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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None of them are reliable.

The conceit of this book — 4 different narrators each telling his version of the same set of events — was novel and well-executed, and the rendering of Restoration England was obviously well-researched. Dream of Scipio Kindle Edition. If Fingerposr had to do it all over, I wouldn’t let that large amount of time go by before finishing it; the book is far more interesting when all the details are fresh in your mind and you can make the tiny connections between each narrator’s story.

Get ready to feel icky about instacne time in their self-justifying, nasty company.

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

Pears captures not only the physical details of 17C life but also the ideas and attitudes of the period as well—while using language accessible to moderns.

A novel Kindle Edition. View all 58 comments. Each narrator is convinced of his own truth and may not necessarily be deceiving the reader.


: AN Instance of the Fingerpost eBook: Iain Pears: Kindle Store

I don’t see how anyone in their right literary mind, however, can conclude that this is not a GREAT piece of fiction. This site uses cookies. This novel wears very well upon re-reading – and may be a desert-island book for me at least top because it so richly sets up 17th Century England: Torturing a corpse seems like an odd thing to do.

Pears does a beautiful fihgerpost of capturing a period of history, not only political, but social and religious. Still one of the best books I’ve ever read, this has something for everyone.

This is still the istance standard of all historical fiction for me. An ingenious tour de force: Yes, the central event is a murder but really, the murder and it’s mystery is really trivial to the story.

Apr 16, Kalliope rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is a truly spectacular feat. A young woman is accused instancr his murder.

Jul 25, Jared rated it did not like it. The author definitely achieved that. He is probably the only man in this novel lacking in guile. Why did he even come to Oxford in the first place?

An Instance of the Fingerpost Reader’s Guide

The book is instacne a single story told four times, by four different narrators. None of these people is completely reliable; each tells the story as he sees it, often concealing events or distorting or even lying. For a reviewer, however, it is hard to discuss the plot in detail without revealing things better left for the reader to uncover, so I will tread carefully with a wariness for spoilers.


So, this was very well-written; I just spent too much time being pissed at the narrators to be bothered to give a This is a good book, don’t let the measly three stars tell you any differently. While da Cola believes Sarah to be immoral and lacking in proper respect for her social betters, Prescott believes her to be a witch bent on his destruction, only one of several factors pointing to the workings of an increasingly unbalanced mind.

Maybe I guessed, at the very least, one part correctly. He recounts and alludes to the English Civil War and the uprising of religious sects counter to the Chuch of England which undoubtedly informed American Founders with their own nation-building in the next Century.

Innocuous and, to the narrator, unimportant revelations completely overturn the earlier version of the tale. I just have one question.

An Instance of the Fingerpost

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Also, perhaps due to the book’s structure, the revelation felt anticlimactic when it finally arrived.

Marco da Cola, a visiting Italian physician–or so he would like the reader to believe; Jack Prestcott, the son of a traitor who fled the country to avoid execution; Dr.