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
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
This novel tells of the trauma this practice can cause. It also hints of a mystery. There is a lot of foreboding, bu...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 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
Sounds pretty dull from that summary, but it's a neat (and well-written) exploration of what the Raj (colonial expats) expected for itself, what was expected of it, and how that all broke down over time as the Empire slowly dissolved. Lots of interesting meditations from a thoughtful man on his lif...more
Anyway, there's a lot to like here. It reads a bit like Evelyn Waugh when he's being sentim...more
The boring 'ment...more
I listened to the audio version, enchantingly performed by Graeme Malcolm, whose dreamy, soothing narration sails us through the most pedestrian, as well as the most tragic events with e...more
First of all, it is simply a story well-told. Normally a novel with a fair number of characters and a lot of flashbacks can be difficult to follow. Not so here. And the characters are memorable, every one, even peripheral ones like Garbutt (a gardener), Katey (who cleans Filth's house) and Queen Mary.
But even more compelling is that the writing strikes m...more
Characters are Dickensian in their eccentricity, but Jane Gardam's brevity and her interest in individual psychology makes her disti...more