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Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Fingersmith: Press views
Sarah Waters
Sarah Waters is hoping to win the Orange fiction prize
Press reviews of Fingersmith.


The Independent

Heavily backed for the Orange prize, Waters' gripping and colourful historical mystery would prove a popular Booker victor. Wilkie Collins meets Angela Carter in the tale of a resourceful orphan adrift in the criminal and sexual underworlds of 19th-century London. Strongly plotted, vividly written.


The Guardian

There are always novels that you envy people for not yet having read, for the pleasures they still have to come. Well, this is one. Long, dark, twisted and satisfying, it's a fabulous piece of writing, but Waters's most impressive achievement is that she also makes it feel less like reading, more like living: an unforgettable experience.


The Observer

What is distinctive about this large and brilliant book is that it shows us a world that is all underworld, in one way or another. There's moralising aplenty, in slums as in servants' halls, in asylums as much as in pornographic bookshops, but no morals to be found anywhere.


The Times

Waters appears to indulge in the sheer sensationalism of her story, in a plot that echoes that of Wilkie Collins's Woman in White, in which plans are made to defraud a rich heiress and incarcerate her for ever in a madhouse. But there is an emotional immediacy to this tale, a creeping modern relevance that lifts it out of the realms of the Gothic in which her imagination clearly revels.


The Daily Telegraph

If you enjoy the sort of unabashedly sensational novel in which highly-strung women spend their nights creeping about stately homes in long white nightdresses in search of concealed family scandals, then Fingersmith is a must.

Coverage of the 2002 Booker Prize from BBC News Online and BBCi Arts


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11 Jun 02 | Wales
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