Peter Ackroyd | Critical Review by James Wood

This literature criticism consists of approximately 10 pages of analysis & critique of Peter Ackroyd.
This section contains 2,760 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by James Wood

Critical Review by James Wood

SOURCE: “Little Guignol,” in New York Review of Books, September 21, 1995, p. 49.

In the following review, Wood offers an unfavorable evaluation of The Trial of Elizabeth Cree and Ackroyd's fiction in general, which he views as contrived, overly derivative, and unsubtle.

History, for Peter Ackroyd, is a puzzle for which the novel is a solution. The puzzle, broadly speaking, is coincidence; the solution, that there is no such thing as coincidence. For “Everything is part of everything … Everything is part of the pattern,” as a character in his novel First Light puts it. His novels tend to follow the outline of a sensational historical mystery or secret—that Sir Christopher Wren’s chief architect was a devil-worshiper and murderer who embedded corpses in the foundations of his new churches; or...

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This section contains 2,760 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by James Wood
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