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The Paying Guests de Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests (original: 2014; edição: 2014)

de Sarah Waters

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,8681833,518 (3.59)245
It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.… (mais)
Título:The Paying Guests
Autores:Sarah Waters
Informação:Virago (2014), Edition: 0, Paperback, 576 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:novel, 1, GB, c21

Detalhes da Obra

The Paying Guests de Sarah Waters (2014)

Adicionado recentemente porArina42, niadarola, pss0612, fmc712, Cookie1975, biblioteca privada, bettie
  1. 20
    Na ponta dos dedos de Sarah Waters (queencersei)
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    Life Mask de Emma Donoghue (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Intimate friendships between women give rise to scandalous rumors and interpersonal drama in these character-driven historical novels. Although both London-set stories are atmospheric and richly detailed, The Paying Guests opens in the 1920s, Life Mask in the late eighteenth century.… (mais)
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» Veja também 245 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 184 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This is an odd book. It starts out with the feel of a period piece, a gentle kitchen-sink drama, then becomes a secret romance, then swings into crime/courtroom drama territory. It's atmospheric and marvellously readable (if occasionally slightly over-written). There's plenty of historical detail, but it's always provided with a light, skilful touch. The characters are gradually developed to the point that the reader (along with the main character) is uncertain whether they are likeable or not, admirable or not. There is lots of this kind of ambiguity; we are left wondering just what did actually happen and how much of it was really accidental. There is no neatly tied-up finish and, despite my liking for resolution at the end of a story, in this case the open ending feels right - it left me more satisfied than any summing-up would have done.

This is the first time I've read anything by Sarah Waters; I'm not sure why I started with this one rather than any of her other books, but I'm aware that there are quite a few people who found it disappointing. I'm actually encouraged by the somewhat mixed reviews, because most of those who didn't like it seem to feel that her other works are better. Time to put some of those on my to-read list then! ( )
  DebsDd | Jan 18, 2021 |
Thoroughly charming! Waters' prose is - as always - exquisite but this novel takes her command of storytelling to a new level. The tonal shift midway through the book is shocking, resetting our expectations and turning the book into something different entirely. Captivating stuff for lovers of historical fiction, queer fiction, and plain good writing.
A grand audiobook, incidentally, as recorded by Juliet Stevenson. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
This was an audio book, read in an entralling British accent, so good start. However it is hard to talk about without spoilers. The setting is London in 1922, so what is most interesting is the changing mores as the British class system breaks down after WWI, and its Empire is dispersing and how that trickles down to impact the ordinary citizen. Frances Wray and her mother have suffered great losses in the War: two sons (brothers to Frances) and her husband (father) soon after as a result of the trauma. They are left with the house and with a sizable debt. As upper-middle class, they must swallow their pride, dismiss their servants and take in boarders to begin making ends meet. Frances is in her twenties, and takes on all the cleaning and housework. She has been saddled with these responsibilities and her own dreams of independence as a woman -- working and living on her own have been tabled. Her mother is rather ineffectual and mostly bemoans their state rather than taking action. When their new boarders move in, a whole new story and dynamic begins. Leonard and Lillian Barber are working class, a young marrried couple who embody the new freedoms in society -- Lilly has short skirts, Leonard is rather familiar with the Rays, by-passing certain social conventions and they both like to have fun. Quite a contrast with the dour household they have moved into. When Frances becomes more embroiled with them, things get interesting. There is a crime of passion, but telling much else would reveal too much. It's worth jumping on for the wild ride. This is a novel of tension between old and new, right and wrong, thinking and feeling, and waiting out the resolution is worthwhile. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
This was my first time reading anything by Sarah Waters, and there's a good chance it will be the last. Reading reviews, it seems that her other books might be better than this one, but I don't think that's a chance I'm willing to take. If this were not a book club pick, I absolutely would not have finished it. I forced myself to finish it and hated every minute of it. Never has a book begged for editing more than this one. It is so unnecessarily long and repeats itself countless times. Frances and Lilian are both horribly flat characters; them combined does not a personality make. I don't want to include spoilers in my review, but frankly, everything is so predictable that this book acts as a spoiler for itself. The majority of the sex scenes in this book are awkwardly written and somewhat unpleasant, and Frances comes across as predatory quite frequently. The "romance", if you can call it that, reads more like childish infatuation than anything else, and no one gives any thought to potential repercussions of their behavior. The basic premise of this book seems to be, "I'm sad and unsatisfied with my life so I'm going to do something stupid and claim it's because of love and even though I'm going to ruin lives, it's okay because I'll feel better. Also, I'm going to talk about it ad nauseam for almost 600 pages. Cool?" I want these hours of my life back so I can devote them to reading other, better books. ( )
1 vote kiaweathersby | Sep 16, 2020 |

Camberwell, 1922. Frances Wray and her mother lead a lonely life in a house which has become too big for them, too costly to maintain. The death of Frances's two brothers and her father during the Great War still casts a shadow over the household. To make ends meet, the Wrays have to take in lodgers or "paying guests". Horror of horrors! What will the neighbours say? The arrival of Leonard and Lilian Barber will indeed have far-reaching consequences, very different from those feared by the Wrays...

I have read all Waters's works and none has disappointed me so far. This has come very close. I squarely blame the blurbs on the cover for this. Let's start with the claim that the book is "unputdownable" and "page-turning". Well, the first 200 pages or so were quite soporific. Well-written by all means and definitely finely crafted. But not "unputdownable" in my understanding of the word. In fact, I decided to take a break from the novel, and read two or three others before returning to it.

Things pick up when the relationships (and tensions) between the Wrays and the Barbers develop. But we're still far from the wild ride of "Fingersmith" or "Affinity". In its second and third parts, the novel moves into the crime territory and suddenly Waters builds up the tension. Yes, the novel does become page-turning, but only out of the build-up of curiousity as to how the narrative will wrap up - John Grisham style. Ironically, Lauren Owen's historical vampire novel [b:The Quick|18050175|The Quick|Lauren Owen|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1391414209s/18050175.jpg|25332934] (admittedly a very different sort of book) was slated by many critics for exactly these same type of gear/genre changes.

Waters has been praised for her powers of observation and for her use of the "domestic novel" to probe at the social divisions inherent in the world she portrays. One critic compared her to Zola and Flaubert. Yes, the novel is successful from this point of view. But let's not forget that friction between different social classes and communities has been a recurring subject in all her novels. And one might argue that it's more challenging to address such a social theme within the genre strictures of a ghost story (as she did in The Little Stranger) than in a ... social novel about class friction in 1920s London.

A related problem is the fact that, perhaps because of its very genre, the novel contains long sections of dialogue. Waters does a good job at crafting a pastiche of the style of the era - but this makes long passages of the book read as if it were a Downton Abbey script. I preferred the third-person passages, where a striking metaphor or turn of phrase would remind me of why I love reading this author.

Another critic praised Waters for "not being afraid of being explicit". There are indeed some sexually charged scenes, but her most transgressive novel to date is her very first one - Tipping the Velvet. Nothing new here.

So why do I give this novel a decent three stars? Because notwithstanding my doubts about the book, it contains many hallmarks of Waters's style. Because, despite the longueurs and fact that it could have done with some editing, some passages are truly gripping. Because if I hadn't been led to expect a "masterpiece", a "perfect novel" and "Sarah Waters's best novel to date" I might have simply enjoyed it for what it is. ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Sep 12, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 184 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
"Some novels are so good, so gripping or shattering that they leave you uncertain whether you should have ever started them. You open “The Paying Guests” and immediately surrender to the smooth assuredness of Sarah Waters’s silken prose. Nothing jars. You relax. You turn more pages. You start turning them faster. Before long, you resemble Coleridge’s Wedding-Guest: You cannot choose but read. The book has you in thrall. You will follow Waters and her story anywhere. Yet when that story ends, you find yourself emotionally sucked dry, as much stunned as exhilarated by the power of art."
adicionado por lorax | editarWashington Post, Michael Dirda (Sep 10, 2014)
The superbly talented Sarah Waters — three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize — leads her readers into hidden worlds, worlds few of us knew existed. And so it is with The Paying Guests. ..Amid this heart-crushing drama, uncaring London grinds on, a cacophony of “hooves, voices, hurrying steps, the clash and grinding of iron wheels” that threatens to destroy the hopes of summer: an utterly engrossing tale.
Novel tackles big themes but lacks bite...Yet the love story’s progression – to say more would give too much away – is not entirely convincing by the end..Characterisation has a hint of familiarity, as if characters have been derived from Waters’ bank of past creations, and they lose some of their gleam for it, though the story stays emotionally-charged...
The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters' superb, bewitching new novel, is set in 1922 London...My only quibble with The Paying Guests is its length; the last hundred pages or so chronicle a court trial and feel padded, the first time I've ever had that reaction to a Sarah Waters novel. Otherwise, this is a magnificent creation, a book that doubles as a time machine, flinging us back not only to postwar London, but also to our own lost love affairs, the kind that left us breathless — and far too besotted to notice that we had somehow misplaced our moral compass.
adicionado por vancouverdeb | editarNPR
This fascinating domestic scenario might have made for an absorbing short novel;... Its pastiche propriety and faux-Edwardian prose (people are forever "colouring" and "crimsoning" and "putting themselves tidy") become irritants; and the novel's descent into melodrama as a murder is committed – and the inspector called – turns this engaging literary endeavour into a tiresome soap opera....Waters's unusual gift for drama and for social satire is squandered on the production of middlebrow entertainment:.. it would be good to see Waters produce something corrective and sharp, in which her authoritative and incisive dramatic style was permitted to be sufficient satisfaction on its own.

» Adicionar outros autores

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Waters, Sarahautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Stevenson, JulietNarradorautor principalalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bützow, HeleneTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Carra, LeopoldoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Defossé, AlainTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Jong, Sjaak deTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Leibmann, UteTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Mörk, YlvaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Versluys, MarijkeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Zulaika, JaimeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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When she and Lilian escaped from the house at last, Frances felt as she imagined a fly might feel when, by some miracle, it had managed to prise its limbs free from a strip of sticky paper.
The pavement threw up heat like a griddle; they kept to the shade as much as they could as they made their way down the hill, but it was warm even on the platform of the station, in the bluish dusk of the railway cut.
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It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

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