- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted April 11, 2013
This is a superb seminal work well deserving of its iconic status. The characters are so deeply cast that the writer draws you in and you actually feel their emotions. The scenery of London in the era is exquisitely detailed that the picture forms in your mind like from an artist's brush stroke with every sentence. The socio political environment of the era is explored and explained in amazing detail from various viewpoints - that of the socialist-labour movement, that of the anarchists, that of the foreign (Russian and French) revolutionaries and diplomats trying to unsettle and overthrow the capitalist fabric; and then its impact on the ordinary citizens.
The beginning of the story is bright and cheerful - sometimes portrayed with a kind of Dickensian humour - with The Secret Agent, an anarchist, living a contented and delicately balanced life in his shop in Soho in London with his wife, mother-in-law, and half witted brother-in-law. The tensions in the household is subtly introduced with the wife trying her best to weave the brother she loves deeply and the other into the affections of her husband on whom they are all dependent. Then a call to a meeting by the russian born Controller of the Secret Agent acts as a catalyst that unsettles the fragile peace. From then on a series of panicked and desperate actions exposing the dark side of the characters, the fabric of the family falls apart with each chapter until the tragic end.
The ending is definitely unsatisfactory. I innocent are wronged and driven to death and the opportunistic prosper from it. I cannot help but wish for a happier ending, though I realize that this may have well been the way things might have gone had the characters lived in the era in real life.
The third person omniscient POV is a little weird, but that was the norm of good writing in the era.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2011
No text was provided for this review.