Synopses & Reviews
With his elegant prose, distinctive imagination, and deep empathy, the bestselling author of The Crimson Petal and the White once again dazzles us in three novellas. "The Courage Consort" tells of an a capella vocal ensemble sequestered in a Belgian chateau to rehearse a monstrously complicated new piece. But competing artistic temperaments and sexual needs create as much discordance as the avant garde music. In "The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps," a lonely woman joins an archaeological dig at Whitby Abbey and unearths a mystery involving a long-hidden murder. In "The Fahrenheit Twins," strange children, identical in all but gender and left alone at the icy zenith of the world by their anthropologist parents, create their own ritual civilization.
In each of these novellas, Michel Faber creates a unique, self-contained world, where the perennial human drama plays out in all its passion and ambiguity.
"The loss of innocence, the urgency of sexual need and the persistence of inner demons unite these three fine novellas, further evidence of the wide-ranging imagination, ironic humor and incisive characterization Faber displayed in The Crimson Petal and the White. Sin, in 'The 199 Steps,' is working on an archeological dig in England when she encounters Mack, a gorgeous fitness buff. As Sin and Mack try to decipher the clues to a 1788 murder, Sin's dreams of a handsome man slitting her throat grow in intensity, paralleling the grisly facts she brings to light. The denouement is surprising and satisfying for what does not happen. In 'The Fahrenheit Twins,' Tainto'lilith and Marko'cain are pre-adolescent twin brother and sister living in the Arctic tundra with their eccentric parents, both anthropological researchers. When their mother dies, their father encourages them to voyage alone into the wilderness with her body tied to a sled. Catherine Courage, of the title story, is the soprano member of an avant-garde musical ensemble that has gathered in a Belgian chateau to rehearse a fiendishly difficult piece. Suffering through a July heat wave, Catherine is driven to desperation by an eerie cry she hears in the night. A tragedy, however, provides the reality shock she needs. While this is a slighter effort than Faber's previous work, readers will again be immersed in the intense worlds he creates. Agent, Jamie Byng. (Nov. 4)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
U.K. PRAISE FOR THE COURAGE CONSORT
"His air of strange novelty is as fresh as ever; each sentence condenses the world into something surprising and illuminating." -The Guardian (London)
PRAISE FOR THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE
"Faber tells a good story grippingly and colorfully." -The Washington Post
"A lasting love affair; the intimate relationship one develops with the characters . . . is much more satisfying than the mere one-night stand promised by most other novels."-People
PRAISE FOR THE COURAGE CONSORT
"Exotic and willfully unpredictable . . . Taken together, the stories have an unusually wide range. Mr. Faber finds odd ways to fuse brittle civility, gallows humor and a sense of real peril."--Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"The evocative language and intriguing glimpses of unfamiliar worlds that dazzled readers of The Crimson Petal and the White are here in abundance."--Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times
Three novellas by the author of THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE
About the Author
Michel Faber is the author of The Crimson Petal and the White
, Under the Skin
, and Some Rain Must Fall
. His work has been published in twenty countries and has re-ceived several literary awards. He lives in the Scottish highlands.