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J.G. Farrell was born in Liverpool in 1935 and spent a good deal of his life abroad, including periods in France and North America, and then settled in London where he wrote most of his novels. In April 1979 he went to live in County Cork where only four months later he was drowned in a fishing accident.
This won the Booker Prize back in 1973. A brilliant, dark humorous book about the decline of colonialism and an exploration of class, race and culture in general. Great stuff.
February 2012 Guest Editor Joanna Trollope on J.G. Farrell... He won the Lost Booker prize for Troubles and the real Booker – forever ago - for The Siege Of Krishnapur. I love the elegance of his writing, and the wit, and the sense of the absurd, and the way he can transport you to a whole crazy other world. He drowned, off the coast of Ireland, when he was only 44. A real loss. The Lovereading view... A new edition of the 1973 Booker Prize winning novel. A brilliant, dark humorous book about the decline of colonialism and an exploration of class, race and culture in general. Great stuff.
Winner of the Lost Man Booker Prize. An involving and interesting tale set in 1919 about a World War One veteran, Brendan Archer, who travels to Ireland to find the girl he rashly got engaged to three years earlier. When love appears to have been lost Brendan finds himself drawn in to the world of the Palm Court hotel just as Ireland faces it’s most dramatic political upheaval. A book of humour, pathos and politics. Totally absorbing and unputdownable.
Inspired by the Indian Mutiny of 1857, The Siege of Krishnapur is set in the fictional town of that name where a British garrison withstands a four-month siege by mutineers. Eventually rescued after undergoing terrible privations, the leading characters all find their ideals tested and their smug assumptions of military and moral superiority severely shaken. In Troubles Major Brendan Archer travels to Ireland in the aftermath of World War I in order to meet his fiancee Angela in a remote seaside hotel owned by her father. Angela dies unexpectedly, but Archer remains in Kilnalough, captivated by the Majestic and its inhabitants, and seemingly unaware of the approaching political storm as Ireland dissolves into revolt and civil war. Both novels combine high comedy with vivid realism and reveal Farrell as 'one of the finest post-colonial novelists' - John Sutherland.
Ano 1919, tras sobrevivir a la Gran Guerra, el comandante Brendan Archer viaja a Irlanda para descubrir si todavia sigue prometido a Angela Spencer, cuya familia regenta el hotel Majestic en Kilnalough. Pero al llegar encuentra a su prometida extranamente alterada y a su futura familia politica en plena decadencia economica: el hotel se desmorona poco a poco, los escasos huespedes que quedan se pasan el dia cotilleando y jugando al whist, hordas de gatos salvajes se van aduenando del bar Imperial y de las plantas superiores, el bambu amenaza con colonizar los cimientos del edificio y los lechones campan a sus anchas por la pista de squash. Mientras el comandante Archer atiende los desastres domesticos que aumentan dia tras dia, fuera de los muros del hotel el Imperio britanico tambien se tambalea y desmorona: los disturbios son diarios, el malestar crece por momentos y en la propia Irlanda la violencia arrecia. Farrell nos traza, con un humor centelleante e irrepetible, un cuadro desolador de la decadencia y del final, no solo de un imperio, sino de toda una epoca. Premio The Lost Man Booker 2010Si no hubiera muerto tan joven, no hay duda de que J.G. Farrell sera hoy da uno de los mayores escritores del mundo. Salman RushdieUno de los lamentos ms delicadamente modulados y mgicamente cmicos que haya podido encontrar nunca el lector Sin duda alguna su obra maestra. John BanvilleUn tour de force triste, trgico, y a la vez divertido. The GuardianUn jardn de las delicias. 'The New York Times'
The Empire Trilogy--consisting of the Lost Booker Prize-winning Troubles, the Booker Prize-winning The Siege of Krishnapur,and The Singapore Grip--is Farrell's re-examination of the legacy, and limits, of British imperial rule. The three volumes, connectedby theme rather than character, and above all by their shared wit, brio, and daring, range in setting from the India of theGreat Mutiny of 1857, to Ireland immediately after the Great War, to the besieged Singapore of World War II. Together thebooks constitute not only a spectacular entertainment but also an ambitious refashioning of the traditional historical novel tomeet the tragic realities of the modern world. The Siege of Krishnapur - India, 1857--the year of the Great Mutiny, when Muslim soldiers turned in bloody rebellion ontheir British overlords. This time of convulsion is the subject of J. G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur, widely considered one ofthe finest British novels of the last fifty years.Farrell's story is set in an isolated Victorian outpost on the subcontinent. Rumors of strife filter in from afar, and yet the members of the colonial community remain confident of their military and, above all,moral superiority. But when they find themselves under actual siege, the true character of their dominion--at once brutal, blundering,and wistful--is soon revealed. Troubles - 1919: After surviving the Great War, Major Brendan Archer makes his way to Ireland, hoping to discover whetherhe is indeed betrothed to Angela Spencer, whose Anglo-Irish family owns the once-aptly-named Majestic Hotel in Kilnalough.But his fiancee is strangely altered and her family's fortunes have suffered a spectacular decline. The hotel's hundreds of roomsare disintegrating on a grand scale; its few remaining guests thrive on rumors and games of whist; herds of cats have taken overthe Imperial Bar and the upper stories; bamboo shoots threaten the foundations; and piglets frolic in the squash court. Meanwhile,the Major is captivated by the beautiful and bitter Sarah Devlin. As housekeeping disasters force him from room to room,outside the order of the British Empire also totters: there is unrest in the East, and in Ireland itself the mounting violence of "e;thetroubles."e; The Singapore Grip - Singapore, 1939: life on the eve of World War II just isn't what it used to be for Walter Blackett, head ofBritish Singapore's oldest and most powerful firm. No matter how forcefully the police break one strike, the natives go on strikesomewhere else. His daughter keeps entangling herself with the most unsuitable beaus, while her intended match, the son ofBlackett's partner, is an idealistic sympathizer with the League of Nations and a vegetarian. Business may be booming--whatwith the war in Europe, the Allies are desperate for rubber and helpless to resist Blackett's price-fixing and market manipulation--but something is wrong. No one suspects that the world of the British Empire, of fixed boundaries between classes and nations,is about to come to a terrible end.
The novelist J.G. Farrell - known to his friends as Jim - was drowned on August 11, 1979 when he was swept off rocks by a sudden storm while fishing in the West of Ireland. He was in his early forties. Had he not sadly died so young,A remarked Salman Rushdie in 2008, there is no question that he would today be one of the really major novelists of the English language. The three novels that he did leave are all in their different way extraordinary.A The Siege of Krishnapur, the second of Farrell's Empire Trilogy, won the Booker Prize in 1973, and it was selected as one of only six previous winners to compete in the 2008 international 'Best of Booker' competition. The strength of American interest in Farrell's books is underlined by the inclusion of all three Trilogy novels in the Classics imprint of the New York Review of Books. Troubles won the Lost Man Booker Prize in 2010. Many of these selected letters are written to women whom Jim Farrell loved and whom he inadvertently hurt. His ambition to be a great writer in an age of minimal author's earnings ruled out the expense of marriage and fatherhood, so self-sufficiency was his answer. Books Ireland has astutely portrayed him as 'a mystery wrapped in an enigma, a man who wanted solitude and yet did not want it, wanted love but feared commitment, reached out again and again but, possibly through fear of rejection, was always the first to cut the cord.' But Farrell's kindness, deft humour and gift for friendship reached across rejection, which must account for why so many such letters were kept. Funny, teasing, anxious and ambitious, these previously unpublished letters to a wide range of friends give the reader a glimpse of this private man. Ranging from childhood to the day before his death, Farrell's distinctive letters have the impact of autobiography.
A classic novel by a Booker Prize-winning author. Soon to be adapted for an ITV television series by the Oscar-winning playwright behind Atonement and Dangerous Liaisons, Christopher Hampton. Singapore just before the Japanese invasion in the Second World War: the Blackett family's prosperous world of tennis parties, cocktails and deferential servants seems unchanging. But it is poised on the edge of the abyss: This is the eve of the Fall of Singapore and, as we know, of much else besides. Not only the Blacketts, their friends and enemies, but many individuals are caught up in the events. Singapore at this historical watershed has never been so faithfully and passionately recreated.
A classic novel by a Booker Prize-winning author To the cool of the Simla hills comes a reluctant Dr McNab, with his wife and young niece. For Emily, romance is in the air. For the mysterious Mrs Forester, there is scandal brewing. And for the Bishop of Simla, rainclouds are not the only storms on the horizon. The Hill Station is the novel on which J.G. Farrell was working at the time of his tragically early accidental death. It demonstrates powerfully what a great loss to world literature this was.