An Instance of the Fingerpost [Iain Pears] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In Oxford, a servant girl confesses to a murder. But four. A national bestseller and one of the New York Public Library’s Books to Remember, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a thrilling historical mystery. This massive, delightfully titled literary thriller (it’s a quote from Sir Francis Bacon) is the kind of gamble it’s great to see a publisher taking in these often timid.

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Also, perhaps due to the book’s structure, the revelation felt anticlimactic when it finally arrived. He also goes on rounds with Lower – travelling from town to town. The Civil War has just ended. Yes, the central event is a murder but really, the murder and it’s mystery is really trivial to the story.

An Instance of the Fingerpost Reader’s Guide

Anthony Wood, a witness to these events, is reconciled to the verdict calling for her execution in the belief that the divine plan will be fulfilled. Given that the majority of historical fiction concentrates on fashion choices or possibly military manoeuvres, Fingerpost is far more subtle.

As haunting as The Name of the Rose, it is a novel about deception and self-deception, a Oxford, Englandmore than 20 years of civil and religious upheaval. The protagonist was reintroduced — as a scion of god. The first three quotations describe three of Bacon’s four Idols of the mind. He moved on to Oxford in an effort to improve his situation and fell in with some of the notable scientific minds of the fingerpoxt.

Add to that a death that may or may not have been suspicious, apparent witnesses ah may or may not have seen anything, and multiple reporters on the event who give tue their views on what happened.

Review: An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears – Girl with her Head in a Book

Last but not least, a big thanks to Georgie and her review. I was worried that this was going to be yet another one of those “It’s up to you to decide what the truth is” deals see: Certainly Merton Street has not aside from the yellow lines.


At its heart it is a thriller, full of twists and turns and dark alleys full of danger yet it is the reader who gets to play detective, to judge each of the witnesses and reach their own conclusions. Robert Grove of Oxford’s New College. The first section lays out the story, especially investigation of the murder, then the others tell different points of view and emphasize what seems important to the narrator. AN Instance of the Fingerpost.

Although the war is over, Oliver Cromwell is dead, and the monarch is officially in power, the early Wn years were a tumultuous period – England was still very much divided politically between Royalist supporters and opposing Parliamentarians. Once again my happiness at not living in the 17th century is validated as I read of the physical squalor, the political and religious unrest yhe distrust in England after the restoration of Charles II, the relative worthlessness of the average person’s life.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. He recounts and alludes to the English Civil War and the uprising of religious sects counter to the Ths of England which undoubtedly informed American Founders with their own nation-building in the next Century.

An Instance of the Fingerpost – Wikipedia

Maybe I guessed, at the very least, one part correctly. Dream of Scipio Kindle Edition. Though written inthe book’s theme has a renewed relevance considering how the current White House administration, social media, and cable news have contributed to the decimation of objective truth.

Can you think of other books in which this multi-perspective technique was used to similar ends, or other books that feature unreliable narrators? A fascinating book, creative, well-written and extremely well-researched. A contrast portrayed in the novel is, on one hand, a philosophy based on ancient and medieval learning, and, on the other, the scientific method that was beginning to be applied in physics, chemistry and medicine. Other than Gillespie and I, I can’t remember another novel which pulled off the notion of the unreliable narrator quite so masterfully, and Gillespie and I was only working thr one lead.


For example, I do not have the stomach for politics: Did you find one narrator inherently more trustworthy than fingrrpost There is the brash and arrogant young James Prescott, obsessed with clearing his father’s name of treachery, then the cold and manipulative Dr Wallis, also consumed with his own quest for revenge.

Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. To ask other readers questions about An Instance of the Fingerpostplease sign up. Even though this novel is about a specific time and place, it examines age-old questions about epistemology: The victim is Dr.

Review: An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears

Royalist or Cromwell sympathizer? New, critical information is released with each changing perspective. The squalor and grime of seventeenth century society seems fingfrpost ooze from the page and we have a real sense of Restoration Oxford. Religion inspires instace different kind of fear now but it is fungerpost impossible to imagine a society governed by religious ritual.

We all die frustrated; it is the greatest lesson we have to learn. Where are their primary affections? It is the s and England is still in turmoil after the death of Oliver Cromwell. I can feel it hiss in the night and taste its coldness in the day. The novel is narrated by four different narrators, each of which tells his version of the story: A novel Kindle Edition.