|Plot Summary of An Instance of the Fingerpost|
In 1663, an Oxford professor has been poisoned with arsenic -- that much is clear. But who did it and why is not. Four different narrators tell the same story and implicate four different killers. This strange story takes place against the historical backdrop of the English civil wars and restoration of King Charles II after the death of Cromwell. One of the narrators is Italian businessman and sort-of physician Marco da Cola; one is Jack Prestcott, a man obsessed with clearing the name of his father who was convicted of treason against England; one is John Wallis, a sort of secret service official of his day; and the fourth is Anthony Wood, a poor scholar and librarian. A witch will be executed, government secrets found and lost again, dissections and experimental transfusions attempted. This long and literary 1998 bestseller set a new standard for historical mystery novels.
This synopsis report prepared by David Loftus
|Chapter Analysis of An Instance of the Fingerpost|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 20%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 20%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 20%
Tone of story
Time/era of story:
- 17th century
Misc. Murder Plotlets
- Big focus on forensic evidence
- Big focus on autopsies
Kind of investigator
- british mystery (I say!)
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- Dirty, dangerous (like New York)
Small town people:
- dumb rednecks, like Gomer Pyle
- hostile, like Gomer Pyle on steroids
Accounts of torture and death?
- very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies
Explicit sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- descript of kissing
- actual description of sex
- descript. of breasts
- rape (yeech!)
Unusual forms of death
- frying (cooking)
Unusual form of death?
Amount of dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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