Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Sarah Waters: Fingersmith

It's a bit late to mention it, for those of you who live in the UK, but the BBC has just finished broadcasting a three-part adaptation of Sarah Waters's novel Fingersmith.

Fingersmith is set in the nineteenth-century, which seems to be Waters's favourite era, and the plot concerns, as usual with Victorian novels, who gets the money. Also as usual, at any rate with Waters, there is a lesbian love story involved.

The TV drama was, I thought, extremely well done. And for the time being, at least, you can see the BBC's page on it here. The acting, as is almost invariably the case in British drama, was first class, and those of you who live in foreign parts might care to look out for for this serial, because it will no doubt be sold overseas in due course.

The plot is fiendish complicated, and the TV adaptor, Peter Ransley, did a good job of making it all reasonably clear. Of course, as one reviewer said, you do have to concentrate; and it helps, no doubt, if you catch every word of the dialogue, which my clapped-out ears do not.

The novel itself I read over a year ago, and enjoyed it, though I found it rather long. (As I have said before, and will doubtless have cause to say again, the majority of books are too long these days. It must be something they put in the water.)

Should you wish to sample the book, there is a sizeable chunk of it provided by courtesy of the Guardian. Having read the extract myself, this morning, it seems to me to be quite beautiful and sensitive writing (and those are not descriptive terms that I use very often), by someone who knows exactly what she is doing. I might even be tempted to read the book again. And I don't do that often, either.

Should you seek to know more, the best place to start is Sarah's publisher's page on her.


Anonymous said...

I read the book a while back, was okay but I thought the twist was over done.

Suzan Abrams, email: said...

I enjoyed the television adaptation for Fingersmith.