Arthur & George
In 1906, Arthur Conan Doyle took on the case of George Edalji, a reserved young lawyer, half Scottish and half Indian, who was wrongly accused of mutilating animals. These two men, from very different backgrounds, are brought together by a sequence of events that made sensational headlines at the time as "The Great Wyrley Outrages". It is a novel about low crime and high spirituality, guilt and innocence, identity, nationality, and race.
Comments from Groups
We enjoyed this book a lot, especially with its historical basis in fact. Christchurch 265
Enjoyed the achievement of using raw material, properly belonging to non fiction, to construct a 'novel'..better than Sherlock Holmes! Palmerston North 008
Great book. Loved the historical context. Gisborne 040
Fascinating! None of us had heard of this case, and what an insight into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Christchurch 040
Everyone really enjoyed this book bar 1! Lively discussion about prejudices in society and the justice system.
All enjoyed the book and loved the prose style. Some liked the first part better, some the second part. A good example of Julian Barnes' work.
Hard to get through the first 100 pages, but from then to the end an interesting read for the members who managed to finish it. We thought it was an interesting portrayal of issues of that time.
Much enjoyed by this group. Several googled the characters and were amazed at the factual accuracy. The story development was clever, especially how some information about characters was withheld and revealed slowly.
The book generated a great deal of discussion especially as the case of George was so unfamiliar to us all. The writing of course was lyrical and dense - as expected from Julian Barnes. However there were a lot of "loose ends", and characters introduced about whom we would have liked more information... Definitely recommended reading.
Thoroughly enjoyed by the group - 8/10 rating. Engendered a good discussion. Could have been edited and shortened a little.
Most enjoyed this book.
Great discussion. We thought the book could have been better edited - ending and construction very clever however.
We found this book beautifully written, satisfyingly complex and enigmatic - what was fiction and what was fact A great read.
We found the book interesting but too long.
Half the group "loved the book", the other half "hated it and found it hard to read"!
Very interesting as a time piece and also for the historical information. We all enjoyed it a lot.
Three people loved the book, others had mixed views - thought it was a little ponderous.
The group were quite divided; some of us rated it a 5 while others gave up on it, but overall our rating averaged a 4. One member enjoyed the book notes more than the book. Interestingly one member found she doesn't enjoy fiction based on fact after reading this, but for others this was one of the highlights. Most of us agreed the writing was very talented but some found it too detailed. One was put off by the spiritualism aspect. Everyone agreed this book was a good book club read as it generated a lively discussion.
Not everyone finished this one - slow to start, lots of detail but still a lot of unanswered questions. Not very satisfying as a "whodunit" as you don't find out who the culprit was. Much better biographically - interesting insights and beautifully written.