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Angelica: A Novel

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Angelica: A Novel Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the bestselling author of The Egyptologist and Prague comes an even more accomplished and entirely surprising new novel. Angelica is a spellbinding Victorian ghost story, an intriguing literary and psychological puzzle, and a meditation on marriage, childhood, memory, and fear.

The novel opens in London, in the 1880s, with the Barton household on the brink of collapse. Mother, father, and daughter provoke one another, consciously and unconsciously, and a horrifying crisis is triggered. As the family's tragedy is told several times from different perspectives, events are recast and sympathies shift. In the dark of night, a chilling sexual spectre is making its way through the house, hovering over the sleeping girl and terrorizing her fragile mother. Are these visions real, or is there something more sinister, and more human, to fear? A spiritualist is summoned to cleanse the place of its terrors, but with her arrival the complexities of motive and desire only multiply. The mother's failing health and the father's many secrets fuel the growing conflicts, while the daughter flirts dangerously with truth and fantasy.

While Angelica is reminiscent of such classic horror tales as The Turn of the Screw and The Haunting of Hill House, it is also a thoroughly modern exploration of identity, reality, and love. Set at the dawn of psychoanalysis and the peak of spiritualism's acceptance, Angelica is also an evocative historical novel that explores the timeless human hunger for certainty.

Review:

"Set in Victorian England, Phillips's impressive third novel uses four linked viewpoints to explore class, gender, family dynamics, sexuality and sciences both real and fraudulent, ancient and newly minted. Joseph Barton, a London biological researcher, orders his four-year-old daughter, Angelica, who's been sleeping in her parents' bedroom, to her own room. Joseph's wife, Constance, resists this separation from her child and the resumption of a marital intimacy that, given her history of miscarriage, may threaten her life. Soon Constance notices foul odors, furniture cracks and a blue specter that appears to attack Angelica while she sleeps. When she reports these supernatural visitations to the unimaginative Joseph, the rift between them widens. Desperate, Constance turns to actress-turned-spiritualist Annie Montague for help. Phillips (Prague) captures period diction and detail brilliantly. At its strongest, the multiple-viewpoint narration yields psychological depth and a number of clever surprises; at its weakest, it can slow the book's momentum to an uncomfortably slow (if authentically Victorian) pace. Author tour. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'Angelica,' Arthur Phillips' spellbinding third book, cements this young novelist's reputation as one of the best writers in America, a storyteller who combines Nabokovian wit and subtlety with a narrative urgency that rivals Stephen King's. Phillips' acclaimed first novel, 'Prague,' examined a group of American expatriates in Budapest toward the end of the last century. His second, 'The Egyptologist,'... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"A symphony of psychological complexity and misdirection...displays the varied wares of the gifted Phillips....An impressive step forward for the versatile Phillips, who continues to engage, surprise and entertain." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Angelica, Arthur Phillip's spellbinding third book, cements this young novelist's reputation as one of the best writers in America, a storyteller who combines Nabokovian wit and subtlety with a narrative urgency that rivals Stephen King." Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Phillips's control of language and exquisite writing (you are actually transported to the London of Dickens) is worth the price of admission. Highly recommended for everyone who has ever worried that there is a ghost under the bed." Library Journal

Review:

"Phillips expertly depicts the repressiveness of the Victorian era....Phillips re-tells the same events from four perspectives (a la Rashomon), revealing just enough information each time to change the reader's allegiances." Booklist

Review:

"Phillips appears to be enjoying himself....He layers Victorian issues about sex and gender with modern psychology and British snobbery, and overlays it all with some truly elegant writing." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"[C]omplex, psychologically complicated....Phillips' Angelica is bold and clever, its setting rich and provocative. Its unsettling story line unearths deep wells of intense human trauma and deception." USA Today

Review:

"Phillips' novel reverberates, rather than proceeding in a standard sense, oscillating between male and female perspectives, the supernatural and the natural world, innocence and evil, and generations too." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Readers seeking linearity and simplicity would do well to avoid Phillips' work, including Angelica, perhaps his most sustained. Those comfortable with a layered open-endedness, however, should enjoy it, then linger over its intellectually satisfying vapors." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Synopsis:

From bestselling author Phillips comes an accomplished yet entirely surprising new novel. Angelica is a spellbinding Victorian ghost story, an intriguing literary and psychological puzzle, and a meditation on marriage, childhood, memory, and fear.

About the Author

Arthur Phillips is the bestselling author of The Egyptologist and Prague, which was a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. He lives in New York with his wife and two sons.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400062515
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Phillips, Arthur
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
General
Subject:
Spiritualism
Subject:
Ghost
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
April 3, 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.48x6.54x1.14 in. 1.38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General
» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Angelica: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Random House - English 9781400062515 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Set in Victorian England, Phillips's impressive third novel uses four linked viewpoints to explore class, gender, family dynamics, sexuality and sciences both real and fraudulent, ancient and newly minted. Joseph Barton, a London biological researcher, orders his four-year-old daughter, Angelica, who's been sleeping in her parents' bedroom, to her own room. Joseph's wife, Constance, resists this separation from her child and the resumption of a marital intimacy that, given her history of miscarriage, may threaten her life. Soon Constance notices foul odors, furniture cracks and a blue specter that appears to attack Angelica while she sleeps. When she reports these supernatural visitations to the unimaginative Joseph, the rift between them widens. Desperate, Constance turns to actress-turned-spiritualist Annie Montague for help. Phillips (Prague) captures period diction and detail brilliantly. At its strongest, the multiple-viewpoint narration yields psychological depth and a number of clever surprises; at its weakest, it can slow the book's momentum to an uncomfortably slow (if authentically Victorian) pace. Author tour. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A symphony of psychological complexity and misdirection...displays the varied wares of the gifted Phillips....An impressive step forward for the versatile Phillips, who continues to engage, surprise and entertain."
"Review" by , "Angelica, Arthur Phillip's spellbinding third book, cements this young novelist's reputation as one of the best writers in America, a storyteller who combines Nabokovian wit and subtlety with a narrative urgency that rivals Stephen King."
"Review" by , "Phillips's control of language and exquisite writing (you are actually transported to the London of Dickens) is worth the price of admission. Highly recommended for everyone who has ever worried that there is a ghost under the bed."
"Review" by , "Phillips expertly depicts the repressiveness of the Victorian era....Phillips re-tells the same events from four perspectives (a la Rashomon), revealing just enough information each time to change the reader's allegiances."
"Review" by , "Phillips appears to be enjoying himself....He layers Victorian issues about sex and gender with modern psychology and British snobbery, and overlays it all with some truly elegant writing."
"Review" by , "[C]omplex, psychologically complicated....Phillips' Angelica is bold and clever, its setting rich and provocative. Its unsettling story line unearths deep wells of intense human trauma and deception."
"Review" by , "Phillips' novel reverberates, rather than proceeding in a standard sense, oscillating between male and female perspectives, the supernatural and the natural world, innocence and evil, and generations too."
"Review" by , "Readers seeking linearity and simplicity would do well to avoid Phillips' work, including Angelica, perhaps his most sustained. Those comfortable with a layered open-endedness, however, should enjoy it, then linger over its intellectually satisfying vapors."
"Synopsis" by , From bestselling author Phillips comes an accomplished yet entirely surprising new novel. Angelica is a spellbinding Victorian ghost story, an intriguing literary and psychological puzzle, and a meditation on marriage, childhood, memory, and fear.
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