The Pesthouse

The Pesthouse

3.48 (2,111 ratings by Goodreads)
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Once the safest, most prosperous place on earth, the United States has become sparsely populated and chaotically unstable. Across the country, families have traveled toward the one hope left: passage on a ship to Europe. As Franklin Lopez makes his way towards the ocean, he finds Margaret, a sick woman shunned to die in isolation. Tentatively, the two join forces, heading towards their future. With striking prose and a deep understanding of the American ethos, Jim Crace, one of our most consistently ambitious writers, creates in "The Pesthouse" a masterful tale of the human drive to more

Product details

  • Paperback | 255 pages
  • 130 x 202 x 22mm | 340.19g
  • Vintage Books USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0307278956
  • 9780307278951
  • 806,898

Review quote

A "GLOBE & MAIL" BEST BOOK OF 2007 "The Pesthouse exudes a kind of eerie charm." --"Time Out" "A book that I read hungrily for what it might have to say about the fix we are all in on this planet. . . . Crace's distinctive marked rhythms, just one draft away from blank verse, are at odds with satire. He can't quite extinguish the joy that percolates through all his writing, and The Pesthouse ends up being a lovely literary cipher in the way that Crace's work always is." --Joan Thomas, "The Globe and Mail" "Crace brings his unsentimental but unflagging imagination to the ruined landscape and battered scavenger societies of this new America. . . . He is especially good at documenting the bodily toll that unrelenting life on the road exacts. . . . Franklin's and Margaret's journey, as brutal and hopeless as it often seems, transforms into a kind of allegory for the human capacity for loyalty, love, humour and imagination." --"Toronto Star" "[Crace] takes us straight to the heart of what it means to be human. . . . He has always exhibited an uncanny gift for tapping into the horrors that wake us, heart pounding, in the middle of the night. . . . It's a tribute to Crace's skills that we so rapidly get our bearings in a radically altered landscape." --Francine Prose, "The New York Times" Book Review "Crace has built a loyal following for the old-fashioned reason that he produces consistently dazzling work, matching sublime language with conceptual daring and an insistence on tackling the big themes head-on." --"The Gazette" "AS Byatt has described [Crace] as the most significant writer in English fiction of the past 10 years and in The Pesthouse he continues to buildhis self-contained worlds that, in mirroring our own in crucial, though subtle ways, offer up universal insights." --"Scotland on Sunday ""Entirely compelling. The story is a gripping, harrowing adventure tale and Crace's language is extraordinary: he has immersed himself in his own kind of variant American idiom . . . which is simple, often beautiful, as touch and workable as leather. . . . The Pesthouse resonates like an unresolved chord." --"New Statesman ""While the plots and settings vary, Crace's unerringly stunning style doesn't. Even the most mundane of his characters beguile readers with their emotional authenticity and detailed psychologies. His prose carries the contours of a Donatello sculpture as Crace chisels gracefully flowing sentences with eloquence, precision and the occasional cheeky hint of the impish." "The San Francisco Chronicle ""At its heart, The Pesthouse is a meditation on deep questions about America: the costs of relentless expansion, the fate of a wasteful industrial society." --"Los Angeles Times" "Crace's America lies not in the future but in our uneasy consciences. What's remarkable is the fortitude, grace and patience he grants to the wary people who must make a life there, must remember and love, against all odds." --"Washington Post" "A writer of hallucinatory skill." --John Updike "[Crace] has an almost uncanny ability to nail down a dramatic situation, and the characters to enact it, in one or two sentences. . .one of the best writers around." --"Toronto Star" "From the Hardcover edition."show more

About Jim Crace

Jim Crace is the author of eight previous novels. "Being Dead "was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and won the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 2000. In 1997, "Quarantine "was named the Whitbread Novel of the Year and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Crace has also received the Whitbread First Novel Award, the E.M. Foster Award, and the Guardian Award. He lives in Birmingham, England with his wife and two more

Rating details

2,111 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 14% (298)
4 37% (773)
3 35% (745)
2 11% (237)
1 3% (58)
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