Old Filth (Old Filth #1)
Sir Edward Feathers has progressed from struggling young barrister to wealthy expatriate lawyer to distinguished retired judge, living out his last days in comfortable seclusion in Dorset. The engrossing and moving account of his life, from birth in colonial Malaya, to Wales, where he is sent as a "Raj orphan," to Oxford, his career and marriage, parallels much of the 20th...more
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was considered to be the source of the old joke, Failed in London, Try in Hong Kong.
It was said that he had fled the London Bar, very young, very poor, on a sudden whim
just after the War, and had done magnificently well in Hong Kong from the start.
Being a modest man, they said, he called himself a parvenu, a fraud, a carefree spirit".
"Filth in fact was no great maker of jokes, was not at all modest about hi ...more
Old Filth is an end of life story. The title is the nickname and old joke of the central character - Failed in London, try Hong Kong - a former judge, barrister, and abused child.
The novel's chapters alternate between the ...more
I respect Gardam's economic prose as well as her Dickensian cast of characters. The problem is that I simply did not "connect" to the novel. I admired it, but I simply didn't enjoy my time with it. Ol ...more
I picked it up thinking the title looked like fun and found myself instead in a book about emotional constriction and concealments in the lives of retired judge Sir Edward Feathers (Old Filth himself), his wife Betty and the third main character, Veneering.
While the story has tragic elements that other writers might turn into sentimental slush, Gardam maintains a superb balance between tragedy and comedy, making this book about displaced lives very easy to read, profoundly mov ...more
Old Filth is an acronym for Faile ...more
This is one of those books that I didn't enjoy reading that much, BUT I did and do really appreciate it in the overall and in retrospect. I think the author was really tale ...more
This novel tells of the trauma this practice can cause. It also hints of a mystery. There is a lot of foreboding, bu ...more
The legacy bestowed on the Raj Orphan is a mixture of loneliness, secrets, formality and the lack of passion. All this is embodied in the protagonis ...more
Old Filth has almost nothing to do with filth but, rather, is the life revisited of a British attorney who Failed in London, Tried Hong Kong. Sir Edwar ...more
Sir Edward Feathers has retire ...more
This book is comic in parts, but also poignant. Edward was what is known as a "Raj orphan." His mother died in childbirth and after several years of living with a native family in Malaysia, Edward is sent to live in Wales with a woman who abuses him. Edward's father never sees him, so Edward grows up without affection i ...more
I enjoyed this, though not as much as some of my GR friends did. It's written in an entertaining, amusing (even sometimes breezy) style, but also with insight as to what it might've been like to be a Raj orphan -- that was the most interesting aspect of the book to me, as I've read lots of novels set in the Raj and post-Raj time periods but none that focus on that issue.
The book lost me, for some reason, along the way, around the time Queen Mary is introduced, and I think the sect ...more
This book tells the story of Eddie Feathers, whose nickname "Filth" stands for "failed in London try Hong Kong." (Incidentally, the distance between Edward and his wife notwithstanding, it required some ...more
Old, retired (from a long career in law), childless, his wife dead, with nothing much but his memories, his ancient hates and eternal hurts, Old Filth nevertheless shines unforgettably at the center of this wonderful story-telling by Jane Gardam.