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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year 1998
"Jack Maggs is a dazzling tale of obsession, and Jack Maggs stands as a remarkable character, a resurrected antipodean lag returned to England for vengeance and reconciliation."
From the Booker Prize-winning author, a vivid and robust novel of Dickensian London--a place and a story teeming with mystery, science, and passion.
The time, the 1830s. Jack Maggs, a foundling trained in the fine arts of thievery, cruelly betrayed and deported to Australia, has now reversed his fortunes--and seeks to fulfill his well-concealed, innermost desire. Returning "home" under threat of execution, he inveigles his way into a household in Great Queen Street, where he's quickly embroiled in various emotional entanglements--and where he falls under the hypnotic scrutiny of Tobias Oates, a celebrated young writer fascinated by the process of mesmerism and obsessed with the criminal mind.
From this volatile milieu emerges a handful of vividly drawn characters in the dangerous pursuit of love, whether romantic or familial--each of them with secrets, and secret longings, that could spell certain ruin. As their various schemes converge, the captivating figure at the center is Jack Maggs himself, at once frightening, mystifying, and utterly compelling.