Charles Palliser / Mar 29, 2020

Betrayals At once a hypnotic murder mystery scathing literary parody soap opera and brilliant pastiche Betrayals is an astonishing virtuouso performance by a modern master of literary gamesmanship in the tr

  • Title: Betrayals
  • Author: Charles Palliser
  • ISBN: 9780345404350
  • Page: 352
  • Format: Paperback
  • At once a hypnotic murder mystery, scathing literary parody, soap opera, and brilliant pastiche, Betrayals is an astonishing virtuouso performance by a modern master of literary gamesmanship in the tradition of Vladimir Nabokov and John Barth.The novel unforlds in a series of seemingly unrelated narratives, each written in a different style indeed, in a different genre.At once a hypnotic murder mystery, scathing literary parody, soap opera, and brilliant pastiche, Betrayals is an astonishing virtuouso performance by a modern master of literary gamesmanship in the tradition of Vladimir Nabokov and John Barth.The novel unforlds in a series of seemingly unrelated narratives, each written in a different style indeed, in a different genre There is an obituary for a Scottish scientist and Nobel Prize winner, written by a colleague who clearly relishes his death Early in the century, a train in the Scottish Highlands heads down the wrong track during a winter snowstorm, and the passengers are forced to abandon the train, resulting in the death or is it murder of one of them An inane publisher s reader summarizes the plot of a tacky hospital romance novel, which ends in a gory murder all too reminiscent of Jack the Ripper Even a report on a contemporary academic controversy explodes into a scandal of plagiarism, shattered reputations, paranoia, and suicide or is it murder made to look as such As Palliser deftly teases out each new situation, it becomes clear that they are all variations on a single outrageous theme a distinguished figure in some intellectual pursuit science, literature, academia becomes obsessed with the success of a rival and schemes his demise, only to botch the job out of sheer monomania Like the scorpion that stings itself to death, each plotter becomes a victim of his own plot each betrayer changes places with the betrayed in an intricate dance of deception, revenge, and revelation.A challenging, engrossing, utterly original work of art, Betrayals is also pure joy to read a book that will make you laugh out loud, turn pages madly in pursuit of the next plot twist, and above all, marvel at the supreme ingenuity of a fictional puzzle in which the unlikeliest pieces fit together perfectly.From the Hardcover edition.

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      352 Charles Palliser
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      Posted by:Charles Palliser
      Published :2019-09-19T12:40:46+00:00

    About "Charles Palliser"

      • Charles Palliser

        Charles Palliser born 1947 is an American born, British based novelist He is the elder brother of the late author and freelance journalist Marcus Palliser.Born in New England he is an American citizen but has lived in the United Kingdom since the age of three He went up to Oxford in 1967 to read English Language and Literature and took a First in June 1970 He was awarded the B Litt in 1975 for a dissertation on Modernist fiction.From 1974 until 1990 Palliser was a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow He was the first Deputy Editor of The Literary Review when it was founded in 1979 He taught creative writing during the Spring semester of 1986 at Rutgers University in New Jersey In 1990 he gave up his university post to become a full time writer when his first novel, The Quincunx, became an international best seller He has published four novels which have been translated into a dozen languages.Palliser has also written for the theatre, radio, and television His stage play, Week Nothing, toured Scotland in 1980 His 90 minute radio play, The Journal of Simon Owen, was commissioned by the BBC and twice broadcast on Radio 4 in June, 1982 His short TV film, Obsessions Writing, was broadcast by the BBC and published by BBC Publications in 1991 Most recently, his short radio play, Artist with Designs, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 21 February 2004.He teaches occasionally for the Arvon Foundation, the Skyros Institute, London University, the London Metropolitan University, and Middlesex University He was Writer in Residence at Poitiers University in 1997.In 1991 The Quincunx was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters which is given for the best first novel published in North America The Unburied was nominated for the 2001 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.Since 1990 he has written the Introduction to a Penguin Classics edition of the Sherlock Holmes stories, the Foreword to a new French translation of Wilkie Collins The Moonstone published by Editions Phebus, and other articles on 19th century and contemporary fiction He is a past member of the long running North London Writers circle.From


    1. Did you enjoy House of Leaves? How about A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters? Do you like puzzles? Murder mysteries? Betrayals is a collection of seemingly disparate narratives: an obituary for a scientist written by a colleague who seems to delight in his rival's passing; the tale of four passengers stranded on a snowbound train, seemingly told by two very different people, with the stories the passengers tell one another to stave off cold and fear embedded within in it Canterbury-style; [...]

    2. Though brilliant in the embedded plot twists and intertwining, I felt that the author was 'Too Clever by Half' and lost me (and most readers I'm sure). I felt that I caught some but not all of the inter-relationships between the separate stories in this novel. This left me frustrated that there were connections I know I should have seen, but that I didn't connect and so only understood the top two-thirds of the total plot twists and tricks. I think this is a very well written book, but to be app [...]

    3. I remember enjoying Palliser's The Quincunx when I read it many years ago, and his The Unburied when I read that about ten years ago. But neither really prepared me for Betrayals, which I thought absolutely superb. It's a type of postmodern fiction I especially like, in which a number of disparate stories eventually form an overall story from the hints and clues they drop. Betrayals opens with a report of a group of people trapped by snow in a train in late Victorian Scotland. To pass the time u [...]

    4. snowChristmasOpening - Professor Ritchie writes: So small is the world of immunotoxinology that it is not surprising - though somewhat ironic - that it should fall to myself to write the obituary of William Herbert Dugdale. The fact that I have outlived him is an irony that his mordant sense of humour might have equipped him to appreciate.*The fun starts with that little star at the end of the above opening, for it denotes a very telling footnote. Somewhere, and I think it is attributed to Twain [...]

    5. I loved Charles Palliser's The Quincunx and so I bought this slimmer novel in hopes that he would rekindle some of the magic I found in the earlier book. A couple of weeks ago my wife was looking for a new book and, although I hadn't yet read this, I gave it to her. She laughed her way through it and after finishing it she insisted I read it immediately. Naturally I did so and after finishing it she asked me,"well did you like it?" I replied, "No, it was terrible." To which I received the rejoin [...]

    6. Il est interdit à quiconque, sous peine des sanctions les plus graves, de déflorer l'histoire de ce livre. On avancera donc ici avec une extrême précaution… On confirmera simplement, pour tous ceux qui seraient tentés, en cours de lecture, de prendre ce récit pour un recueil de nouvelles, que l'ouvrage qu'ils ont entre les mains est bien un roman. Oh, certes, un roman un peu compliqué, tout en fausses pistes, fausses portes et fausses barbes (mais les cadavres et les crimes sont vrais). [...]

    7. So, Father's Day - also Bloomsday, it turns out - what's a doting Dad to do? Me, I spent most of it on the porch enjoying the low clouds, the cool breeze, the distant cries of unicyclists on the Square and read Betrayals by Charles Palliser. Eventually I went inside and read it some more, because the grey clouds did what grey clouds do and chased even the unicyclists away.Betrayals was an unalloyed pleasure from first to last, and a reread at that. Since at least two of the disparate ten chapter [...]

    8. Nabokovian, macabre, witty; the reviewer who called this a "labyrinthine pastiche" was spot on. Wickedly clever - too clever by half, as one character's book is called - and tangled in a gloriously elaborate tangle of murder, deceit, storytelling, and, of course, betrayals. I was completely fascinated by this book and kept flipping back pages to return to clues and foreshadowing moments sprinkled through earlier chapters, or just to giggle knowingly over sly callbacks and connections. A deviousl [...]

    9. A clever set of related documents - newspaper clippings, diaries, book chapters, letters - that shed partial light on a "famous" Scottish murder mystery. Very, very funny and addictive. Do not read this book if you like to close the final page and feel that you've wrapped the story up! I'm still thinking about it - and I've read this book twice!

    10. I don't really know what to say.A series of stories start name dropping each other throughout the narrative.Extremely interesting, but ultimately frustrating. I only understood abouthalf of the connections and those, tenuously at best. Still, another great from Mr. Palliser.

    11. This book is a story inside a story inside a story, where the story twists & turns through many characters, & then back around to the first. It's fascinating, murder, mystery, African myths, & Jack the Ripper all figure in this story as it layers & layers throughout.

    12. Charles Palliser wrote my most favorite book: The Quincunx. I actively sought out more of his works and this was it. This book was horrible in comparison that I couldn't even finish it. I highly suggest The Quincunx but, not this.

    13. There was a lot that I liked about this but it was so much work to try to piece everything together and I kind of got bored with it by the end of the book.

    14. Eck. I can't really rate this because I actually abandoned this book. Too many freaky stories leading to some odd dreams.

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