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The Paying Guests: shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction by [Sarah Waters]
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The Paying Guests: shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 3,154 ratings

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Review

Absolutely brilliant -- Jacqueline Wilson ― Sunday Times

A page-turning melodrama and a fascinating portrait of London on the verge of great change ― Guardian

Waters's page-turning prose conceals great subtlety. Acutely sensitive to social nuance, she keeps us constantly alert . . . From a novelist who has been shortlisted for the Booker three times, this is a winner ― Intelligent Life (The Economist)

The novel's remarkable depth of field - from its class-ridden background to its individuals' peccadilloes - is sharply portrayed by an author writing at her best. Waters's 20-20 vision perceives the interior world of her characters with rare acuity in a prose style so smooth it pours down the page in a book to be prized ― Scotland on Sunday

A sumptuously subdued story of making do and getting by after the great war -- Philip Hensher ― Guardian

Brilliantly involving . . . juicy, beautifully observed [and] not afraid to be explicit ― Metro

A triumph ― Woman & Home

You will be hooked within a page . . . At her greatest, Waters transcends genre: the delusions in Affinity (1999), the vulnerability in Fingersmith (2002), the undercurrents of social injustice and the unexplained that underlie all her work, take her, in my view, well beyond the capabilities of her more seriously regarded Booker-winning peers. But The Paying Guests is the apotheosis of her talent; at least for now. I have tried and failed to find a single negative thing to say about it. Her next will probably be even better. Until then, read it, Flaubert, Zola, and weep -- Charlotte Mendelson ― Financial Times

A masterpiece of social unease . . . It isn't so much the plot that makes you read on - the novel's armature is a comparatively uncomplicated suspense narrative but barnacled to it is an astonishing accretion of detail . . . A virtuoso feet of storytelling -- Jane Shilling ― Evening Standard

She give(s) us a poignant love story which symbolically sees in the death of the old order, the death of the old fashioned husband and maybe the birth of an era of love without secrets ― Independent

Waters is brilliant ― The Times

A nod towards Little Dorrit also seems perceptible in the book's quiet ending amid the bustle and clamour of London. Unillusioned but tentatively hopeful, it is a beautifully gauged conclusion to a novel of ambitious reach and triumphant accomplishment -- Peter Kemp ― Sunday Times

The Paying Guests demonstrates the writerly qualities for which Waters is esteemed, proving as 'fantastically moody and resonant', in terms of the rendering of domestic space, as a novel the author herself described as such and which she once said she would like to have written: Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca ― Literary Review

Sarah Waters is, quite simply, one of our greatest writers -- Joanna Briscoe ― Sunday Express

Another wild ride of a novel . . . [I was] helplessly pulled along by the magnetic storytelling -- Tracy Chevalier ― Observer

Sumptuous . . . The writing is impeccable. A joy in every respect -- Lionel Shriver ― New Statesman

An uninterruptable joy of a novel . . . Sarah Waters at her tip-top best -- Juliet Nicolson ― Evening Standard

The Paying Guests is so evocative and compelling that all the time I was reading, I had a feeling it was me who had done something terrible, instead of her characters -- Rachel Joyce ― Observer

Fiction book of the year

This novel magnificently confirms [Sarah Waters's] status as an unsurpassed fictional recorder of vanished eras and hidden lives

Sunday Times

The Paying Guests reminded me just how clever it is to create characters that captivate through their adventures in a world so well-realised that you can almost reach out and touch it -- Zoe Strachan ― Sunday Herald

I raced through it, breathing fast and when I had finished had to reread parts of the wonderful early chapters. I don't like historical novels but this is the exception. I shall let a few months go by and then read it all over again with, I'm sure, undiminished pleasure -- Ruth Rendall ― Guardian

Super-gripping . . . There is a huge momentum to this story -- William Leith ― Evening Standard

Sickeningly tense - and thumpingly good ― Daily Mail

Waters is an author to cherish ― Guardian

You know you are in the hands of a skilful, confident writer when you read a Sarah Waters book. She slowly reels you in. She weaves plots and themes that creep up and entangle you while you are innocently following her characters. They go about their shadowy business and by the time you raise your head from the page to take a breath, you're hooked -- Viv Albertine ― Telegraph

Masterly... delightful... tremendously vivid... Waters is a cracking storyteller ― Tatler

Waters is not simply one of our best historical novelists, but one of our best novelists . . . sooner or later, she's going to be given the Booker. If you haven't already, start reading her now, and be one step ahead of the crowd ― Independent on Sunday --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Review

A page-turning melodrama and a fascinating portrait of London on the verge of great change - Guardian

You will be hooked within a page . . . At her greatest, Waters transcends genre: the delusions in Affinity (1999), the vulnerability in Fingersmith (2002), the undercurrents of social injustice and the unexplained that underlie all her work, take her, in my view, well beyond the capabilities of her more seriously regarded Booker-winning peers. But The Paying Guests is the apotheosis of her talent; at least for now. I have tried and failed to find a single negative thing to say about it. Her next will probably be even better. Until then, read it, Flaubert, Zola, and weep - Financial Times

A masterpiece of social unease . . . It isn't so much the plot that makes you read on - the novel's armature is a comparatively uncomplicated suspense narrative but barnacled to it is an astonishing accretion of detail . . . A virtuoso feet of storytelling - Evening Standard

Sarah Waters is, quite simply, one of our greatest writers - Sunday Express --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00IA2E6TG
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Virago; 0 edition (28 August 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1376 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 577 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.8 out of 5 stars 3,154 ratings

About the author

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Sarah Waters is the bestselling author of Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, Fingersmith, and The Night Watch. Winner of many literary awards, she has been shortlisted for both the Man Booker and Orange Prizes. She lives in London.

Photo by Annie_C_2 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5
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JB22
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 June 2019
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originalisa
5.0 out of 5 stars The way relationships were transacted pre social media.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clever prose and absorbing dialogue
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 May 2019
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Phoebe
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointing novel!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2016
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