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Find out more about OverDrive accounts. Now it is a crumbling apartment block, stranded on a traffic island and peopled with eccentrics.

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Alice Orme never stirs from her bed, her husband lives in his old armchair, and Francis, their son, practises his own art of stillness as a human statue in the centre of the decaying city. He lives by his Law of White Gloves, never touching anything without their protection, and collects items for his secret exhibition - items stolen, not because of any monetary worth, but because they are treasured by the owners. He is also a freelance i OverDrive uses cookies and similar technologies to improve your experience, monitor our performance, and understand overall usage trends for OverDrive services including OverDrive websites and apps.

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Observatory Mansions

Without these cookies, we can't provide services to you. I knew this very well, I was entirely aware of every feature, handsome and not so handsome, on my thirty-seven-year-old body. Anna held in her hand a small tube of cream.

I bought this for you, she said. It is for your lip, it will stop the swelling. I held the tube of lip cream in my white hands. Francis breathes after a detail like this. Carey himself has even peppered the book with illustrations of his players.

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Observatory Mansions

I am reminded, when reading Edward Carey, of the similarly-named Edward Gorey, who is most certainly a crucial influence. This plot alone could have sustained and breathed life into Observatory Mansions. Carey carefully and brilliantly creates each of his characters, using his descriptions, through Francis, to create depth and eccentricity: Stupid Bugg, dense old schoolteacher, dense old tutor. A head for books, a head made of books, a head of sheets of paper, the typefaces all tiny.

Skin of paper, the paper of his skin burnt with words, words that glistened under sweat. Who has read the book of Peter Bugg?

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No one. Who wants to read the book of Peter Bugg? It remains on the library shelf. It was placed there shortly after publication, an edition of one, and no one has ever asked for it.

Observatory Mansions - Edward Carey - Google книги

But Carey, at every step, raises the stakes; he isn't interested in just portraying eccentric characters in an eccentric setting. As Francis becomes the last person trying to drive Tap away, Carey reveals the history of the Orme family and the mansion.


  1. Observatory Mansions by Edward Carey.
  2. Footprint: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Extinction.
  3. A Quiet Place.
  4. We learn that the Ormes owned the mansion. We learn about Francis' odd job, his museum of objects stolen from family, neighbors, and strangers, and many other things that, by novel's end, have great emotional weight. Francis as narrator is compelling, cruel, oddly affecting, and, through Carey's sure touch, absolutely riveting.