Sacred Hunger, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


This book is the winner of the 1992 Booker prize. 'Gripping..."Sacred Hunger" covers a period between 1752 and concerns the entangled and conflicted fortunes of two cousins: Erasmus Kemp, the son of a Lancashire merchant, and Matthew Paris, a scholar and surgeon just released from prison for 'denying Holy Writ'...the Liverpool Merchant is the vessel on which the whole of the novel hinges, and it carries the reader deep into the history of man's iniquitous greed...As regards its dramatic breadth and energy, no recent domestic novel has come within a mile of it' - Anthony Quinn in the "Independent".




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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

This is one of the best books I have ever read . I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it despite work looming in the morning. The story was fascinating and it has lingered in my memory ever since. I was delighted when my son took 1st year English at University and it was on the reading list.

Review by

A Booker prize winning historical fiction novel, a door stopper in length and a fantastic piece of literature. The book? Wolf Hall. Not Sacred Hunger.This novel of slavery and trade in the 18th century focuses on two different cousins, Eramus Kemp whose father sunk all his money into a slave ship, and Matthew Paris, a doctor who has lost his wife, spent time in prison and has now been given the position of ship's doctor on board said slave ship.I barely liked half this novel, and I certainly didn't like the other half. The writing was pretentious and the 'theme' of the novel self-involved and tries far too hard to be meaningful. At times I felt that I might be getting into it, and then it would drift away again.The main problem with the entirety of this VERY time consuming novel is that I couldn't connect with a single one of the characters. They all held little interest for me, and provoked no emotion at all other than mild annoyance. The descriptions tried hard to invoke the sights, sounds and smells of time at sea, but never suceeded.Mostly, I just got bored of this book. There is only so much pretentiousness that is bearable, and this went way way beyond that line.If you want a Booker prize winning historical novel that deserved to win, read Wolf Hall. Don't read this one unless you want to be dragged kicking and screaming into numbness and utter boredom.A undeserving Booker prize winner that falls far short of expectations.

Review by

I think this book did a very good job of bringing home the disgusting conditions on-board a slave vessel. Unsworth had clearly done a lot of research as the book had a rich seam of information running through it. I felt the characters were sufficiently developed to be believable. The only thing that lets the book down is the second part; I do not feel it follows from the first book. It feels as if the author was rushed or could not think of an ending.

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