Set This House on Fire

Overview

Part Two Of Two Parts

The narrator, Peter Leverett, a government employee returning to the U.S., stops in the Italian village of Sambuco to see his old schoolmate Mason Flagg. But the next morning Flagg is found dead at the base of a cliff, a peasant girl has been beaten to death and Cass Kinsolving, a drunken American painter, is gone.

Though the case has been written off as a murder followed by a suicide, Peter doesn't believe it. His search ...

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Overview

Part Two Of Two Parts

The narrator, Peter Leverett, a government employee returning to the U.S., stops in the Italian village of Sambuco to see his old schoolmate Mason Flagg. But the next morning Flagg is found dead at the base of a cliff, a peasant girl has been beaten to death and Cass Kinsolving, a drunken American painter, is gone.

Though the case has been written off as a murder followed by a suicide, Peter doesn't believe it. His search takes him through the Mediterranean and back to America.

"This is not a book for the squeamish. For seldom in modern fiction have we had such a relentlessly powerful examination of human depravity." (Chicago Daily News)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Immediately impressive...the sense of the striking scene...the fine ear for dialogue, the sharp observation of cities and scenery and interiors."

-- The New York Times Book Review

Three Americans converge in an Italian village shortly after World War II. One is a naive Southern lawyer. One is a rough-edged artist with a fatal penchant for alcohol. And one is a charming and priapic aristocrat who may be the closest thing possible to pure wickedness in an age that has banished the devil along with God. Out of their collective alchemy William Styron has crafted an electrifying and deeply unsettling novel of rape, murder, and suicide -- a work with a Dostoevskian insight into the dreadful persuasiveness of evil.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679736745
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: 1st Vintage International ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 987,052
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

William Styron
One of the great writers of the generation succeeding that of Hemingway and Faulkner, William Styron is renowned for the elegance of his prose and his powerful moral engagement. His books include Lie Down in Darkness, The Long March, The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie's Choice, This Quiet Dust, and Darkness Visible. He has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, the Howells Medal, and the Edward MacDowell Medal.

Biography

One of the great writers of the generation succeeding that of Hemingway and Faulkner, William Styron is renowned for the elegance of his prose and his powerful moral engagement. His books include Lie Down in Darkness, The Long March, The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie's Choice, This Quiet Dust, and Darkness Visible. He has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, the Howells Medal, and the Edward MacDowell Medal.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Clark Styron Jr. (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Roxbury, Connecticut, and Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 11, 1925
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newport News, Virginia
    1. Date of Death:
      November 1, 2006
    2. Place of Death:
      Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

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