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I would cease your swithering and buy, it's as good as they say and Kindle would be ideal way of saving the aching wrists with such a big book. I know the prostitute as sympathetic character is a well-trodden path, but Sugar has a vengeful edge and a skin disease, she's out of the ordinary!


I read it some time ago and thoroughly enjoyed the tale. Although I can't now recall all the detail, the main thrust of the story and the characters remain fairly vivid in memory. I've only watched a few odd minutes of the TV version.Sugar is certainly a memorable character and one I'm glad to have read about.


Snap it up immediately! I have read it (twice) and I'm currently watching the brilliant adaptation...well worth £1.47

Desperate Reader

I read it and loved it - got through the book far faster than expected because I couldn't put it down. It's thoroughly absorbing so i'm another one saying stop swithering and get reading...


Read it. Loved it. It is interminably long, however, and therefore not for the faint of heart. Still, I think it explored relationships beautifully (somehow reminding me of Anna Karenina). It is a memorable read to me, and one I will reread some day.

Gondal girl

One of the best novels I have ever read - worth 20 times what the kindle edition is - it is masterful, rich, brilliant. Hadn't heard of adaption, worried they may ruin it?
Brilliant work, you won't want to put it down

Julie Fredericksen

Interesting that you should ask this! I found a copy of this book at a used bookshop and bought it, meaning to save it for 2011 - my year of reading "Big Fat Books"! I had been saving it for this year (as opposed to 2010 when I tried - and just barely achieved - my goal of reading 200 books in one year).

Of course, other reading has gotten in the way during the first third of 2011 (and by no means just "Big Fat Books"). You will not fault me, Karen, for they have included four of CBC's books - and South Riding definitely qualified as a BFB.

But I still do plan to read "The Crimson Petal and the White" this year, and now I am more determined than ever!


I really enjoyed this book and it is certainly worth your while purchasing it for your Kindle. I found the characters enthralling, and actually read it very quickly. I have also enjoyed Fabers "Skin" and his short stories.

B R Wombat

Oh yes, I'm so glad that everyone who has commented loves this book - it's just splendid. I've bought the bargain ebook so that when I reread it my wrists won't ache. And Michel Faber is a lovely person too. I didn't participate in your post about contacting authors but he's one of the authors I've written to in my time and he replied very kindly and answered questions and everything. Unfortunately our correspondence was by means of an email address that no longer works, so I've lost what he wrote but I treasured it at the time.

Surprisingly, the adaptation is very faithful to the book and very well done. Michel Faber wrote an article about it in The Guardian recently saying that he's happy with it which is good enough for me!


Haven't read this one yet, but Faber's Under the Skin is quite wonderful. Very different from my usual reading, strange and compelling - and beautifully descriptive.

PS. Thanks for the mention the other day, Karen! Linda Gillard's reasons why publishers said "No" could have been taken from the template I was given during my years of losing hope for The Art of Falling. And what is most infuriating is that readers really don't care about silly labels, they just know a good book - or good author (I mean Linda) - when they read the story. It's the lack of faith that's so disheartening.

adele geras

A full house for Michel Faber I reckon...not a dissenting voice. Crimson Petal is terrific and you will love it. They say the tv one was good too but I haven't seen that. Read the book first, whatever! My big fat book of the year will be A place of Greater Safety. I KNOW that is going to be brilliant but have to find the right time for it...too much going on now! Happy Easter Cornflower!


Just managed to finish it before watching the TV version. It came highly recommended and was worth it - and yes, the TV version is faithful. However, don't these big books hold up the queue? I find them subconsciously hard to pick up at the end of a long day, and difficult to pop in the bag, or read in the bath. Don't suppose you'll have that problem with the Kindle, though.


Absolutely ADORED it! Definitely worth the price.

Dancing Beastie

I pricked up my ears today when I saw this was on your current reading list, as I have just finished re-reading it. My return to it was prompted by the (excellent) TV adaptation. I meant to flick through it but found myself hooked again. On my first reading several years ago, I found it clever but depressing, engrossing but sordid, and its knowing tone annoyed me. Second time around, I have absolutely loved it. It is indeed clever, playing with the reader's expectations; but it manages to be graphic about the details of women's lives without ever being pornographic. Faber's ability to understand what it feels like to be a woman is astonishing. I'd say it is a deeply feminist work, and deeply moving. Oh, and it doesn't take up too much time, as you can hardly put it down until it's finished!

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