, 2018

The author’s descriptive writing style makes the setting of the book—VIctorian England—a very real place for the reader. And while the mystery presented in the novel is interesting enough some might find this book difficult to get through. The story is very long and drawn out and the characters are not the most engaging. However, the book does offer a in-depth historical view of the time.

Apr 17, 2018

This is a long, dense book, packed with atmosphere and plot. It is rich and detailed. It needs to be read slowly and thoughtfully. If you are not a patient reader, this may not be the book for you. If you are a patient reader, you will be rewarded with an incredibly well written story that takes you back and forth in time and sends you to the mines of South Africa, the battlefields of the Civil War and the streets of Victorian London. The story fits together chapter by chapter and even paragraph by paragraph. (The minimal use of punctuation is a bit annoying, but you adjust to it soon enough) It will take you a long time to get to the end of this book, but when you get there you will be sad it is over.

Dec 30, 2017

This is a very well written book, aside from the lack of punctuation and the story is complicated as it jumps around in time and often you have to read a while to see which character you are reading about. The protagonists, however; I did not find engaging and I soon tired of all the characters. A bit shorter of a book would have been better as there were pointless and too long scenes. I usually love this type of book as I could not put down The Luminaries, but not this one.

Dec 28, 2017

This book runs to 731 pages, spanning 4 continents over a period roughly from 1848 to 1885, along with a brief epilogue set in 1913. As a rule, I avoid "sweeping" epics, usually finding them to be long-winded and self-indulgent, in need of some judicious editing. And yet at no point did this book seem long. Every page held my attention throughout. Price combines the social insight of a Charles Dickens, the gritty realism of a David Hosp, the storytelling scale of a Guy Vanderhaeghe. He conjures up 1885 London in all its filth, misery, poverty and chaos; choking in its own effluent, shivering in its grimy winter fog. The stink of the place oozes out of the pages. Sweatshops, slaughterhouses, taverns, all heated and powered by coal; half-lit, muddy streets beset by hordes of ragged urchins, sailors, whores and beggars. Prices's two main protagonists, the relentless Pinkerton and his elusive quarry Shade drive the narrative: Love, treachery, loyalty, loss, vengeance; the very stuff of life.
Regarding price's style: His rich, free-flowing language bears the mark if a poet. The total absence of quotation marks is at first disconcerting. But one becomes accustomed to it and I discovered that the effect was to blend dialogue seamlessly into the stream of narrative.
Price has a remarkable facility for conveying the ambiguities of human motivation and relationships. Although there are certainly crimes committed here, there are neither pure villains nor admirable heroes, just imperfect humans who fall victim to their own misplaced loyalties and stubborn passions. Highly recommended!

Apr 23, 2017

A VERY large book. Too heavy for me to hold.

minerva Mar 23, 2017

This seems to be a novel for those that like stylish writing; I found that I was not engaged by the characters, and so I just wasn't interested in reading only for the style. I did want to like it, possibly I'm an impatient reader...

Feb 15, 2017

I'm sure it is a great book, judging by previous comments, but I just couldn't handle the lack of punctuation so had to give up!

Jan 31, 2017

When it was ending I kept wishing it would keep going... Is there another one in the works? Hope so!

Odd style of writing but it envelops you when the story unfolds after about 50 pages.

Jan 25, 2017

Long-winded and confusing in style. The author used no punctuation save for periods at the ends of sentences. The story seemed to go around in circles at times.

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SPL_Brittany Sep 19, 2016

London 1885. In a city shrouded in fog and darkness, William Pinkerton, son of that famous detective, descends into the sordid underbelly of Victorian London in pursuit of the elusive Edward Shade - a thief, a con artist, an echo of a man who may never have existed. Still reeling from his father's death, William, in pursuit of a new lead, travels through London's murky sewers, opium dens and séance halls determined to drag the man out of the shadows.

Adam Foole is a gentleman without a past, haunted by a love affair ten years gone. When he receives a letter from his lost beloved, he returns to London in search of her and meets the famous Mr. Pinkerton. What follows is the story of unlikely bonds between William Pinkerton, the greatest detective of his age, and Adam Foole, the one man who may hold the key to finding Edward Shade.

This is a perfect fall read for anyone who is looking to envelop themselves in an historical thriller spanning five decades and half the world. Epic and dark in its tone, readers will enjoy immersing themselves in the less savoury world of Victorian London, its dark alley ways and grimy characters, enjoying the novel’s many twists and turns.

This book has also been long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

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