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The Paying Guests (2014)

de Sarah Waters

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
3,1691984,161 (3.58)253
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.… (més)
  1. 40
    Falsa identitat de Sarah Waters (queencersei)
  2. 21
    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.… (més)
  3. 10
    Frog Music de Emma Donoghue (sturlington)
  4. 00
    Burnt Bones de Michael Slade (Sandwich76)
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» Mira també 253 mencions

Anglès (197)  Neerlandès (1)  Francès (1)  Suec (1)  Totes les llengües (200)
Es mostren 1-5 de 200 (següent | mostra-les totes)
In 1922, a middle class woman and her widowed mother are hard up following the money mismanagement of her deceased father and the death of her two brothers in WWI, so take in a married couple as lodgers. On the face of it, this book appears to be usual Waters' territory, dealing with the burgeoning love affair between the married woman and the daughter of the house. However, there is a massive twist half way through after they consummate their lingering attraction, which I must admit I'd got rather bored with, and the book turns into a crime novel, steering off into very different territory than you expect earlier on. So may not appeal to fans of other Waters' novels. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
I got through 167 pages and couldn't go on. There were a few characters I liked, the rest were boring and pretty much one dimensional. Not much happened and the thought of having to read an additional 400 pages was too much ( )
  BenM2023 | Nov 22, 2023 |
We are introduced to the main characters, a mother and daughter Frances down on their heels, barely able to maintain the stately London house, forced to bring in lodgers, a married couple, Lilian and Leonard. Frances is 28 and calls herself a spinster. She’s had one lesbian affair with an off-beat artist, Christina, that ended when she was unable to fully and openly commit. Having lost her only siblings during the war, she took the conservative road of staying with her elderly mother rather than with Christina.

The lodgers are a class or three below that of the owners, and reading about the difficulties of the blending of two very different couples has its inevitable difficulties. Lilian appears to be unhappy with her husband, but puts on a happy face to the outside world.

For a while nothing much happens. The daughter, Frances and the lodger Lilian embark on a secret lesbian relationship. But other than that, life goes on.There’s a Downton Abbey vibe to the blended household, with the mother bemoaning the impossibility of affording servants, and Frances spending evenings playing boring card games with her mother’s ancient friends.

One evening, instead of playing cards with her mother and her elderly friends Frances “condescends” à la Austen and plays Snakes and Ladders with the lower class paying guests. The husband makes leering jokes about snakes and it is after that, that Frances and Lilly become friends and eventually lovers.

Halfway through the novel the genre, though not the writing style changes. There is a crime, a few Mister Plods, a mystery and to say more would spoil the novel.

Overall it’s a good read. Sarah Waters is such a skilled writer and narrator Juliet Stevenson does a wonderful job on the different London accents. ( )
  kjuliff | Nov 17, 2023 |
I enjoyed this book, looked forward to reading it in any spare minute, thought the characters were interesting and the prose lovely, and probably won't be able to tell you the plot in two months (time will tell!). One of THOSE books. I liked it but did not LOVE it. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book as the jacket description was very intentionally vague and was quite surprised on a couple of fronts. In many ways it was a quiet and introspective little period piece (that I expected) but in other ways it was absolutely not. The exploration of gender roles and relationships in this time period was quite fascinating. And the urgency of the final phase of the story and the uncertainty as to the outcome was completely unexpected. If I could I'd give it 3.5 stars. ( )
  Bebe_Ryalls | Oct 20, 2023 |
Due to the deaths of her husband and two sons and the hard times that have resulted from the end of the first World War, Mrs. Wray and her daughter, Frances, are forced to take in lodgers to their estate on Champion Hill in the Camberwell district of London. These lodgers, or “Paying Guests,” are Lilian and Leonard Barber, a newly-married couple who are quite modern in their day to day affairs. As the Barbers begin to make themselves at home, Frances and Lilian develop a close friendship. Upon learning that Frances had once been intimate with a woman, the two take their relationship to a new level, only to be met with serious consequences that could change their fates forever.

Having previously read The Little Stranger, I was not surprised to see that this novel was a bit on the lengthy side as well as a complete slow burn of a story. I can see why slow books could be quite frustrating for some readers (especially because the plot of this book doesn’t make itself known until around the 260 page mark), but that is certainly not the case for me; as I get older, I’m finding that I really enjoy reading about the routine descriptions of everyday life, as well as the intricate details of a specific setting or atmosphere. In this case, the creepy, gothic tone of the novel captivated me from the very first page. There is something so beautiful and eloquent in Waters’ craft that it seems like there is no way that it could’ve been published in this day and age; often times I felt that this particular work was reminiscent of Daphne Du Maurier, and let me tell you, I LIVE FOR THOSE VIBES.

My only issue with this book is that at its core, the plot is a very cliche, overused trope: Person A is in a relationship with Person B, but Person C is extremely attracted to Person A. Person A and Person C develop a relationship, leaving Person B to lose their mind, ultimately resulting in a situation where catastrophe ensues. When push comes to shove, it’s really easy to figure out what happens, but I was hoping that Waters would blow me away with some intricate plot twist that just didn’t happen. I’ve heard that this is her weakest book, and if that’s the case, I cannot wait to read her backlist. ( )
  cbwalsh | Sep 13, 2023 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 200 (següent | mostra-les totes)
"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."
afegit per lorax | editaWashington 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.
afegit per vancouverdeb | editaNPR
 
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.
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Waters, Sarahautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Stevenson, JulietNarradorautor principalalgunes edicionsconfirmat
Bützow, HeleneTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Carra, LeopoldoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Defossé, AlainTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Groen, NicoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Jong, Sjaak deTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Leibmann, UteTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lyng, HildeTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mörk, YlvaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Versluys, MarijkeTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Zulaika, JaimeTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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He took the life of the room with him.
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.
The crowd was a Saturday-night one. People were heading to theatres, picture-houses, dancing-halls. The men had an oiled-and-varnished look.
The air was soupy with smells: meat, fish, ripe fruit, perspiring bodies.
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Wikipedia en anglès (2)

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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