FLESHMARKET by Nicola Morgan

FLESHMARKET

Age Range: 12 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A psychological study made stomach-churningly intense by its squalid 19th-century setting and gruesome historical milieu. Having watched his mother die in agony from infection following a mastectomy performed without anesthesia, Robbie conceives a violent hatred for the surgeon, Robert Knox. After further misfortunes leave him and his little sister Essie fending for themselves, one step from Edinburgh’s filth-laden streets, Robbie’s obsession grows—particularly after he witnesses Knox dissecting human corpses. Morgan mirrors her riveting account of Robbie’s internal maelstrom with a plot that includes primitive surgery, vicious poverty, drunkenness, and imprisonment, all graphically described. In language that sometimes spins toward the poetic—Robbie’s hatred “was sleet-cold, and shaking, and full of darkness”—she casts her tormented teenager into the company of Knox’s psychopathic “suppliers,” drags him through a period of alcohol-hazed despair, then guides him past hard, life-changing choices that ultimately allow him to put aside his consuming rage. Here’s harrowing reading—made all the more so by the closing revelation that Knox and his practices are drawn from life. (historical note) (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 2004
ISBN: 0-385-73154-X
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2004




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