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A Long Fatal Love Chase Mass Market Paperback – December 2, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0440223016 ISBN-10: 0440223016

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A Long Fatal Love Chase + Behind a Mask: The Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott + The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime: Forgotten Cops and Private Eyes from the Time of Sherlock Holmes (Penguin Classics)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (December 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440223016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440223016
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Rosamond Vivian, brought up on a remote island by an indifferent grandfather, swears she'd sell her soul to Satan for a year of freedom. When Philip Tempest enters her life, she is ripe for the plucking, but is soon caught up in a web of intrigue, cruelty and deceit stretching back far into the past. Remarkable for its portrayal of a sensual, spirited Victorian heroine, Louisa May Alcott's work, too shocking to be published during her lifetime, tells a compulsive tale of love, desire and deceit. Its publication more than a century after being written marks a new page in literary history. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This romantic cliffhanger about a woman pursued by her ex-lover, a relentless stalker, seems sprung from today's headlines. Yet Alcott (1832-1888) wrote it more than a century and a quarter ago, in 1866 (two years before the appearance of Little Women), only to see it rejected it as "too sensational" by the magazine that had requested it. The novel has remained unpublished until now. Its heroine, the lonely, trusting 18-year-old Rosamond Vivian, who lives with her flinty, unloving grandfather on an English island, falls for the cynical, suave Phillip Tempest, who's nearly twice her age. He whisks her off to his Mediterranean villa near Nice, promising to marry her, but when she discovers that he is secretly married (and strongly suspects that he has murdered the son he never acknowledged), Rosamond flees to Paris, assuming a new identity. Phillip obsessively stalks her for two years, from France, where she seeks refuge in a convent and falls in love with a protective priest, to Germany, where Phillip has her committed to a lunatic asylum; eventually she flees to England. Alcott's portrayals of the pathological Phillip and of the conflicted Rosamond?who initially clings to her ex-lover, hoping to reform him until she realizes he is a murderous brute?show strong psychological insights. This absorbing novel revises our image of a complex and, it is now clear, prescient writer. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild selection; first serial to Ladies Home Journal; film rights to Citadel Entertainment
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Louisa May Alcott was both an abolitionist and a feminist. She is best known for Little Women (1868), a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood years with her sisters in Concord, Massachusetts. Alcott, unlike Jo, never married: "... because I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man." She was an advocate of women's suffrage and was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

This is the most amazing book I've ever read.
Lisa S.
Mystery, exotic locales, an ill-fated romance....this book has all the elements of a great thriller.
Lindsay P
This is a very suspenseful book---each chapter ends with a surprise.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Meredith VINE VOICE on March 19, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you read the novel, Little Women and you think you know Lousia May Alcott, think again! This book is not about a family of girls making homespun quilts!

This is a suspense/thriller. With many tragic moments and unsettling events.

A restless girl at the age of 18 desires to lead a romantic and adventureous life. The only problem is she is trapped with her grandfather in home with no visitors or diversions! Until one day a mysterious man comes to call.

Our heroine finally escapes her grandfather's clutches and leaves with this mysterious man that she know very little about. She soon discovers she does not want this much adventure so she tries to escape. Will this man let her go? Does he love her? What does he want from her?

It is so exciting and it was surprising that Louisa May Alcott could write such a book! If you enjoy a good gothic novel, that you can get wrapped up in, give this book a try.

I highly recommend this book, you won't be able to have peace of mind until you finish it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marisa on October 15, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this novel of love and deceit an appealing tale. I recommend this book to young readers who are interested in love and deception. The quality of this writing is dramatic and striked me with interest and curiosity. The fact that young Rosamond was trying to escape from a man who she thought she knew and loved was very thrilling to me. I found myself just dying to know what is going to happen to her in the next chapter. I just couldn't put the book down. Though some parts of the text confused me in some ways, because it was written such a long time ago, I was very interested and eventually understood what was going on. Also, the way Tempest was portrayed, as a mysterious and mystifying man was brilliant. And the way Rosamond falls deeply in love with him and how much she wanted to love a man was well explained. Though the ending wasn't the happily ever after cliché, I found that Alcott wrote the book well just like the rest of her novels she has written. I find Alcott to be an amazing writer with a wonderful imagination and style.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Christy on October 3, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
My sister told me about this one and I thought she had to be joking. Louisa May Alcott wrote a Gothic Bodice-Ripper? No...please no.

I immediately went home and got it ordered off Amazon. The day it came, sitting so discreetly in that smiley face box on my porch, I grabbed it and ordered pizza because there was no way I was going to be cooking that night. Luckily that was Friday and I had the weekend. I finished it Saturday evening and my eyes were so tired I couldn't focus, but I closed that book with a sigh and a rapidly beating heart. Yes, our beloved LMA did indeed write a gothic romance complete with heaving chests and a ripped piece of clothing or two.

Our main character is a young and sheltered girl, Rosamond, who is loved too little by a cold and rather typical Victorian novel grandfather. She's full of life and vigor and I think a little stir crazy. She's also full of romance in her heart. We should be careful what we wish for is the refrain that was playing in my head as this story opened. And lo and behold, the romantic yet dangerously named Philip Tempest shows up at the perfect moment to capitalize on the vulnerability of the girl.

What follows is a shocking tale of obsession, stalking, helplessness and fear combined with lust. And it is exactly what the title implies; a long and fatal love chase. If I say what happens at the end I'll completely ruin it and be hated for it, but I didn't like the ending and wished it had been opposite. You'll see when you read it. It works great and is just right for the time it was written but I'm just contrary enough to wish she'd had more modern consequences and a .357 revolver.

The writing is exciting and very smooth.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Fitch on August 7, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book immensely - detailed yet easy to follow the plot. Once you get reading it's hard to put down. I didn't expect it to be very exciting since it was written so long ago in a time when stalking was rarely heard about. To my amazement it was very exciting and without any off color subject matter or anything explicit!! Alcott's writing in this book is superb.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Graham on March 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is perhaps one of the greatest literary masterpieces even authored by anyone, anytime, anywhere. A most valuable book in every way that is truly important. When it was first published in 1995, the great writer Steven King wrote the review for the Sunday New York Times Book Review section. He was as wowed by the work as most of Amazon.com's reviewers are. In fact, he credited Louisa May Alcott with just-about-inventing the thriller-chiller-romance genre-alone. The manuscript was of course unpublishable; having been repressed by every entity with which she attempted to get it into print. Now, that it can be held in the highest esteem, perhaps Ms. Alcott will get the credit which this singular artist/writer surely deserves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne-Marie G VINE VOICE on November 25, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A friend foisted this book upon me, exclaiming her love it and how it was not like Little Women. She was certainly right on both counts. It is not like any of the other Alcott books which I have read,and having visited her house--I don't remember the tour guide mentioning this book either, or Alcott having written anything like it.

Written to be published as a serial thriller it doesn't suffer from the repetiveness of other serials that have been condensed into novels (Dickens). The plot doesn't just roll it steam rolls, there is a momentum that starts from the first page and the allusions to Mephtistopholes, already that perked my interested, him being one of the most fascinating literary figures I have yet to encounter. Alcott's version of the tempter, Tempest, does not dissapoint either. Philip Tempest is a very fully drawn character a pinch of Bronte's Heathcliff, but with more realism. Rosamund, the heroine is no Catherine however, while spirited she is at heart a very good person, inspiring dedication to all of those who posesses goodness as well.

Time is a blur, a year passes between on chapter in the next in one instance. The ending is a powerful portrait in words. And it ends in a way that even with is tragicalness has a note of triump in it, for good and right. By far for me, the best character was Father Ignatius, classical hero in disguise as a monk. His vows keeping his love for Rosamund at bay, at the same time strengthening her love for him. In each other they are idealy matched and that is what ultimately drives Tempest to his last desperate act.

This book is great for sucking your attention from pretty much everything else, like sleeping while you are turning its pages, it was great,and I would reccomended it to others most certainly. People who liked the darkness of the Brontes will appreciate this (I don't like the Brontes so much, but this book is excellent).
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