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The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam

The Man in the Wooden Hat (2009)

by Jane Gardam

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Old Filth (Betty)

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7213518,780 (4)267
Recently added byFolioLiterary, labfs39, private library, peterveen, nickharris792, GWSJr, Dunord, Quasar31, lagazelle



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English (34)  German (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Het eerste deel van deze serie vond ik wat raadselachtig, ik begreep niet alles. In dit tweede deel vallen de puzzelstukjes meer op hun plaats. Het verhaal wordt verteld vanuit Betty, de vrouw van Old Filth. Het overspel met Veneering, op de dag dat ze heeft toegestemd in een huwelijk met Edward, is belangrijker dan in het eerste deel. Edward blijkt zelf ook, tegelijkertijd, ontrouw te zijn geweest.
Het knappe aan dit tweede deel is dat sommige stukjes hetzelfde zijn als in het eerste deel, maar je krijgt een heel andere kijk op het verhaal nu het vanuit Betty wordt verteld. Heel mooi geschreven! ( )
  elsmvst | Apr 2, 2018 |
This author has a wonderful way of making her characters and their lives feel totally real. I love her writing. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Feb 27, 2018 |
This is the second book in the "Old Filth" trilogy. The story is told from the perspective of Betty Feathers, Old Filth's wife.

They meet in Hong Kong after WWII. She has spent time in a Japanese internment camp, later went to boarding school and Oxford and worked at Bletchley Park as a code breaker. She receives his marriage proposal by mail on his official letterhead. He is looking for a proper wife who will always stay with him. She is looking for marriage, stability and children. Neither is exactly what the other is looking for, and both have secrets that they think are hidden from each other.

This tells the story of two people who are more dependent on each other than they think. Also how they make their lives mesh while rising to higher levels in society. Filth through his work in the courts and Betty with her involvement in running a house with staff, social duties and being a successful barrister's wife.

Two other characters are woven into this tapestry. They are Filth's nemesis Veneering and Veneering's son Harry. Harry becomes the child that Betty never had, in her eyes and mind, even though she is not his mother.

Written in a style that carries the reader along, with descriptions, situations - humourous and serious, and supporting characters, it is a book to take time reading and not racing through. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Dec 14, 2016 |
The is the middle book in the Old Filth trilogy written by Jane Gardam; however, it is the one I read last. I felt that the last book, Old Friends, was missing something. Now, having read The Man in the Wooden Hat, I am satisfied. The first Old Filth was from his perspective, after his wife (Betty) died. The second book was largely from his wife's perspective. The third included a lot about the "elephant in the room" in the person of Terry Veneering, who filth detested and Betty loved. I did not care for Betty until I read this book. Though their marriage was not one of passion, it was one of love and commitment. They liked each other and needed each other and were good for each other. I just loved this series of books. ( )
  bogopea | Nov 18, 2016 |
Mix feelings. It's Gardam so the writing is impeccable - funny, thoughtful, wonderfully nuanced. And it's Gardam so the characters are dear and infuriating all at the same time. But the short novel is a companion piece to Old Filth and there is something incomplete about it. I am quite sure that the novel would not hold up on its own - it fills in too many gaps in Old Filth.

Curious about Gardam's process here - did she write it afterwards? is it made up of pieces that didn't make it into OF? or was she so smitten by the characters that she created that she went back and created something new that then changes what happened in Old Filth?

The problem here is that now OF feels like a lesser work and I am left very puzzled.
( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
On its own, “The Man in the Wooden Hat” is funny and affecting, but read alongside “Old Filth,” it’s remarkable. Gardam has attempted to turn a story inside out without damaging the original narrative’s integrity — moving from black to white without getting stuck with gray. Little here is as it seemed in “Old Filth,” and both books are the richer for it.
"While "Old Filth" is principally about the man, his dark boyhood at the mercy of a distant, unfeeling father, with the wife a rather shadowy character in the background, "The Man in the Wooden Hat" fills in her side of the story, in the process revealing itself to be an astute, subtle depiction of marriage, with all its shared experiences and separate secrets."
What Gardam is particularly good at – and what made Old Filth so compelling – is creating for her characters façades of complete conventionality, which are then chipped away to reveal strange internal workings.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Gardamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wallis, BillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Tells the story of the fifty-year marriage of barrister Filth and his wife Betty, which is filled with secrets and hidden desires.

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