The Sensualist: An Illustrated Novel

The Sensualist: An Illustrated Novel

2.6 38
by Barbara Hodgson
     
 

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Now in paperback, this potent mystery draws readers into a tangle of lost loves, vengeance, and murder. Set in the dark world of a European winter, and illuminated with Barbara Hodgson's haunting illustrations, The Sensualist is a visual and literary exploration of the limitations of looking and the boundless power of seeing.

Overview

Now in paperback, this potent mystery draws readers into a tangle of lost loves, vengeance, and murder. Set in the dark world of a European winter, and illuminated with Barbara Hodgson's haunting illustrations, The Sensualist is a visual and literary exploration of the limitations of looking and the boundless power of seeing.

Editorial Reviews

Erik Burns
...[A] quirky and intense novel, full of weird events and oddball characters... -- The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Obvious echoes of Kafka and subtler whiffs of William Gaddis' The Recognitions and Marguerite Young's Miss Macintosh, My Darling resound throughout this tantalizing metaphysical mystery, the second illustrated novel from the Canadian artist, photographer, and author of The Tattooed Map. The protagonist and narrator, Helen Martin, is an art historian who specializes in "medical illustration" and who suffers harrowing physical and emotional dislocations while traveling across Europe in search, at first, of her errant husband Martin Evans, a freelance journalist who's scarcely part of her life any more. On a train to Vienna, Helen meets the grotesque, menacing Rosa Kovslosky and almost immediately deduces that the older woman is somehow enacting a succubus-like exchange of body parts with her (while blandly reassuring the dumbfounded Helen that "We all lose parts of ourselves from time to time"). The contents of a mysterious box left in her keeping, a series of encounters with shady (when not positively demonic) reality instructors and accomplices, and her (probably correct) inference that Martin had been investigating art forgeries all lead her to Budapest and Munich, among other locales—and to the inconclusive conclusion that the machinations of "a wicked man who would do anything to turn the world of art on its ear" have exposed her to the influences of people who reach from beyond the grave to set old wrongs right and exact vengeance. If all this sounds oppressive, it isn't—because Hodgson writes crisp, resonant, brainy sentences and filters a wealth of information through the consciousness of a heroine both intelligent and self-deprecating enough torealize she's a peculiarly vulnerable Western Alice adrift in an amusingly sophisticated and corrupt old European Wonderland. Further interest is provided by an intricate puzzle involving 16th-century Flemish anatomist Andreas Vesalius and by a plethora of gorgeously spooky anatomical illustrations. First-rate literate entertainment—and one of the year's most replete and unusual fictions.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811832083
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Hodgson is a Vancouver-based writer, photographer, and designer. Her illustrated novels include The Tattooed Map, The Sensualist, and Hippolyte's Island.

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The Sensualist: An Illustrated Novel 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's an amazing mystery that leads the reader on a journey through the past through words and illustrations. I couldn't put this book down!
wazdat More than 1 year ago
This was a fascinating and well written book. The author and her book do not deserve the two stars showingbecause of non reviews.I hope you take the time to read the reviews provided and give this book the chance it deserves! Its not a two star book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written and illustrated
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I've read in a long time.  For the sensitive readers who asked, there is no sex and no nudity. There are, however a few murders. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Detailed obscure history of early anatomy artist. Loose segmented characters with no depth and no real connection to each other. Only finished reading it because I paid 10 bucks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the book is actually quite well written, I could not follow the thread of the story and gave up about a third of the way through- it was very confusing-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A difficult plot to follow and I am still not sure what this was all about. Many confusing pieces strung together with minimal glue. The pictures were hard to see in the e-book version I am using but may be better in later versions of the Nook. Not that they did anything to help the progress of the plot anyway.
bookloverPBC More than 1 year ago
Confusing and hard to put yourself into the authors head.
GING13 More than 1 year ago
Not what I expected. Too graphic in scientific studies of anatomy dating centuries ago. Basic story is too complex to follow. I am closing this book only half way through. Not recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrible book for the average reader. It would probably be of interest to those who are interested in anatomy. Illustrations are very hard to figure out.
wellred1 More than 1 year ago
When I started to read the Sensualist, I thought I had picked up a somewhat strange story. In no time at all I realized that yes, it was a bit different and I was caught - I had a hard time paying atteention to anything else, I just wanted to know what was going to happen next. It drags you in and keeps you reading no matter what else may be going on around you! I highly recommend it for people looking for suspense with some unusual twists and turns. I'll be watching for others from Ms. Hodgson! Great discussion will occur if you're reading this in a book club - I know you'll want to talk about it after you've finished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One reviewer called this book "quirky" - I would call it down right bizarre. I persevered to the end, hoping to be "enlightened" but it was a waste of time. Not sure how this one got published.
Anonymous 5 months ago
This wad the most horrible book that I have read. The story made no sense and was hard to see if there wad any story line
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Don't waste your time this book is unrealistic and boring! It was painful to continue reading. I had to finally stop.
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