A brilliant novel that will take Julian Barnes' sales to a new level: his longest, most accessible, most heartfelt novel ever. 20050217
Julian Barnes is the author of eight novels, including Metroland, Flaubert's Parrot, A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, England, England and Love Etc., and two collections of short stories, Cross Channel and The Lemon Table.
Adult/High School-This novel tells the tale of two real men: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, and George Edalji, an English lawyer of Indian descent. Their lives crossed when Edalji asked Doyle for help following Edalji's unjust conviction for mutilating horses. The narrative moves toward that point, which is in many ways merely the framework that allows Barnes to develop the interior stories of two unusual figures in Victorian and Edwardian England. His Doyle is a latter-day knight-errant, with all the failings and foibles one might expect; Edalji is the model Englishman with an inherent faith in the legal system and race is something that he cannot imagine could matter. Barnes has created two fully realized characters, and readers cannot help but sympathize with them.-Ted Westervelt, Library of Congress, Washington, DC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Arthur is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, physician, sportsman, gentleman par excellence and the inventor of Sherlock Holmes; George is George Edalji, also a real, if less well-known person, whose path crossed not quite fatefully with the famous author's. Edalji was the son of a Parsi father (who was a Shropshire vicar), and a Scots mother. In 1903, George, a solicitor, was accused of writing obscene, threatening letters to his own family and of mutilating cattle in his farm community. He was convicted of criminal behavior in a blatant miscarriage of justice based on racial prejudice. Eventually, Sir Arthur ("Irish by ancestry, Scottish by birth") heard about George's case and began to advocate on his behalf. In this combination psychological novel, detective story and literary thriller, Barnes elegantly dissects early 20th-century English society as he spins this true-life story with subtle and restrained irony. Every line delivered by the many characters-the two principals, their school chums (Barnes sketches their early lives), their families and many incidentals-rings with import. His dramatization of George's trial, in particular, grinds with telling minutiae, and his portrait of Arthur is remarkably rich, even when tackling Doyle's spiritualist side. Shortlisted for the Booker, this novel about love, guilt, identity and honor is a triumph of storytelling, taking the form Barnes perfected in Flaubert's Parrot (1985) and stretching it yet again. 100,000 first printing; 8-city author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, and George Edalji, a man accused of writing threatening letters, cross paths in Julian Barnes's Booker-nominated Arthur & George (Vintage. 2007. ISBN 978-1-4000-9703-6. pap. $14.95). Edalji was convicted in 1903 on the basis of his race (his father was Parsi) rather than hard evidence. Doyle hears about the case and tries to prove Edalji's innocence. The actual case resulted in the establishment of the British Court of -Appeals. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.