Melmoth has found me. And I’m very thankful it happened.
Genre: Gothic and historical fiction. ⭐️Stars from Goodreads: 3.8. ⭐️Stars from me: 5.
Melmoth. The story.
Have you ever watched the Japanese version of The Ring? Do you remember the moment when that long-haired lady crawls out from the TV screen? That’s approximately how it feels to be reading Melmoth. Only the feeling is not as simple because Melmoth is not a story to spook you for your entertainment. Melmoth does get out of the book but not to harm you. She wants to show you how people can harm.
Melmoth is a story about human nature shown through some elements of fantasy. It takes you through several different timeframes and storylines but its core story is set in Prague, in winter. I felt the snow and saw it falling. It was so realistic I had to collect my things from the hot beach and retreat to my shadowed bedroom in order to escape the contradiction.
Melmoth. The writing.
I don’t know how Sarah Perry does it but I’m so grateful she does it. Just like her character, she takes you by your hand and leads you through the story. She tells it in her very special way and it works. From the first pages there’s a rhythm and a style. And from the first sentences you want more. My copy is a tree of shining bookmarks.
The bookmarks point to quotes, although I can’t even call them quotes. They are universes of their own. Look at some of them:
- “She notes with unease how he holds it with both avarice and distaste, as if it were an object he had coveted all his life, only to find that having paid the asking price it had a foul smell.”
- “You are so ordinary your very existence makes the extraordinary seem impossible. I mean it as a compliment.”
- “The change that has come over him is nothing less than the change from mortality to immortality: it all at once occurs to her, as it never has before, that he’ll die; that death already has its imprint on him, on the days he’s not yet lived, like a watermark on empty sheets of paper.”
- “The silence is something more than the absence of noise.”
And one more, from those jackdaws crying for the first time. The moment freezes your blood.
- “Why? they said: how? how? why? I looked away.”
I read this book, sometimes putting this composition on. I think it enhances the experience and brings even more Melmoth into your life. Try it.
Melmoth. Other reviews.
Melmoth is everybody’s mirror. The reflection is different for every reader. I’m attaching the list of bloggers’ reviews that I liked the most.
- Ova’s honest and deep review of Melmoth.
- An absolutely amazing review from Umut where she analyses the structure of the book.
- Another very informative review of Melmoth.
- And one more very good review.
Do I suggest you read Melmoth? I don’t just suggest you do it, I dare you to.