HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes
Loading...

Past Imperfect (2009)

by Julian Fellowes

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4762521,697 (3.47)35
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 35 mentions

English (23)  French (2)  English (25)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
The narrator of Past Imperfect accepts an unexpected invitation from Damian Baxter, a one-time friend and Cambridge classmate that he now considers an enemy. Back in the 1960s, the narrator, who had lived on the fringe of posh society, opened the door for Damian, who was of an even lower social status, but something pushed them apart. Damian is now filthy rich, alone, and dying. He had received an unsigned note telling him that he had fathered a child back in the day but never bothered to pursue the claim. Now, he asks the narrator to find out which of the seven women he had bedded back in the debutante season of 1968 had borne his child. The chance to see how his old companions had turned out is too much to resist.

Fellowes moves us back and forth from the swinging 60s to the present day, exploring the complexities of class, friendship, and love along the way. Two events are pivotal: a debutante ball where someone serves hashish brownies, and the picnic that blew apart the narrator’s friendship with Damian and left them both expelled from their social circle. The narrator’s quest is sometimes amusing, often bittersweet. ( )
1 vote Cariola | Oct 28, 2016 |
In PAST IMPERFECT by Julian Fellowes, we have an unnamed narrator who is contacted by a former friend, Damian Baxter, to locate a woman who he believed gave birth to his child in 1968.
Our narrator reluctantly agrees to this request and begins his quest in a very reflective state of mind and discovers as much about himself (past and present) as he does about the members of a debutante group he was a part of in the late 60s.
The story is a bit long, but interesting, detailed, witty and a bit sad.
As with Julian Fellowes’ book, SNOBS, the story is told against the backdrop of English class and society. I liked the details of London in the 1960s. I liked the book’s cover art. I became a bit reflective, myself, about past friends and experiences. A great read. ( )
  diana.hauser | Apr 7, 2016 |
Julian Fellowes is a terrific writer - loving this book! ( )
  anglophile65 | Mar 8, 2016 |
Jullian Fellowes offers a more modern insight into the British class snobbery. His works are fun if you're into that sort of thing. This one was sort of a fun mystery, to boot. ( )
  karrinina | Nov 13, 2013 |
Julian Fellowes, Oscar winning screenwriter of "Gosford Park" and the creator of the hit TV show "Downton Abbey" turns his gimlet eye on modern British society in this novel. The story isn't much: a man is contacted by his old nemesis who is now dying and asked to track down his long-lost illegitimate child so he can leave his fortune to him or her. This sets the narrator on a quest and also back into reminiscing about his days of hobnobbing in high society during the London season of 1968.

However, apart from a somewhat lame plot, there are Fellowes' thoughts and criticisms of the old class-bound British society and what it has devolved into today. And his observations are both fascinating and pretty much spot-on. For readers who like novels of manners as well as students of social history, this book is a treat. ( )
  etxgardener | Apr 2, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Embedded in the detailed descriptions of how the upper classes lived 40 years ago is a slimline plot. Damian Baxter, old, rich and lonely, is dying. Summoning an old enemy (once his closest friend) he concocts a Recherche du Temps Perdu mission among the debs he once slept with to find a child he may have fathered. His final act will be a coup de foudre for the family of this child, but Baxter plans to cushion the blow by leaving his fortune to his only offspring.

There are five ex-debs with children of the right age and the hapless narrator finds them one by one. What he discovers is that their lives now highlight the ways the world has changed, and they all seem to have a soft spot for Baxter. This is gruelling as he nurses a resentment against the man himself, the cause of which is revealed only at the end.

This is a book for a hot winter beach, an escape from life as we know it. Fellowes does us a huge favour in chronicling the world of class-bound aristocrats and their arcane snobbery. But in revealing their priorities, he gives us much to be grateful for in our own society now.
added by VivienneR | editThe Independent, Raffaella Barker (Nov 16, 2008)
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To Emma and Peregrine without whom nothing at all would ever get written
First words
London is a haunted city for me now and I am the ghost that haunts it.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Damian Baxter is very, very rich - and he's dying. He lives alone in a big house in Surrey, looked after by a chauffeur, butler, cook and housemaid. He has but one concern: who should inherit his fortune...PAST IMPERFECT is the story of a quest. Damian Barker wishes to know if he has a living heir. By the time he married in his late thirties he was sterile (the result of adult mumps), but what about before that unfortunate illness? He was not a virgin. Had he sired a child? A letter from a girlfriend from these times suggests he did. But the letter is anonymous. Damian contacts someone he knew from their days at university. He gives him a list of girls he slept with and sets him a task: find his heir...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0753825414, Paperback)

Damian Baxter is very, very rich - and he's dying. He lives alone in a big house in Surrey, looked after by a chauffeur, butler, cook and housemaid. He has but one concern: who should inherit his fortune...PAST IMPERFECT is the story of a quest. Damian Barker wishes to know if he has a living heir. By the time he married in his late thirties he was sterile (the result of adult mumps), but what about before that unfortunate illness? He was not a virgin. Had he sired a child? A letter from a girlfriend from these times suggests he did. But the letter is anonymous. Damian contacts someone he knew from their days at university. He gives him a list of girls he slept with and sets him a task: find his heir...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Damian Baxter is very, very rich. He has but one concern, which is becoming more urgent as the weeks go by: who should inherit his fortune. A letter from an ex-girlfriend suggests, that as a young man, he may have fathered a child, but the letter is anonymous. Finding the truth will not be easy.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
17 avail.
46 wanted
6 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.47)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 14
2.5 4
3 26
3.5 20
4 35
4.5 3
5 13

Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 110,720,821 books! | Top bar: Always visible