Troubles (Empire Trilogy #1)
J.G. Farrell was born in England and moved to Ireland around the age of twelve. Often mistaken for an Irish-born writer, this is mainly because ‘Troubles’, the first book of his ‘Empire Trilogy’ (also including ‘The Siege of Krishnapur’ and ‘The Singapore Grip’) takes a comical yet political and personal look at the realities of the Irish fight for independence against the...more
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“Can he make it?”
“Afraid not quite, old chap,” replied Mr Norton with unexpected clarity.
“Ah,” said the Major absently.
J. G. Farrell’s Troubles was awarded the so-called “Lost Man Booker” in 2010. (view spoiler)[This Man Booker award was decided by a public vote from a list of six novels published in 1970. The 1970 books had never qualified for a Man Booker award because of a rules change instituted in 1971. Prior to that year the short listed ...more
A light, mordantly mournful comedy of Anglo-Irish manners lazily dawdling from 1919 to 1921 at the pace of an ancient laden donkey featuring a tepid, sad non-romance of pallid mooning and more annoying old ladies than you can shake a zimmer frame at may not sound like your version of a good time. It didn’t sound like mine. I had it in mind to read the first 100 pages and sling it. Just to get it off my shelf. Because really, it’s nearly 500 pages and it has no plot, if by plot you refer to somet ...more
Recently I mentioned to a bibliophile friend that I liked books that trouble me. So you would think that anything entitled Troubles would be made to measure, the perfect fit. But what I meant was trouble in the sense of disquiet, something that sets up a mild irritation of the spirit and questions complacent assumptions. A niggle, a nagging doubt that my world view might be too narrow, harnessed to the commonplace and too jaded to buck free. That's what ...more
From there the alternately comic and tragic story moves with the "troubles" that b ...more
I found this initially a difficult book to get into but have to admit that the plot and characters did grow on me and I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. There are pockets of hum ...more
This is sharp satire, an overarching analogy within a reality. It's a bit long-winded and ...more
This is my first review and what better way to start than James Farrells Troubles.
I was lucky to come across a 1970 first edition of this in a charity shop for a few pounds, it's worth more than £400 now.
It's one of the most original novels I have ever read. It's very elusive and subtle, at first it's a humorous social political historical novel but then it morphs into something completely darker and surreal. It charts Major Brendon Archer's supposed engagement to Angela Spencer, the daughter o ...more
Note that this is not a book I have read recently - I have just been adding ...more
Came to this, and its title, thinking that it would be a lot more political than it is. That the era(s) of conflict in Ireland, now euphemized by all parties as 'The Troubles'-- pointed toward that direction. Fact is, what we have is a nearly sentimental account of the characters and atmosphere in a very select little locale that happens to find itself in the south of Ireland on the seacoast. During the expansion of the Troubles in the early twenties.
What author ...more
But once the characters are set and the background's been filled in, it becomes quite enjoyable, and even the symbolism is palatable. The NYRB cover is very misleading, though- like Bowen's 'The Last Septemb ...more
Fitting words to describe the attitude of the Anglo-Irish characters in this book, who hang onto their decrepit Majestic in hopes of riding out the titular troubles. The hotel falls apart at the sa ...more
The book is layered. Superficially, Farrell's witticisms and turns of phrase provide a rich supply of comic relief in a decaying, barren old hotel populated by cats, old ladies, and the rotten remnant of the Anglo Irish Ascendancy. It is set in the Anglo-Irish War, though I would ...more
This was my first look at the Irish "troubles" of 1919. The desire of the Irish to govern themselves had been a thorn in English politics fo ...more
Set initially in 1919, in an Ireland increasingly ravaged by the 'troubles' or the 'War of Independence' depending on the political outlook of the characters, it tells the story of Major Brendan Archer, who comes to the Majestic Hotel in Killnalough, ...more
The protagonist of the book, British Major Archer, stays in Ireland and in the Majestic without any real purpose (although there was a purpose to his arrival in the beginning), and it's only one of the many absurdities surrounding the lives of the characters of the book. The Majestic, a metaphor to th ...more
At first blush this novel comes across as an imaginative, nutty portrayal of the British ruling gentry in Ireland as they slide into irrelevance and decay, intransigently refusing to acknowled ...more
Book and audio. Blurb - Major Brendan Archer travels to Ireland after the war to visit Angela Spencer - the fiancée he appears to have accidentally acquired on an afternoon's leave, three years before. Arriving in the town of Kilnalough, he finds himself in the crumbling surroundings of a grand old Irish hotel - the Majesti ...more
I think everyone should read everything J G Farrell wrote and only regret that he didn't have time to write more. They should certainly read his trilogy of books depicting the dismantling of the British Empire.
The Siege Of Krishnapur
The Singapore Grip
(I read all three in the 1990's not the 1970's, but don't remember the correct dates.)
Farrell's books have their settings at pivotal moments in the history of empire, but he is more concerned with the dismantling of the ide ...more
|Goodreads Ireland: Spoiler Thread: Troubles||16||26||Feb 07, 2014 04:00AM|
|Goodreads Ireland: Novembver-January Quarterly Irish Read 2013: Troubles||73||38||Jan 07, 2014 01:09AM|
|NYRB Classics: Troubles, by J.G. Farrell||1||7||Oct 30, 2013 09:03PM|
|Poe?||5||23||Aug 27, 2012 12:50PM|