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Will Starling by Ian Weir

Will Starling

Best Seller
Will Starling by Ian Weir
Feb 03, 2015 | ISBN 9781586422318

Available from:

  • Feb 03, 2015 | ISBN 9781586422318

    Available from:

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Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award

“A magnificent new novel . . . a sumptuous Frankensteinian potboiler of knockabout slang, scientific lore, rollicking personalities and atmosphere thick as fog . . . While its themes of death, scientific perversion, classism and poverty may be dark as pitch, Weir’s style and wit ensures the novel remains a boisterous, subversive romp.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“An extraordinary rendition of life in Regency-era London . . . Weir has written a mystery worthy of every word while adding historical tidbits. . . Characters rollick and scheme through a plot as snaky as a London alley in a setting as powerful as a chamber pot tossed from a garret window. . . What Dickens might have written had he set loose Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll to explore the doomsday trade.” Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“Starling is a charismatic, engaging narrator, and his personal connection to Atherton frames an underlying story of redemption and the legacy of ultimate power. A fascinating, well-researched exploration of surgery’s shift from disreputable butchery to medical science, shot through with an irresistible Frankenstein current; perfect for those who enjoy Louis Bayard’s dark historical thrillers and Dan Simmons’ Drood (2009).” — Christine Tran, Booklist

“[Weir]’s taken the kind of nascently-pre-Victorian narrative that might have been written by Fielding or Richardson or their slightly later compatriots (the book takes place in 1816), with that mode’s picaresque, loquacious, directly-address-the audience-baggy-pants-style, and created a new instance of such. No nudge-nudge or smarmy aren’t-we-superior attitude. Just a rollicking good tale in the manner of his literary ancestors. . . Weir has assembled a vast assortment of unforgettable characters here, granting each one full individuality and agency. . . [T]he city of London comes alive with brawling, loving, laughing and weeping humanity. ” — Locus Online

“Weir, the creator of CBC’s Arctic Air, has written a note-perfect historical novel of body snatching, murder and evil fun.” — The Toronto Star

“[Ian Weir] crafts a wonderfully, thrillingly fun–if truly smelly and gross–romp. . . an extraordinary tale—of inquiry, of secrets pried, of love and vengeance—with melodramatic theatrical and literary tropes in play. . . [a] clever and masterfully told ‘lurid Tale.'” — The Winnipeg Review

Will Starling is a remarkably subversive novel. . . compelling and convincing. . . a novel that is at once rewarding and heartbreaking, satisfying on both intellectual and emotional levels. . . Will Starling – both the character and the book – is a splendid literary achievement, and a genuine pleasure.”  The Globe and Mail

“Weir’s writing is so springy, and his vision so panoramic, that you won’t care that the novel makes you feel as though you’ve got dirt under your fingernails just from reading it. Yet amid the muck, Will Starling also presents a ringing and surprisingly touching endorsement of science over legend and anecdote.” — National Post

“A rollicking good yarn with many twists and turns. . . It’s a lot of fun and a tale well told.” The Vancouver Sun

“Will Starling is a sly, spirited hero who leaps off the page to take you on a riveting journey through London’s glorious, hair-raising underbelly — surgeons’ salons, gin shops, and the puzzle of Death itself — and straight into the nature of storytelling. Weir’s prose is both raw and lyrical; his evocation of Regency London, magnificent. Will Starling is a must read.” — Stacy Carlson, author of Among the Wonderful

“Will Starling is a rollicking romp through the English language, an earthy, bawdy, brain-bending delight. — Annabel Lyon, author of The Sweet Girl 

“Ian Weir’s crackerjack novel is many things: a whodunit, a penny dreadful, a scrupulous historical narrative– but most of all and most simply, it is a rollicking, fireballing, big-hearted book that’s just a hell of a lot of fun to read.” — Craig Davidson, author of Cataract City 

“This is not the polite England of Jane Austen or George Eliot but the graveyards, hospitals and charnel houses of East London . . . Ian Weir’s characters are as engaging as the Artful Dodger or Fagin or Martin Chuzzlewit.” — Roberta Rich, author of The Midwife of Venice

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