Melmoth by Sarah Perry


For centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, searching for those whose complicity and cowardice have fed into the rapids of history’s darkest waters—and now, in Sarah Perry’s breathtaking follow-up to The Essex Serpent, it is heading in our direction.It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts—or, at least, refuge. That changes when her fri...

Details Melmoth

Release DateOct 16th, 2018
PublisherCustom House
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Fantasy, Gothic

Reviews Melmoth

  • Amalia Gavea
    ‘’Look! It is winter in Prague: night is rising in the mother of cities and over her thousand spires. Look down at the darkness around your feet, in all the lanes and alleys, as if it were a soft black dust; look at the stone apostles on the old Charles Bridge, and at all the blue-eyed jackdaws on the shoulders of St John of Nepomuk! Look! She is coming over the bridge, head bent down to the whitening cobblestones.’’ A manuscript that fin...
  • Hannah Greendale
    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend. A brooding atmosphere shrouded in mystery, enfolded with dark lore and stitched together with secrets. Melmoth speaks to our most shameful transgressions and the longing for redemption; it whispers and taunts and beckons with a crooked finger, drawing its audience on puppet strings to the final page where a haunting conclusion awaits. Look! A jackdaw - blue-...
  • Tammy
    Using the architecture of the 17th century Gothic novel, Perry weaves a tale that keeps one spellbound. Through letters, diaries and narrative, we are privy to encounters with a soul damned to walk the earth for eternity and bear witness to the secret evil we commit and the repercussions of our actions. Look closely! Inquisitive Jackdaws caw their questions, seed pearls fall like tears, feathers hint at movement from this world to the next and si...
  • Debra
    "I wonder, when God permitted us to fall, if He knew we'd fall so far."Helen Franklin is an English woman living in Prague. She has made a home for herself and has a small group of friends. One evening her friend, Karel, shows her a letter he discovered in a library. The letter is a confession of sorts and introduces the reader to Melmoth the Witness, a woman who roams the globe in loneliness, looking for those who have done wrong asking them to ...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    5 original, stand-out stars to Melmoth! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Although Melmoth is set in the present, it has a dark, foreboding Gothic feel, not unlike an 18th century work. Set in Prague, we meet Helen Franklin, an English translator with a mysterious past. She carries tremendous guilt with her. Helen’s friend Karel finds a file holding letters from different periods of time. There are common themes of guilt within all these entries. There is a ...
  • Umut Reviews
    For full review, please visit my blog: have a lot of feelings for this book. It’s one of those that makes you think about the writer, because you’re in awe of what they’re capable of. The sophistication, elegance and somehow the smell of history is seeping through Perry’s pages, and I LOVE it.The story is set in Prague at contemporary times, though it has an 18th Century gothic feel to it. It’s ...
  • Blair
    Sarah Perry's third novel takes the structure, and many of the stylistic flourishes, of 18th-century gothic fiction and wraps them around a mostly modern story which incorporates narratives set in 17th-century Britain, early 20th-century Turkey and WWII-era Europe. The central, connecting tale takes place in present-day Prague, where dowdy translator Helen Franklin – self-condemned to a frugal and uncomfortable life for reasons initially unknow...
  • Renee Godding
    Set against the darkly atmospheric décor of the city of Prague is the story of a woman, haunted by guilt and loneliness. Helen Franklin is an English translator, who happens upon a mysterious file, containing letters and diary entries from different periods of history. Not only do all of them share themes of guilt, exile and redemption, they also share the presence of an ominous creature, old as the numbering of days and straight from the depths...
  • Eric Anderson
    There’s something so invitingly intoxicating about the way Sarah Perry blends the tone of classic Victorian literature with a modern sensibility. Her previous novel “The Essex Serpent” was actually set in the Victorian era and new novel “Melmoth” is set roughly in present-day Prague. But they both employ a self-conscious authorial control over the narrative that contemplates many moral questions while (most importantly) telling a riveti...
  • Ova - Excuse My Reading
    I need to wait on this to write a review. It was a good read, however there were untidy things in it.I loved the overall stand of the story. We are all Melmoths. Witnessing, watching, doing nothing. Review soon...
  • Eleanor
    Few, if any, contemporary novelists are doing as much as Sarah Perry is to make Calvinist thought sexy again. (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.) Her first two novels, and this one, are all suffused with a sense of the reality of sin, although that word is rarely used: perhaps more in Melmoth than elsewhere. And yet the book is also a Gothic romp; it is disturbing and serious, but it’s scattered with delightful ghost-story trope...
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    “She has come, she has come for me.”Who or what is Melmoth? Myth, legend, lore, mystery. That is all that Helen Franklin, an English scholar living in Prague during contemporary time, knows about this ancient essence that plagued an old dead man, Joseph Hoffman. Her friend Karel, an academic at the university, asks Helen to read a document left by Hoffman. The dipped-ink document contains narratives, letters, and journals that all mention Mel...
  • Jill
    “All my life, I’ve wanted to write a great monster — my Frankenstein or Dracula — but I wanted mine to be a woman.” That’s a sourced quote from Sarah Perry, who, in writing Melmoth, imagines a cursed female monster who wanders the earth in eternal loneliness without home or respite, always seeking out everything that’s most distressing and most wicked. But is Melmoth real? Or is she us?In The Essex Serpent, surely one of my favorite...
  • Patrizia
    È una lettura interessante, ma non un romanzo all’altezza del precedente di Sarah Perry, Il serpente dell’Essex.La base è un capolavoro della letteratura gotica dei primi dell’ottocento, Melmoth l’errante di Charles Robert Maturin. La struttura è a scatole cinesi, un contenitore di storie, documenti, diari e lettere che testimoniano la presenza di Melmoth, condannata a vagare sola e senza pace per il mondo fino al giorno del giudizio, ...
  • Katie Long
    Sarah Perry, writing in the style of 19th century gothic classics, seems like the sort of author who I would love, so I was really excited to win this through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program. Unfortunately, like The Essex Serpent, this one fell short for me. There is much needless repetition, (all of those Jackdaws! 🙄) and the attempt to create atmosphere and suspense is so ham handed, all of the intended effect is lost. I think the bo...
  • Storyheart
    From the very first page of MELMOTH, Sarah Perry leads the reader into a dark and eerie world populated with uneasy souls. I loved this fantastical tale, so spooky, so fascinating and so vividly rendered and know that I will return to it again some dark and foggy night. Thank you to the publisher for the ARC.
  • Rebecca
    I got a head start on a month of spooky reading with Sarah Perry’s new Gothic tale. It seems to have been equally inspired by Charles Robert Maturin’s 1820 novel Melmoth the Wanderer and by Perry’s time in Prague as a UNESCO World City of Literature Writer in Residence. The action opens in Prague in 2016 as Helen Franklin, a translator, runs into her distressed friend Dr. Karel Pražan one December night. An aged fellow scholar, Josef Hoffm...
  • Hannah
    Listen! You can hear echoes of Mary Shelley ringing in Perry's gorgeous prose. There is a foreboding undercurrent that runs throughout MELMOTH--a deep-seated anxiety about what is hiding in the dark corners of the world, of our minds. But there is a pinpoint of hope in that darkness, as Perry explores in her magnificently layered tale of wickedness and redemption and unexpected love.
  • Rebecca
    From the very first page of MELMOTH, it is clear that Sarah Perry has created something special. MELMOTH, with a glint in its eye, takes you by the hand and leads you deeper into its web of dread and unease, and it is a credit to Perry’s writing that you follow so willingly. She has created a mesmerizing tale of suspense and complicity that unfolds over the course of the novel, with tantalizing glimpses of its beating heart along the way, and i...
  • Tracy Rowan
    I'm going with four stars on this one, even though my instinct says 3 or maybe 3.5.  Why? Well partly because it's a holiday here and everything is kind of low-key today, and partly because I think my reservations about the story have something to do with my personal feelings about guilt.I was familiar with the name Melmoth from Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer, but that's as far as my knowledge went. It's just as well since Perry's Melmot...
  • 4cats
    Needed to think about this. Firstly, I loved The Essex Serpent, the writing was great, the characters interesting and the plotting moved the novel along beautifully to its' outcome. So consequently I was looking forward to reading Melmoth. Inspired by Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer (I haven't read this), Melmoth is a novel which moves about in time and at it's heart is Melmoth, herself. What holds it together is the central character of Helen Fra...
  • Roz
    3.5 stars
  • Donna Hines
    "She died of life, as I suppose we all do in the end."Melmoth is a dark mysterious creature persuader to follower to damnation of timeless itinerant solitude."Those who have forgiven most, who find themselves most able to forgive."Helen Franklin (42yo) Prague resident and translator has found a home and refuge.Karal her girl friend changes everything when she uncovers a confession/warning in the form of a letter that speaks of Melmoth the witness...
  • Regina Lemoine
    2.5 stars. I won this ARC from the publisher in a Goodreads giveaway. I loved everything about The Essex Serpent, so my expectations for this novel were quite high. I'm sorry to say I was disappointed. All the charm and intimacy of The Essex Serpent is missing from this novel. It seems that Perry got so caught up in the style of the novel that she forgot to give the reader fully formed characters and a fully realized story. There is a melancholy ...
  • Coleen
    Melmoth, a woman in a dark cloak who appears in the shadows and encourages others to join her in her seemingly lost wanderings as she haunts certain other "lost" individuals, is a legend that's been carried on through the ages. Helen Franklin, British but living in Prague for quite some time, catches wind of these haunting tales and can't help but feel that there are eyes watching her. When her friend Karel disappears mysteriously, the tale of Me...
  • Laura
    I am so disappointed in this book.First, I got it as an ARC, but it took forever to get to me. My interest piqued, though, when I saw how beautiful it is: decked edges for an ARC copy? All is forgiven.It still took me a couple weeks to get to it, what with book club picks & life in general. In that time, I saw more & more positive buzz about it building. So I finally got to start it a couple days ago, & dove in headfirst.The first 10% or so, I wa...
  • Mary Lins
    “Do you think you can long for something that scares you half to death?”I won’t tell you what, or who, “Melmoth” is, in Sarah Perry’s moody and dark new novel, I’ll let her do that in her own way in through her gorgeous prose throughout the novel. Count me as a huge fan of “The Essex Serpent”, so I was anxious to read this new novel by such a talented writer. While “Essex” was done in the Victorian style, Perry has turned he...
  • Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
    What an urgent, timely and yet timeless novel; concerned with faith, forgiveness, atrocity, violence and love in ways that are reminiscent of The Essex Serpent and yet so unlike it. Stylistically Melmoth is constructed to an 18th century blueprint, forcefully omniscient and instructive in its narration. It’s gothic and baroque in quite uncomfortable ways, repetitious in its symbolism (all those jackdaws) but never loses the fluency that I find ...
  • Liv J Hooper
    3.5⭐ 3.5⭐️