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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) An Instance of the Fingerpost
Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 13:08:19 +0000

A (slightly belated) Happy New Year to everyone on the list. Since
things are a little quiet right now, and since we sometimes recommend
non-Wolfe books likely to be of interest, can I warmly recommend Iain
Pears' "An Instance of the Fingerpost" to you all?

Set in and around Oxford in the year 1660, this is a novel composed of
four first-person narratives. The narrator of each, in the course of
telling his own story, purports to give the true account of a murder at
the University and the events surrounding it. But here's the twist: as
soon as you finish the first narrative and start the next, the first
thing the new narrator tells you is that the last narrator not only
omitted certain crucial events, but grossly lied about others! As the
new account unfolds you find yourself thumbing back again and again to
the previous narrative, suddenly seeing everything in a new light. And
then you finish the second narrative, and the first thing the -next-
narrator tells you is that -both- the previous narrators completely
misrepresented the real events! And so on.

This is no mere historical whodunnit. The -real- twist comes in the
fourth and final narrative, it's stunning, and wild horses won't drag it
out of me. If you're still wondering why Wolfe fans should like this
novel, I'm definitely not explaining it very well. 


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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