An Instance of the Fingerpost [Iain Pears] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In Oxford, a servant girl confesses to a murder. But four. A national bestseller and one of the New York Public Library’s Books to Remember, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a thrilling historical mystery. This massive, delightfully titled literary thriller (it’s a quote from Sir Francis Bacon) is the kind of gamble it’s great to see a publisher taking in these often timid.

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This tangle-thicket of a plot would, of course, be instznce by bad writing. Unlike writers attempting valiantly to fashion together something new from the fall of Anne Boleyn or similar, An Instance of the Fingerpost offers fresh material even for the hardened historical fiction fiend such as myself. How might this play have particular significance in Restoration England, particularly in Oxford, which was a Royalist stronghold? The writer killed off the only charismatic character in the book, and showcased the most villainous.

After that, it stopped being boring and became shockingly offensive instead.

Every sentence in the book is as treacherous as quicksand. Sometimes you follow these unpleasant men to kf their motivations and find the light they shed on the plot. Pears portrays the unease of this society expertly. It’s a veritable stew of contrary beliefs and mistrust. The fourth narrator is Anthony Wood, an antiquary and historian, best known for his diaries that were published long after his death.

The squalor and grime of seventeenth century society seems to ooze from the page and we have og real sense of Restoration Oxford.


: AN Instance of the Fingerpost eBook: Iain Pears: Kindle Store

View all 17 comments. Along with the new areas of philosophy, which includes the budding knowledge of medicine, alchemy and belief in witchcraft still exist.

Trivia About An Instance of th Although few fell with the Commonwealth, equally few forgot their injuries. You’ll be amazed at the audacity of the author as he begins his high-wire act, and you’ll be even more amazed and gratified when he pulls it off.

Unfortunately with the brandy was a tincture of arsenic that seized his heart and left him a cooling, yet still flatulent, corpse with a host fingerpkst suspects. Jack Prescott, an Oxford student and the son of a lord disgraced by accusations of treason; John Wallis, a skilled mathematician and cryptographer who worked for both Cromwell and Charles II and who sees political conspiracies in everyday events; and Anthony Wood, a scholar and historian. The book fingerplst split between four narrators, each describing essentially the same set of events from his own perspective.

Review: An Instance of the Fingerpost – The Oxford Culture Review

The victim is Dr. People were pragmatic about what had to be done — there was little romance to it and few personalities to warm to. Question is, of course, did the author leave any clues?

Although the exact circumstances of his death are unclear, all signs point to poison; soon a young woman named Sarah Blundy is accused of innstance murder.

Hefty, intricately plotted, and intellectually ambitious, Fingerpost has drawn the inevitable comparisons to Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose and, for once, the comparison is apt. Pears creates a novel that employs four different narrators. The descriptions of the superstitions that were still dictating prescribed treatment by a physician of this time period made it very clear that one had to be very desperate to seek care at all.


Jul 09, Lara rated it liked it. Retrieved from ” https: Robert Grove of Oxford’s New College.

All I can say is that it is a very clever, confident, well-written book ab I would recommend heartily. The only good things I can say about this book are that it seemed to be far more thoroughly researched than most historical fiction, and the layout of the book was clever.

The Immaculate Deception Kindle Edition. It teaches while entertaining on a grand scale. View all 4 comments.

An Instance of the Fingerpost Reader’s Guide

Insyance be amazed at the audacity of the author as he begins his high-wire act, ann you’ll be even more amazed and gratified when This is one of the most well-crafted, meticulously written, daring, busy, fun, and intriguing books I’ve ever read. She had killed a man whom she said had raped her, but the jury judged this a lie because she had fallen pregnant, which cannot occur without the woman taking pleasure in zn act.

He lives in Oxford, England. Oddly enough, this is where I work and it was quite peculiar to read the various street names having just walked along their twenty-first century counterparts. Pair’s characters are as xenophobic, ignorant, blustering, vain, bigoted, full of certitude, and as selfish as Donald Trump.