Hardback Published on: 02/10/2018
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Bookseller Reviews

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Gothic morality tale....
With this perfect homage to Melmoth the Wanderer, Sarah Perry has written her own monster Melmoth. This book is a Gothic story in every sense. She is abl... READ MORE
Emine at Bromley
Gothic Guilt
I am assuming that you have read the synopsis to give you a summary of the plot so instead will share my observations of how I responded to the book. Perr... READ MORE
Tracey McHardy
Beautifully Gothic
Sarah Perry has created a wonderfully Gothic tale, exploring the consequences of guilt and how it can haunt us. Melmoth is a cursed spirit, doomed to wande... READ MORE
Helen at Scarborough


Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2019 After the success of her tour-de-force novel, The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry returns with Melmoth, a profound, ambitiously realised work of fiction which asks fundamental questions about guilt, forgiveness, moral reckoning and how we come to terms with our actions in a conflicted world. Twenty years ago Helen Franklin did something she cannot forgive herself for, and she has spent every day since barricading herself against its memory. But the sheltered life she has crafted for herself is about to change. A strange manuscript has come into her possession, and its contents have the power to unravel every strand of her fragile safety net. It is filled with testimonies from the darkest chapters of human history, which all record sightings of a tall, silent woman in black, with unblinking eyes and bleeding feet: Melmoth, the loneliest being in the world. Condemned to walk the Earth forever, she tries to beguile the guilty and lure them away for a lifetime wandering alongside her. Everyone that Melmoth seeks out must make a choice: to live with what they've done, or be led into the darkness. Despite her scepticism, Helen can't stop reading, or shake the feeling that someone or something is watching her. As her past finally catches up with her, she too must choose which path to take. Melmoth takes its title from Charles Maturin's 1820 Gothic novel, Melmoth the Wanderer. Long considered an overlooked classic, its a composite novel, layering story within story to build up a picture of a man doomed to wander, a man who sold his soul to the devil for 150 extra years of life and is paying the price. We at Waterstones have been championing Sarah Perry's writing from her eerily chilling and original first novel, After Me Comes the Flood, to the brilliance of her Waterstones Book of the Year-winning masterpiece, The Essex Serpent. Perry's prose could spin gold from flax, but this new project, which encompasses gothic influences and tackles essential notions of faith and redemption, promises to cement Perry's reputation as one of the finest novelists of our time.  

  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781788160650
  • Number of pages: 320
  • Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm

Customer Reviews

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Waiting in the shadows!
Nostalgia and superstition all play a part in this intricately observed narrative. Set in Prague, the mist is rising over the thousand spires. We can only ... READ MORE
Simply amazing, intensive and haunting. Will make you look at yourself, those around you and infact society itself. You will question so many things. I... READ MORE
Liz  Gaydon
Melmoth - an alternative guide to Prague.
A wonderfully atmospheric novel. For a while I had to stop reading it before I went to bed - I thought 'this is going to give me unwelcome dreams!' The ch... READ MORE
Janet Clark
Just amazing
I can't believe such a powerful message could be written in 250 pages. Amazing. Bravo, Sarah Perry. This is a book about conscience, guilt, shame, the pas... READ MORE
Ova Incekaraoglu
Breath taking!
One of the best books of 2018. Exceptional plot and story. Hard to put down.
Angela W
A creepy and haunting tale
This is quite a scary tale that is set in Prague. I have never been to Prague but to me the descriptions of parts of the city were very atmospheric and the... READ MORE
Brilliant gothic despair!
My favourite Sarah Perry novel has guilt as the villain, hovering behind acts of cruelty like. Portentious shadow. Melmoth is a villain for our times, in a... READ MORE
Ben Richardson
Love her books!
I am a big fan of Sarah Perry's books, they are so wonderful and rather unusual to read... The only problem is they are very hard to put down so I tend to ... READ MORE
Fiona Sharp