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Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

Arthur & George (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Julian Barnes

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3,9891511,283 (3.69)244
Title:Arthur & George
Authors:Julian Barnes
Info:Jonathan Cape (2005), Hardcover
Collections:Your library, Book Group Reads
Tags:Fiction English, Booker shortlisted, Biography, Edwardian, Book Group, Not kept

Work details

Arthur & George by Julian Barnes (2005)

  1. 20
    The Sherlockian by Graham Moore (BookGirlVL)
    BookGirlVL: "The Sherlockian" begins with Arthur Conan Doyle plotting the murder of Sherlock Holmes...
  2. 00
    Academy Street by Mary Costello (BookshelfMonstrosity)

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Book Description:
Arthur & George is based on the true story of two men. One is Arthur Conan Doyle, the other is George Edalji, a solicitor from Birmingham. Their nineteenth-century lives are worlds and miles apart, until a series of shocking events brings them together. In dubious circumstances, George is found guilty of harming animals. However, when Arthur, who is now one of the most famous men in the land as creator of Sherlock Holmes, hears of this racist miscarriage of justice he decides to clear George's name.

Although not a mystery, part does involve the mystery of who is harming the animals and who is writing threatening letters to George. Mainly, it's a lot about each man’s life and what they were like personally and how Doyle got involved to help George. It was definitely fiction, with a lot of dialogue that created a very good sense of the two men. It was well-written and an enjoyable read. ( )
  gaylebutz | Jun 18, 2017 |
A really enjoyable quick read about the parallel lives of Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji. ( )
  kale.dyer | May 8, 2017 |
A great read. Barnes tells in made-up terms the story of George E, an Indian born in England, and Arthur Conan Doyle, the
author of the Sherlock Holmes stories. This actually happened. George is arrested and sent to jail for seven years for
crimes that he did not do.The local police and the judiciary are violently racist, despite their disclaimers, George's trial is a
joke and he is found guilty.. After he is paroled after three years, George writes to Doyle, who believes him and works hard to
get a pardon, but is unsuccessful at getting money for George, because the authorities are so racist, There is a good bit of
stuff about Conan's life and loves (all true) as well.A great book with a dumb ending at a spiritualist funeral for Doyle.

] ( )
  annbury | Apr 21, 2017 |
Arthur & George is a well-written historical fiction of the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, including his platonic relationship with Jean Leakie while his wife was dying slowly of tuberculosis. The plot line of his intercession on behalf of George Edalji, wrongfully charged and convicted of animal abuse, makes for a suspenseful element of the story. The Edjali affair is real, although I am uncertain how closely Barnes stuck to the facts.

There is much detail about Conan Doyle's fervid interest in spiritualism, a rage in the early 20th century about which he was known internationally as a zealous devotee.

There is an excellent sense of Victorian/Edwardian manners and ethos seen through Doyle's attitudes about notions of honor, the role of men in society, especially their conception of women (not appealing to today's sensibilities), and racism towards Edjali, the son of a "Parsee" and a Scottish mother. The prejudice towards persons of color in provincial England is clearly on view in this novel. ( )
  stevesmits | Apr 20, 2017 |
After the first quarter of the story, I got hooked and could hardly put the book down. Mr. Barnes knows how to tell a captivating story! But the end the story was a disappointment for me; the story just fizzled out. A surprise. I expected something unusual to happen because of, or between, the two protagonist. ( )
  jack2410 | Feb 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
Barnes’s suave, elegant prose — alive here with precision, irony and humaneness — has never been used better than in this extraordinary true-life tale, which is as terrifically told as any by its hero Conan Doyle himself.
added by simon_carr | editThe Times, Peter Kemp (Jun 26, 2005)
For all the numerous retellings of Conan Doyle's life, it is hard to imagine that Barnes's semi-fictional version could be bettered in texture or acuity. In his elegant mini-chapters, he unpacks the writer's extraordinary rites of passage: his famous failure as an ophthalmologist; his work on a whaling ship; his sporting prowess - batting for the MCC, skiing Alpine passes; his heroism in the Boer War.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099492733, Paperback)

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize . Arthur and George grow up worlds apart in late nineteenth-century Britain: Arthur in shabby-genteel Edinburgh, George in the vicarage of a small Staffordshire village. Arthur is to become one of the most famous men of his age, while George remains in hard-working obscurity. But as the new century begins, they are brought together by a sequence of events that made sensational headlines at the time as The Great Wyrley Outrages. This is a novel about low crime and high spirituality, guilt and innocence, identity, nationality and race. Most of all it is a profound and moving meditation on the fateful differences between what we believe, what we know and what we can prove.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:29 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Arthur and George grow up worlds and miles apart in late nineteenth-century Britain: Arthur in shabby-genteel Edinburgh, George in the vicarage of a small Staffordshire village. Arthur becomes a doctor, and then a writer; George a solicitor in Birmingham. Arthur is to become one of the most famous men of his age, George remains in hardworking obscurity. But as the new century begins, they are brought together by a sequence of events which made sensational headlines at the time as The Great Wyrley Outrages.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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