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Arthur & George

Barnes, Julian

(Book - 2006)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Arthur & George
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From one of England's most esteemed novelists, an utter astonishment that captures an era through one life celebrated internationally and another entirely forgotten. In the vast expanse of late-Victorian Britain, two boys come to life: George, the son of a Midlands vicar, and Arthur, in shabby genteel Edinburgh, both of them feeling at once near to and impossibly distant from the beating heart of Empire. One falls prey to a series of pranks en route to a legal vocation, while the other studies medicine before discovering a different calling entirely, and it is years before their destinies are entwined in a mesmerizing alliance. We follow each through outrageous accusation and unrivaled success, through faith and perseverance and dogged self-recrimination, whether in the dock awaiting complete disgrace or at the height of fame while desperately in love with a woman not his wife, and gradually realize that George is half-Indian and that Arthur becomes the creator of the world's most famous detective. Ranging from London clubs to teeming prisons, from a lost century to the modern age, this novel is a panoramic revelation of things we thought we knew or else had no clue of, as well as a gripping exploration of what goals drive us toward whatever lies in wait - an experience resounding with issues, no less relevant today, of crime and spirituality; of identity and nationality; of what we think, what we believe and what we can prove. Intriguing, relentless and, most of all, moving, Arthur and George richly extends the reach and achievement of a novelist described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as "a dazzling mind in mercurial flight."
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2006
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 030726310X
Branch Call Number: FICTION BARNES
Characteristics: 385 p. ;,25 cm
Alternate Title: Arthur and George

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Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The story about the incredible injustice done to George is gripping, but it doesn't mesh all that well against the biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Still, it's fun to read a portrayal of Sherlock Holmes's creator in action and on a real case.

Dec 29, 2011
  • jgoody rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"A boy sees". It's one of the first lines you read in this book. Immediately you become enthralled into the story of Arthur and George. Julian Barnes wrote this novel in a most eloquent and sophisticated manner. His story took me to a comfortable England. Arthur is always the heroine yet always seeks more. Edalji is so on the straight and narrow that he never sees the way that people can be so malicious. I absolutely loved this book! It was a delight to know that much of the story was based on the real life events of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji...very much a treat! Great read!

Jun 27, 2011
  • Nikchick rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A compelling novelization of a real world mystery, Barnes does a great job bringing these historical figures to life.

Jan 20, 2009
  • Hadley rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A fascinating story, based on historical events, and probably Barnes' most accessible book.

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Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Life. How easily everyone, including himself, said the word. Life must go on, everyone routinely agreed. And yet how few asked what it was, and why it was, and if it was the only life or the mere amphitheatre to something quite different. Arthur was frequently baffled by the complacency with which people went on with... with what they insouciantly called their lives, as if both the word and the thing made perfect sense to them.

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