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Q: book review of "Stone Virgin" by Barry Unsworth ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: book review of "Stone Virgin" by Barry Unsworth
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: tulak1-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 05 Feb 2004 14:58 PST
Expires: 06 Mar 2004 14:58 PST
Question ID: 303908
"Stone Virgin" was published in 1986.  I need Professional reviews of this book.

Request for Question Clarification by luciaphile-ga on 06 Feb 2004 11:42 PST
Hi tulak1-ga,

I can get you citations to several contemporary reviews from magazines
and newspapers, but scribe-ga is correct, because of the date, they're
not going to be online. And because of copyright restrictions, I
wouldn't be able to transcribe to articles in question. Would that be
sufficient? Thanks.


Clarification of Question by tulak1-ga on 08 Feb 2004 15:10 PST
The advice to consult library paper files is good, but I'm short of
time right now.  The offer to provide this would be gratefully
accepted.  I don't want reader reviews, just professional ones. 

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 08 Feb 2004 16:02 PST
The NY Times has two (possibly three) reviews of Stone Virgin that are
available online for a modest fee.  I have not looked at the reviews
myself (because of the fee involved), but the free preview for the
reviews is as follows:

A Madonna for All Seasons 
New York Times Apr 27, 1986.  pg. BR43, 1 pgs 
In cleaning a 15th-century stone Madonna in Venice, an Englishman
named Raikes is surprised and moved by the humanity and intimacy of
her expression. This is from "Stone Virgin" (Houghton Mifflin), by
Barry Unsworth.

A Sexual Rectangle:STONE VIRGIN By Barry Unsworth. 309 pp. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin Company. $17.95.
By Katha Pollitt. 
New York Times Apr 6, 1986.  pg. BR27, 1 pgs 

JUST when I thought I couldn't stand to read another
semi-autobiographical novel about a failing marriage, a blocked writer
or a young man on drugs and the make, along comes the British novelist
Barry Unsworth ("Mooncranker's Gift") with a book that makes me think
of that old "Monty Python" line "And now for something completely

And there is a third article, but no preview text is provided: 

New & Noteworthy Paperbacks
LAUREL GRAEBER; New York Times Jul 23, 1995; pg. BR20, 1


If you'd like, I can post instructions for accessing these articles
online as an answer to your question.  The articles cost anywhere from
$1-3 each (depending on how many you access), and are payable via
credit card for immediate access.

Let me know if this would meet your needs.


Request for Question Clarification by luciaphile-ga on 09 Feb 2004 06:15 PST
Hi tulak1-ga,

I can give you at least 6 citations, 3 to newspapers and 3 for
magazines/journals. If that will suffice, let me know and I will post
these as an answer.


Clarification of Question by tulak1-ga on 13 Feb 2004 13:58 PST
Dear Luciaphile,

Yes, please send me what you can.  I'm sure it will be a great help.

Is your name a reference to the hilarious Lucia books?
Subject: Re: book review of "Stone Virgin" by Barry Unsworth
Answered By: luciaphile-ga on 13 Feb 2004 16:50 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi tulak1-ga,

Thanks so much for your question. I found the following reviews (two
of which pafalafa-ga also mentioned above). Again, you'll need to go
to a library or use a library's databases to retrieve these items.
However, all of these are mainstream publications, so you shouldn't
have too much trouble locating the reviews. A few of these (a very
few) can be accessed for a fee online. If that was the case, I have
provided the link to the review itself or to the archive search

"Stone Virgin," by John Clute. New Statesman, vol. 110, August 16, 1985, p. 28.

"Stone Virgin." The New Yorker, vol. 26, May 26, 1986, p. 106-108.

"Stone Virgin," by Andrew Peters. Library Journal, vol. 111, March 1, 1986, p. 110 

"A Madonna for All Seasons." The New York Times, April 27, 1986, p.43,+1986&desc=A+Madonna+for+All+Seasons

"A Sexual Rectangle: Stone Virgin, by Barry Unsworth" by Katha
Pollitt. The New York Times Book Review, April 6, 1986, p. 27.,+1986&desc=A+Sexual+Rectangle

"Books: Venice in Decay/Review of 'Stone Virgin' by Barry Unsworth,"
by Peter Kemp. The Times, July 25, 1985.

"Books: Reclaimed Past and Rebirth in Venice," by Hugh Barns. The
Times, July 25, 1985.

"Books: Handke's Vision," by Robert Nye. The Guardian, July 25, 1985
"My Fair Statue - A Fantasy Stone," by Alix Madrigal. San Francisco
Chronicle, March 23, 1986, p. 5.

Search strategy:
"stone virgin" unsworth reviews
NY Times Archive
various article databases

I hope this answers your question. If you need additional information,
please ask for clarification before rating my answer and I'll do my
best to assist you.

As for my handle, yes, it is a reference to the E.F. Benson Mapp &
Lucia novels. I adore them.

tulak1-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: book review of "Stone Virgin" by Barry Unsworth
From: scribe-ga on 06 Feb 2004 08:42 PST
Hello Tulak,
You have probably encountered the same problem as I have in trying to
answer your question: online archives of book reviews don't seem to go
back as far as 1986 (the NY Times archive goes back to 1996). The
novel was published again in paperback in 1995, so there would have
been some reviews then also: I did find this excerpt of a review on
the publisher's website in that year:
My advice would be to go offline and hunt for reviews in a library's
PAPER holdings.

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