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Old Filth [Paperback]

By Jane Gardam (Author)
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Item description for Old Filth by Jane Gardam...

Filth is a lawyer with a practice in the Far East. A few remember that his nickname stands for Failed In London Try Hong Kong. But Old Filth is not as pompous as people imagine, and his past contains many secrets and dark hiding places.

Publishers Description
"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.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Old Filth by Jane Gardam has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Fiction Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 256
  • Kirkus Reviews - 04/15/2006 page 368
  • Publishers Weekly - 04/24/2006 page 37
  • Library Journal - 05/01/2006 page 78
  • Booklist - 05/01/2006 page 71
  • Entertainment Weekly - 06/30/2006 page 165
  • New York Times - 07/23/2006 page 17
  • People Weekly - 10/16/2006 page 55
  • Commonweal - 12/01/2006 page 22
  • Wilson Fiction Catalog - 01/01/2007 page 34
  • Commonweal - 12/07/2007 page 30

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Item Specifications...

Pages   289
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.26" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2006
Publisher   Europa Editions
Age  18
ISBN  1933372133  
ISBN13  9781933372136  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jane Gardam

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

Jane Gardam was born in 1928.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( G ) > Gardam, Jane
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical
5Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Legal

Reviews - What do customers think about Old Filth?

Death of an Empire  Jun 13, 2008
I totally agree with all the superlatives heaped on this wonderful book. Usually I don't take the time to write a review unless I have something original to contribute, but since this is the best book I've read this year, I just had to add another positive to those already written.
Reply to Midwest Book Review  Jun 9, 2008
The review of "Old Filth" by Midwest Book Review seems to have been written by someone who didn't actually read the novel. "Old Filth" is an excellent book, but it doesn't follow the main character through his legal career. In fact, my only complaint about this novel is that I'd wish for a clearer picture of Sir Edward Feather's life as a successful lawyer and judge in Hong Kong. "Old Filth" evocatively portrays the main character's childhood and old age, but it gives only glimpses of the time in between, which offers intriguing material for a novel in its own right.
not impressed, very disappointed  Dec 24, 2007
I'm sorry but I have to disagree with all the positive reviews. I was
looking forward to this reading experience for so long. Was I

The book was disjointed, confusing and not compelling. The shifts back
and forth in time were problematic and I had to stop and wonder where
I was at.

It was basically a good story but I just could not get used to her
style of writing. Maybe it was "too British" for me, although I
am an Anglophile.

I forced myself to finish, knowing that a loose end would be tied up.
But I really didn't have to--I figured it out from hints along the way.

Stunning  Aug 31, 2007
Most writers dream of writing a book of this depth and magnitude. JG executed the task flawlessly. She segues between the past and present in such a way that the prose should be taught in every writing school. The only knock I would give the book is the title, and only that it might turn some off at first. It is an acronym rather than a comment on hygine.
Gardam's "Loss," Our Gain?  Jun 14, 2007
As is unanimously pointed out in the other reader reviews, OLD FILTH is a mordant, brilliantly written book that will impress even the most discriminating reader. The character profile that author Jane Gardam draws of its venerable protagonist is nuanced and thoroughly convincing, and the book is also evocative in its depictions of life in Malaysia and wartime Britain.

My continued praise for OLD FILTH could grow tiresome, so please allow me this cavil: this is also not a particularly nourishing book. I took my volume on a long plane flight (not to southeast Asia, though that would have been fitting) and looked forward to the opportunity to sink my teeth into it. And while I found much to admire, the fact is that as an old man, Old Filth is not the most engaging character. He is essentially a passive personality, the book's murder mystery (bit of a red herring, that) notwithstanding. Further, isn't it a little obvious to name a thieving character "Loss"? But again, let me hasten to add, this is a rare misstep in an excellent novel.

I might also add that although I was aware of Jane Gardam's prodigious literary reputation, this is the first book of hers I have assayed. I will return.

Also recommended: The Orwell Reader: Fiction, Essays, and Reportage

Final Note: Please try to ignore this printing's inordinately cheesy cover.

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