The Sensationist

Charles Palliser, Author Ballantine Books $15 (153p) ISBN 978-0-345-36958-1
Having established his literary credentials with last year's complex, bustling, Dickensian The Quincunx , Palliser now goes to the opposite extreme with this short, controlled novel of sexual obsession. The protagonist is David, a young man come from England to Scotland to work in a sophisticated computer operation. Compulsively fulfilling his need to bed women he does not know, he leads a lonely and alienated existence until he meets Lucy, an artist and single mother. Their sexual couplings are described in sensuous detail, but because Lucy is elusive and essentially unknowable, David is still unsatisfied. Darkly foreboding, the drama of their intersected lives builds to a shocking conclusion. While the novel is clever, it leaves the impression that Palliser wrote it as an intellectual exercise. Readers may feel cheated because although Palliser leads them to expect that the denouement will result from the hero's tragic flaw, the narrative culminates instead in a deed for which David is not responsible. The relentlessly flat, brooding prose, filled with images of decay, fetid smells, cold and death, sets an appropriate atmosphere, but, however well-done, this erotic novel (which may be compared to Josephine Hart's Damage ) is essentially devoid of emotion. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Show other formats
FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-37935-1
Hardcover - 136 pages - 978-0-224-02891-2
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.