Ellen's Reviews > Old Filth

Old Filth by Jane Gardam
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's review
Oct 26, 2011

really liked it

I really enjoyed this book once I got into it. "Old Filth" is the nickname of a retired British barrister and judge. The name "Filth" comes from the phrase, "Failed in London, Try Hong Kong." Old Filth left London early in his career and found great success in Hong Kong. He becomes an icon in the British legal community. This book gives us Filth's reminiscences of his long life. He started life in Malaya, now Malaysia, but then part of the British Empire. His mother dies in childbirth and his father gives him to a local family to raise. When he is still quite young, his father decides to send him to England, making him one of the so-called Raj orphans. His childhood is unhappy and his life is affected by the lack of love and attention. Even so, he manages to have many amazing experiences. At the end of his life, by then back in England, he looks back and tries to find some resolution to the events that still haunt him. The writing is very good and the story is sometimes funny and sometimes sad, but always interesting.

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