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The Butcher's Hook Paperback – 13 February 2018

3.4 out of 5 stars 97 ratings

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books; Reprint edition (13 February 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1681776421
  • ISBN-13: 978-1681776422
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.5 x 22.4 cm
  • Boxed-product Weight: 363 g
  • Customer Reviews: 3.4 out of 5 stars97 customer ratings

Product description

Review

The Butcher's Hook doesn't read like a first novel--it is a high-finish performance. Its heroine is an 18th-century teenage girl, who starts demurely although her sex drive turns out to be anything but demure. You need to be braced for violence to rival any Jacobean tragedy: The Butcher's Hook will hook you.

Confronts the darker aspects of femininity. The unwillingness of anyone in the story to view Anne as more emotionally complicated than a child leads her self-discovery to run amok, and Ellis to explore the stifling effects of such repressive views of sexuality. Vivid imagery and focus on grisly detail add a macabre beauty to a stirring story.

Ellis conjures a dark, grimy world rife with thwarted desires and relentless death. With a keen eye for tortured reasoning and twisted motivations, Ellis draws bewitchingly disturbed souls. Cinderella turns the tables in this gruesome yet engrossing fairy tale that begs for a sequel.

Ellis has created a surprising blend of psychological thriller and revenge tragedy in her debut novel. But from it emerges an unsettling portrait of a deeply damaged individual whose capacity for creating mayhem is timeless.

In her first novel, Ellis weaves a darkly psychological tale set in the rough-and-tumble, vulgar, colorful London of Moll Flanders and Tom Jones. Evoking pity, abhorrence, admiration, and disgust, this title is strongly recommended for readers with a love of Georgian literature and Georgian London and those intrigued by the complexity of the human psyche.

The sonnets of John Donne provide a brooding counter-point to the gruesome turns of this nervy historical novel. Trained as an actor, the author reveals that pedigree in wry winks to Shakespeare and dramatis personae evocative of comedia dell'arte.--Ian Stuart

This author remains one to watch. She has a sharp eye and a sharper wit. Ellis has a public personality of great charm, and a good deal of this gets into her writing--she revels in the historical details, has a grasp of pace and knows how to keep her audience hooked.

This is a dark, weird, gloriously feminist story of a girl in 1763 pushing against the limits of her role and a dark love story.

About the Author

Janet Ellis trained as an actress at the Central London School of Speech and Drama. She is best known as a presenter on the popular British television show, Blue Peter, and contributes to numerous radio and television programs. The Butcher's Hook is her first novel, and it has been long listed for the Desmond Elliot Prize.

Customer reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5
97 customer ratings
5 star 35% (35%) 35%
4 star 18% (18%) 18%
3 star 16% (16%) 16%
2 star 15% (15%) 15%
1 star 16% (16%) 16%
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Top international reviews

SusannahB
4.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously Gruesome
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 October 2019
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Steve Cann
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a butcher's...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 December 2017
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Pageturner
4.0 out of 5 stars Off The Hook
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 February 2017
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L. Franklin
5.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 October 2016
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SJJ
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor Story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 January 2017
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jazzy2
4.0 out of 5 stars Good debut novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2017
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judge
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 May 2020
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sandra dring
5.0 out of 5 stars If there's one thing you can do today is buy this fantastic book. You won't be disappointed.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 November 2016
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Petiny
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read (and I've read a lot)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 April 2016
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Grover Barton
4.0 out of 5 stars Whatever Happened to Anne?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 May 2017
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LynH
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 February 2020
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J. Close
2.0 out of 5 stars The one that got away.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 August 2019
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Judith C
4.0 out of 5 stars Hooked by this tale.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 October 2017
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ROGER R.
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry Janet
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 November 2016
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Little Miss Buyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Different in a good way
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 March 2016
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