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Arthur and George (Vintage International)

by

Arthur and George (Vintage International) Cover

ISBN13: 9781400097036
ISBN10: 1400097037
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $3.95!

 

Awards

The Rooster 2007 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

2005 Booker Prize nominee

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Brilliantly imagined and irresistibly readable, Arthur & George is a major new novel from Julian Barnes, a wonderful combination of playfulness, pathos and wisdom.

Searching for clues, no one would ever guess that the lives of Arthur and George might intersect. Growing up in shabby-genteel nineteenth-century Edinburgh, Arthur is saddled with a dad who is a disgrace and a mum he wishes to protect, and is propelled into a life of action. To his astonishment, his career as a self-made man of letters brings him riches and fame and, in the world at large, he becomes the perfect picture of the honourable English gentlemen.

George is irredeemably an outsider, and has no hope of becoming such a picture. Though he's dogged and logical, a vicar's son from rural Staffordshire, he is set apart, and he and his family are targeted in his boyhood by a poison-pen campaign. George finds safe harbour in the reliability of rules, and grows up to become a solicitor, putting his faith in the insulating value of British justice.

Then crisis upsets the uneasy equilibrium of both men's lives. Arthur is knocked for a loop by guilt and other dishonourable emotions. George is put to the sorest test, accused of a horrible crime. And from that point on their lives weave together in the most profound and surprising way, as each man becomes the other's salvation.

Arthur & George is a masterful novel about low crime and high spirituality, guilt and innocence, identity, nationality and race. Most of all, it's a profound and witty meditation on the fateful differences between what we believe, what we know and what we can prove.

Review:

"Arthur is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, physician, sportsman, gentleman par excellence and the inventor of Sherlock Holmes; George is George Edalji, also a real, if less well-known person, whose path crossed not quite fatefully with the famous author's. Edalji was the son of a Parsi father (who was a Shropshire vicar), and a Scots mother. In 1903, George, a solicitor, was accused of writing obscene, threatening letters to his own family and of mutilating cattle in his farm community. He was convicted of criminal behavior in a blatant miscarriage of justice based on racial prejudice. Eventually, Sir Arthur ('Irish by ancestry, Scottish by birth') heard about George's case and began to advocate on his behalf. In this combination psychological novel, detective story and literary thriller, Barnes elegantly dissects early 20th-century English society as he spins this true-life story with subtle and restrained irony. Every line delivered by the many characters?the two principals, their school chums (Barnes sketches their early lives), their families and many incidentals?rings with import. His dramatization of George's trial, in particular, grinds with telling minutiae, and his portrait of Arthur is remarkably rich, even when tackling Doyle's spiritualist side. Shortlisted for the Booker, this novel about love, guilt, identity and honor is a triumph of storytelling, taking the form Barnes perfected in Flaubert's Parrot (1985) and stretching it yet again." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[A] finely evocative historical novel as well as a morally and psychologically astute glimpse into the worlds of two men." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[F]ascinating....What appears to have been a 'footnote in legal history' is the source for a stunning literary achievement." Seattle Times

Review:

"Barnes's writing is, as usual, masterly....Facts are interpreted, then reinterpreted; the bigoted speak convincingly; nothing turns out quite as expected; and even the book's coda delivers a final shock." Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

Review:

"[D]eeply satisfying....The precision of the style suits the decorum of the period and serves to underline the warm, impulsive generosity of Doyle's support, which saved an innocent man from ruin. A triumph." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The results are mostly admirable, as Barnes has created brilliantly intimate portraits....Arthur and George will greatly please those who want a Dickensian sprawl of a novel with one or two heroes and a sometimes thrilling story line." Boston Globe

Review:

"A beautifully modulated work; highly recommended." Library Journal

About the Author

Julian Barnes is the author of nine novels, including Flaubert's Parrot, A History of the World in 10-1/2 Chapters, and England, England, which was shortlisted for the 1998 Booker Prize. He is also the author of Something to Declare and Letters from London, as well as two collections of short stories, Cross Channel and The Lemon Table. He lives in London, England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Roger S Oldfield, January 24, 2012 (view all comments by Roger S Oldfield)
It's a very fine novel. As an expert on the Edalji family, though, I spent the whole time thinking about the extent to which it reflects the historical record. There are points at which it departs deliberately from actual events, and there are points at which there are (I think) unwitting distortions and mistakes. For a critique of the book in these terms see my 'Outrage: The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes', Vanguard Press. The book is the first to set the case of George Edalji in the wider context of the experiences of the Edalji family as a whole, a subject which Julian Barnes did not research in detail. The website is outrage-rogeroldfield.co.uk.
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Kelly Stark, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Kelly Stark)
The only thing East Indian about George is his dark skin; otherwise, he is the most English of the English: stolid, plodding, sure of being a citizen of the finest country on earth, proud to be a member of England's judiciary. Arthur is also English, of the cricket, social, well-married type, and just as certain there is justice in England. He's also the author of the most famous detective novels in English history and makes it a point of honor to exonerate George of the barbaric crimes he's been convicted of. One of these men never lies, and the other lies all the time, but they are both men of honor and good character. The pas de deux of these men's lives is one very fine novel.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400097036
Author:
Barnes, Julian
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Vintage International
Publication Date:
20070131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
445
Dimensions:
8.00x5.22x.97 in. .77 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2007
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Arthur and George (Vintage International) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 445 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9781400097036 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Arthur is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, physician, sportsman, gentleman par excellence and the inventor of Sherlock Holmes; George is George Edalji, also a real, if less well-known person, whose path crossed not quite fatefully with the famous author's. Edalji was the son of a Parsi father (who was a Shropshire vicar), and a Scots mother. In 1903, George, a solicitor, was accused of writing obscene, threatening letters to his own family and of mutilating cattle in his farm community. He was convicted of criminal behavior in a blatant miscarriage of justice based on racial prejudice. Eventually, Sir Arthur ('Irish by ancestry, Scottish by birth') heard about George's case and began to advocate on his behalf. In this combination psychological novel, detective story and literary thriller, Barnes elegantly dissects early 20th-century English society as he spins this true-life story with subtle and restrained irony. Every line delivered by the many characters?the two principals, their school chums (Barnes sketches their early lives), their families and many incidentals?rings with import. His dramatization of George's trial, in particular, grinds with telling minutiae, and his portrait of Arthur is remarkably rich, even when tackling Doyle's spiritualist side. Shortlisted for the Booker, this novel about love, guilt, identity and honor is a triumph of storytelling, taking the form Barnes perfected in Flaubert's Parrot (1985) and stretching it yet again." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] finely evocative historical novel as well as a morally and psychologically astute glimpse into the worlds of two men."
"Review" by , "[F]ascinating....What appears to have been a 'footnote in legal history' is the source for a stunning literary achievement."
"Review" by , "Barnes's writing is, as usual, masterly....Facts are interpreted, then reinterpreted; the bigoted speak convincingly; nothing turns out quite as expected; and even the book's coda delivers a final shock."
"Review" by , "[D]eeply satisfying....The precision of the style suits the decorum of the period and serves to underline the warm, impulsive generosity of Doyle's support, which saved an innocent man from ruin. A triumph."
"Review" by , "The results are mostly admirable, as Barnes has created brilliantly intimate portraits....Arthur and George will greatly please those who want a Dickensian sprawl of a novel with one or two heroes and a sometimes thrilling story line."
"Review" by , "A beautifully modulated work; highly recommended."
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