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Cover for Rustication


A Novel

Charles Palliser


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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (11/4/2013)


One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year. "A literary Dr. Frankenstein, [Palliser] has stitched together parts of Jane Austen and Edgar Allan Poe. The result is deliciously wicked." —Ron Charles, Washington Post

Charles Palliser's work has been hailed as "so compulsively absorbing that reality disappears" (New York Times). Since his extraordinary debut, The Quincunx, his works have sold over one million copies worldwide. With his novel, Rustication, he returns to the town of Thurchester, which he evoked so hauntingly in The Unburied.

It is winter 1863, and Richard Shenstone, aged seventeen, has been sent down—"rusticated"—from Cambridge under a cloud of suspicion. Addicted to opium and tormented by sexual desire, he finds temporary refuge in a dilapidated old mansion on the southern English coast inhabited by his newly impoverished mother and his sister, Effie. Soon, graphic and threatening letters begin to circulate among his neighbors, and Richard finds himself the leading suspect in a series of crimes and misdemeanors ranging from vivisection to murder.

Atmospheric, lurid, and brilliantly executed, Rustication is sure to spin readers into its "spider's web of intrigue and violence" (Jane Jakeman, The Independent).

Praise For Rustication: A Novel

A crooked, deeply involving story.
— Lev Grossman - Time

Readers will have as much grisly fun just sorting out the facts as they will solving the mysteries.
— Nicholas Mancusi - The Daily Beast

A wickedly entertaining, intricately plotted read.
— Publishers Weekly

Engrossing… an entertaining, stylized, Gothic-esque read.
— Tucker Shaw - The Denver Post

Palliser’s hold on his narrative is enough to turn it into an exercise in pure form. As in a superior detective novel, character, scene and incidental detail fade away and all that remains is the thrill of the chase.
— D.J. Taylor - The Spectator

A gothic puzzler perfect for misty autumn evenings.
— Stephanie Merritt - The Guardian

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393349818, 336pp.

Publication Date: November 3, 2014

About the Author

Charle Palliser was born in Massachusetts, but has lived in the UK since the age of three. A graduate of Oxford University, he writes full time in London.