Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids

E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs
Observatory Mansions

Observatory Mansions

Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!

Order Exam Copy
E-Mail this Page Print this Page
Add This - Observatory Mansions

Written by Edward CareyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Edward Carey

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • On Sale: February 5, 2002
  • Price: $16.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-375-70923-4 (0-375-70923-1)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

In this stunning debut novel, English playwright Edward Carey crafts a modern Gothic tale around the crumbling Observatory Mansions and its reclusive, eccentric tenants.

Francis Orme earns his livelihood as a living statue. When not practicing “inner and outer stillness,” Francis steals the cherished possessions of others to add to his private museum. The other tenants of Observatory Mansions are as odd, and alarmed that the new resident, Anna Tapp, seems determined to provoke a metamorphosis. Reminiscent of Beckett, Ionesco and Stephen Millhauser but startlingly original, Observatory Mansions is the British literary sensation that John Fowles called “easily the most brilliant fiction I’ve read this year.”

“A sublime take on the Gothic horror novel, an endearing love story…and a triumphant argument for how brilliant the novel can still be.”–Detroit Free Press

Observatory Mansions is a striking debut, not simply for the skill with which it conjures its bizarrerie but for the way it wrings pity from an incredible setting. When Carey alternates the reveries and recollections of his narrator’s parents, the resulting fugue is a tour de force.”–The Times Literary Supplement

“The humor and ingenuity with which Carey presents his characters and the entropic universe which surrounds them are reminiscent not only of Beckett, but also of Georges Perec.”–The Times (London)

“Readers who complain there’s no originality left in the world should visit Observatory Mansions.”–USA Today

“A funny, sad, and provocative novel.”–The Washington Post Book World