Saturday, February 4, 2012
Orange January: Shortlist 2005
Edward Feathers, Old Filth (Failed in London, Try Hong Kong) has returned to England in his retirement days. He's a legend in legal circles, a Raj Orphan (born in the East, sent to England for a childhood), and a pretty lonely, sad guy. Gardam tells his life story in a back and forth narrative, explaining how he ended up the way he is.
Filth is so remote and reserved, that is is not until the reader nears the end, as layer upon layer of his life is revealed that the deep sympathy for Filth develops. The miracle is that he survived and thrived based on the abandonment he suffered his whole life. Gardam writes in a very readable style, and the slow subtle details that are described make the experience a good one. She's not just stating what happened, and it's not from Filth's perspective exactly. We don't spend time in his head, we just follow him around and observe his life. There is a detached view, which is part of Filth's stiff upper lip view of life, British style.
Also reviewed: Megan at Leafing Through Life;
Posted by raidergirl3 at 2:56 PM
BOOK: Old Filth by Jane Gardam