Dreadfully Ever After Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$10.50
List price: $15.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
3 Beaverton Literature- A to Z
5 Burnside Literature- A to Z
11 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

This title in other editions

Old Filth

by

Old Filth Cover

ISBN13: 9781933372136
ISBN10: 1933372133
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Awards

2005 Orange Prize nominee

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 century's torrid and twisted history.

Old Filth was nominated for the 2005 Orange Prize.

Review:

"British novelist Gardam has twice won the Whitbread and was shortlisted for the Man Booker. This, her 15th novel, was shortlisted in Britain for the Orange Prize; it outlines 20th-century British history through the life of Sir Edward Feathers, a barrister whose acronymic nickname provides the title: 'Failed in London, Try Hong Kong.' At nearly 80, Feathers, retired in Dorset after many years as a respected Hong Kong judge, is a hollow man with few real friends and a cold, sexless marriage that has just ended with the death of his wife, Betty. For the first time, 'Filth' (as even Betty called him) delves into the past that produced him: a 'Raj orphan' raised by a series of surrogates while his father worked in Singapore, Filth served briefly in WWII (guarding the Queen) and had a lackluster stint as a London barrister before emigrating. The flashbacks contrast British privilege and the chaos that ensues when the empire (especially Filth's childhood Malaya), starts to crumble. As Filth undertakes chaotic visits to his Welsh foster home and other sites, Gardam's sharp, acerbic style counterpoints Feathers's dryness. Well-rounded secondary figures further highlight his emptiness and that of empire." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The inspiration for this remarkable novel is Rudyard Kipling — 'Torn from his family at five. Raj Orphan. ... Hated the Empire, you know.' — but the novel itself is all Jane Gardam. Now in her late seventies, Gardam is best known in this country for 'The Queen of the Tambourine,' which won the Whitbread novel award a decade and a half ago, but she has yet to find an American readership... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Gardam's prose is so economical that no moment she describes is either gratuitous or wasted." New Yorker

Review:

"Both witty and poignant, this work is more than a character study; through her protagonist, Gardam offers a view of the last days of empire as seen from post-9/11 Britain." Library Journal

Review:

"One of the finest achievements of this greatly talented British author." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Jane Gardam's beautiful, vivid and defiantly funny novel is a must." The Times

Review:

"Gardam's superb new novel is surely her masterpiece...one of the most moving fictions I have read in years....This is the rare novel that drives its readers forward while persistently waylaying and detaining by the sheer beauty and inventiveness of it style." The Guardian

Review:

"The Whitbread winner scores again with a compelling novel based, in part, on the early life of Rudyard Kipling." Time Out

Synopsis:

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 his life, from birth in colonial Malaya, to Wales, where he is sent as a "Raj orphan," to Oxford, his career and marriage, encapsulates a large part of the 20th century.

Synopsis:

"Jane Gardam's beautiful, vivid and defiantly funny novel is a must." The Times

"Gardam's superb new novel is surely her masterpiece . . . one of the most moving fictions I have read in years . . . This is the rare novel that drives its readers forward while persistently waylaying and detaining by the sheer beauty and inventiveness of it style." The Guardian

"The Whitbread winner scores again with a compelling novel based, in part, on the early life of Rudyard Kipling." Time Out

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 century's torrid and twisted history.

Old Filth was nominated for the 2005 Orange Prize.

About the Author

Jane Gardam has twice won the Whitbread Award, for The Hollow Land, and Queen of the Tambourine. She is also the author of God on the Rocks, which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and most recently, Faith Fox. She lives with her husband and three children in England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 9 comments:

SandyPP, July 20, 2014 (view all comments by SandyPP)
Critic Maureen Corrigan calls Gardam the best British writer you've never heard of. I couldn't agree more except now I've heard of her and I'll keep reading. To my joy, I have now discovered this is the first book in a trilogy! Don't let the title turn you off--it means Failed in London; Try Hong Kong.

Old Filth is multilayered, wise psychologically and sucked me right in. I lived it in for the days I was reading (or perhaps I should say inhaling) it.

An elderly retired lawyer loses his wife, prompting him to open a long-sealed box of memories revealing not only pain but secrets. The story skillfully unfolds, moving from London, the British countryside, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Wales, and the high seas.

I love a book that introduces me to a world or phenomena previously unknown to me. Here it's Raj Orphans, children sent back to Britain at a very young age from the "colonies" to be raised by foster parents and boarding schools while losing their attachment to their parents.

Gardam is so good that what would be unbelievable coincidences for lesser writers turn out not to be. And I almost forgot to mention that it can be funny too.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Sheila Deeth, March 4, 2014 (view all comments by Sheila Deeth)
They don’t even see him, in a corner of the room, when today’s important lawyers remember Old Filth. They remember him with a touch of fond reverence---Failed In London but surely made it when he Tried Hongkong. They know he’s back in England, and his wife died, and there was that thing... maybe.

But there are many “things” hiding in Jane Gardam’s novel, Old Filth: The history of England’s children, born in the Empire’s farflung corners and sent “home” because, somehow, foreign illnesses might be more dangerous than growing up without a family; the history of war, its confusion and agony and loss; and the history of law in the promise of foreign shores. Relationships slowly reveal themselves in new lights as different characters take the stage. And behind it all, almost unseen, Old Filth is almost accidentally gathering his fractured selves into one---invisible, lost, forgotten, then remembered again.

The writing is pleasingly spare, inviting readers to connect the dots, and rewarding them with brilliantly evocative scenes, low-key pathos and humor, and powerful depths of character and relationships. Events shift effortlessly from past to present, from Malaysia to boarding school and university; and every mystery hides its own kind of answer, near or far, waiting for its perfect revelation. The novel is powerfully moving. The protagonist demands an almost reluctant sympathy. And the decline and fall of Empire are beautifully chronicled in the life of a lonely, oddly appealing, irascible old man.

Disclosure: Our book group picked this book and I’m so glad they did.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
MarcieDell, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by MarcieDell)
I absolutely love this book. I read a great number of books in 2012, most of them excellent, many endearing, several enthralling. This one was enchanting. I stand in awe of Jane Gardam's powers of subtlety and certainty.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 9 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781933372136
Author:
Gardam, Jane
Publisher:
Europa Editions
Subject:
General
Subject:
England
Subject:
Asians
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20060631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.26x5.40x.89 in. .83 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. Black Swan Green
    Used Trade Paper $8.50
  2. Going Native Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. Whiteman: A Novel
    Used Trade Paper $1.95
  4. Strawberry Fields Used Trade Paper $3.50
  5. Rules for Old Men Waiting
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  6. The Making of the Fittest: DNA and... Used Trade Paper $10.00

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Old Filth Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Europa Editions - English 9781933372136 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "British novelist Gardam has twice won the Whitbread and was shortlisted for the Man Booker. This, her 15th novel, was shortlisted in Britain for the Orange Prize; it outlines 20th-century British history through the life of Sir Edward Feathers, a barrister whose acronymic nickname provides the title: 'Failed in London, Try Hong Kong.' At nearly 80, Feathers, retired in Dorset after many years as a respected Hong Kong judge, is a hollow man with few real friends and a cold, sexless marriage that has just ended with the death of his wife, Betty. For the first time, 'Filth' (as even Betty called him) delves into the past that produced him: a 'Raj orphan' raised by a series of surrogates while his father worked in Singapore, Filth served briefly in WWII (guarding the Queen) and had a lackluster stint as a London barrister before emigrating. The flashbacks contrast British privilege and the chaos that ensues when the empire (especially Filth's childhood Malaya), starts to crumble. As Filth undertakes chaotic visits to his Welsh foster home and other sites, Gardam's sharp, acerbic style counterpoints Feathers's dryness. Well-rounded secondary figures further highlight his emptiness and that of empire." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Gardam's prose is so economical that no moment she describes is either gratuitous or wasted."
"Review" by , "Both witty and poignant, this work is more than a character study; through her protagonist, Gardam offers a view of the last days of empire as seen from post-9/11 Britain."
"Review" by , "One of the finest achievements of this greatly talented British author."
"Review" by , "Jane Gardam's beautiful, vivid and defiantly funny novel is a must."
"Review" by , "Gardam's superb new novel is surely her masterpiece...one of the most moving fictions I have read in years....This is the rare novel that drives its readers forward while persistently waylaying and detaining by the sheer beauty and inventiveness of it style."
"Review" by , "The Whitbread winner scores again with a compelling novel based, in part, on the early life of Rudyard Kipling."
"Synopsis" by , 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 his life, from birth in colonial Malaya, to Wales, where he is sent as a "Raj orphan," to Oxford, his career and marriage, encapsulates a large part of the 20th century.
"Synopsis" by ,
"Jane Gardam's beautiful, vivid and defiantly funny novel is a must." The Times

"Gardam's superb new novel is surely her masterpiece . . . one of the most moving fictions I have read in years . . . This is the rare novel that drives its readers forward while persistently waylaying and detaining by the sheer beauty and inventiveness of it style." The Guardian

"The Whitbread winner scores again with a compelling novel based, in part, on the early life of Rudyard Kipling." Time Out

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 century's torrid and twisted history.

Old Filth was nominated for the 2005 Orange Prize.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.