An Instance of the Fingerpost: A Novel Paperback
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Top Customer Reviews
For this book is not primarily a story about the solving of a murder. The murder itself serves more as plot device to bring the four narrators (and others) together in a certain time and place, allowing them to interact with each other and present their widely diverging views of events, actions, and consequences. Indeed, for three of the four narrators the murder is almost incidental to their narratives, only two of them are actually concerned (or even desirous) that justice be done, and none of them is especially sorrowful about the death of the murder victim. Rather, for each of them the murder is really only significant for the part it plays in their own narrative and what they believe it indicates in terms of their interpretation of events. The driving idea behind the novel is not the solution of a murder, but how different people can see the same facts, or parts thereof, and draw differing conclusions - particularly when those conclusions serve to reinforce preconceived notions; and the more some people believe in the rightness of their preconceptions, the more willing they become to pervert truth to suit their ends.
This extraordinary novel is really a masterpiece of crafting. The use of the first-person narrative allows each narrator to present a depiction of himself (and his motives) very different from the way others see him, which has the effect of causing the reader to rethink and re-examine opinions formed along the way.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I bought my kindle edition because I loaned my original copy out many years ago and never got it back. Read morePublished 2 months ago by michael hargreaves
An enjoyable book. It is compelling - I couldn't stop reading it - and provides and intellectual murder mystery without becoming stuffy.
It is not, though, brilliant. Read more
I must confess to some bias in regard to this book: I live in the oxford college in which much of it is set. Read morePublished on June 22 2004 by Samuel J. Parkinson
This book was extremely boring. I'm a big fan of Umberto Eco, and (to a much lesser degree) Perez-Reverte, so I thought this book was a sure thing. But WOW was I wrong! Read morePublished on May 28 2004 by uti
First and foremost, this book is an excellent murder mystery. I picked it up because of the blurb on the cover by PD James and was not disappointed. Read morePublished on March 11 2004 by Amazon Customer
An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears relates four views of the same events taking place immediately after the restoration of Charles II in England. Read morePublished on March 7 2004 by Phillip I. Good
Reduce this book by 50% and it would still be way too verbose. The first narative was able to maintain my interest from time to time, but the second two just overwhelmed me with... Read morePublished on Dec 22 2003 by Sal Asutra
While asserting the value of religion in the face of science in "The Big Picture: what the religions of the world teach us about the nature of ultimate reality", Huston... Read morePublished on Dec 21 2003 by Anne