Reader reviews and comments on The Crimson Petal and The White, plus links to write your own review.

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The Crimson Petal and The White

by Michel Faber

The Crimson Petal and The White
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2002, 848 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2003, 944 pages

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There are currently 28 reader reviews for The Crimson Petal and The White
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JGB (11/16/13)

Cold turkey ending
This book is fascinating at the beginning, even with all its debauchery it hooks you into a real slice of Victorian life more realistically than some may desire. Sugar's character requires suspension of belief in how she acquires such wisdom and wide literary/business knowledge at 19, considering she is a prostitute forced into the business at 13 years. Even so, one cant help but love and admire her, with her earnest drive to escape that life. My other quarrel with her, is how she left Christopher behind. William is a hateful man, utterly selfish and masterfully depicted as a representation of men in general who t use, abuse and discard women particularly those who stupidly fortify them with the means to do so. Men like him are the reason many women prefer to be lesbians.

I was hoping he would have been permanently maimed or catch syphilis, anything that would publicly humiliate him and bring him to his knees, though being outwitted by Sugar when she kidnaps Sophie is a small taste of what he deserved

Other than these two, most other characters are one sided and undeveloped in the book. The ending runs out of steam and leaves one with regret for bothering to care about the characters and for wasting time reading it. Perhaps the author was deliberate in slicing it abruptly short to make room for a sequel ( one which I would not care to read, because of this disappointing end).
maggie (11/24/10)

a matter of deduction
I enjoyed every word of the book but I too was taken aback at the abrupt ending. But now I think that if the author is as good as he seems to be, then the ending was foreshadowed throughout the book and we should have enough clues to figure out what is next. Sugar promises Sophie 'the nicest softest bed' after a 'very long journey'..........now I have to go back and find a reference somewhere in the middle of the book about a trans-atlantic passage. Maybe she is going to America where she can be more liberated?
chris lyle (12/25/08)

the crmson petal the white
Excellent, compelling, loved the historical aspect and the characters. The ending was frustrating - I wanted to find out more, but it was the right ending for the book
MONI80 (07/07/06)

DEDICATED READERS ONLY!
I recently finished this book and must say I really enjoyed it form the descriptive and vulgar portrayal of victorian London streets and smells to the vivid and crude glimpse of seventeenth century 'fallen women' (my favorite character was Caroline) to the gradual and sad decline of Agnes. I really felt all the characters as they were so well drawn and my only qualm is the significance of the pious brother Henry and as he was of no significance. I must also admit as other reviewers have that the ending does leave you wanting more and leaves you alittle disappointed-but after careful reflection I have decided that the engrossing and well-written story you receive before the abrupt ending more than make up for it. So in closing this book is a treasure and despite the loose ends you will leave feeling enlightened, educated and fulfilled but remember it is only for dedicated readers only.....
Abi (10/04/05)

Fantastic book disappointing ending
Loved the book engrossing unputdownableand fascinating picture of the real Victorian era warts and all. but mr faber what an ending! i was so disappointed, I hate loose ends. I wanted to know what happened to Sophie let alone Sugar.
Linda Burke (01/19/05)

I thought ithe book was dreadful. I spent so much of my time reading it only to find the worst ending I have ever read.
I consider the hours I spent reading such a long book and was just so dissapointed in the end.
Every book I read I pass onto my family, however I would hate anyone I know to waste as much precious time as I have.
I aslo was going to pass it onto the person who gave it to me as a gift but again now with a clear concious cannot.
What a dissapointment.
southernladybug (11/13/04)

I enjoyed this book immensely! Not only was it stunningly written and beautifully detailed, it managed to be erotic, saddening, and horrifying all at once. Erotic is self-explanatory, as you can easily tell if you have read it. It captured the sadness under Sugar's grit and endurance, and is horrifying in the detailed (and accurate) portrayal of the streets and brothels of Victorian cities everywhere. A caution to any parents with young but avid readers in your household: while this is a compelling read and impossible to put down, I would not recommend allowing anyone under the age of 17 or 18 to read this novel...and if you do make sure their high school teachers don't catch them with it! All in all, cautions considered, I highly recommend this book to anyone. I only had one problem with it...lack of sleep from not being able to put it down!!!!!
Pamela (11/09/04)

I think this is one of the best books I have ever read. Couldn't put it down. A great book from start to finish. Good insight into how Victorian life might be. Hurry up with the sequel!!!

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