The Nature of Monsters: Book summary and reviews of The Nature of Monsters by Clare Clark

The Nature of Monsters

by Clare Clark

The Nature of Monsters by Clare Clark X
The Nature of Monsters by Clare Clark
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  • Published in USA  May 2007
    400 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

1718: Sixteen-year-old Eliza Tally sees the gleaming dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral rising above a rebuilt city. She arrives as an apothecary’s maid, a position hastily arranged to shield the father of her unborn child from scandal. But why is the apothecary so eager to welcome her when he already has a maid, a half-wit named Mary? Why is Eliza never allowed to look her veiled master in the face or go into the study where he pursues his experiments? It is only on her visits to the Huguenot bookseller who supplies her master’s scientific tomes that she realizes the nature of his obsession. And she knows she has to act to save not just the child but Mary and herself.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [T]his suspenseful tale contains no whodunit element, but as in her previous book, Clark's empathetic portrait of the powerless and the victimized will remind many readers of Dickens." - PW.

"Readers who are not put off by the graphically documented grotesqueries and perversions will be drawn into the spellbinding gothic netherworld Clark spins." - Booklist

"As she did so successfully in The Great Stink, Clark again transports readers to another time and place in this mesmerizing tale of life in the mean streets of 18th-century London. Highly recommended. " - Library Journal.

"[A] a climax so absurd it would seem excessive in the lamest of bodice-rippers.... Clark has talent and energy to burn. But she's burning both up in wasteful displays of gratuitous pyrotechnics." - Kirkus.

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Author Information

Clare Clark Author Biography

Chris Clark

Clare read History at Trinity College, Cambridge, where she was a Senior Scholar. She graduated with a Double First.

She then spent eleven years in advertising, first at Saatchi & Saatchi and then, as a board director, at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, working both in London and New York.

Her first novel, The Great Stink, was published by Viking in 2005 after a five-way auction: critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, The Great Stink was long-listed for the Orange Prize, won the Pendleton May First Novel award in the UK and the Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices award in the USA. It was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.

Since then The Great Stink has been translated into five languages. A film of the novel is currently in development.

She has ...

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