Arthur & George

Arthur & George

Large Print - 2006
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Julian Barnes' Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel is based on Arthur Conan Doyle's extraordinary real-life fight for justice. "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 and is sentenced to seven years' penal servitude--a future of ignominious obscurity. 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... Told against the backdrop of Arthur's family life--his own passionate affair with the woman who was to become the second Lady Conan Doyle and his wife's lengthy battle with tuberculosis--this extraordinary novel is a dazzling exercise in detection.
Publisher: Waterville, ME : Thorndike Press, 2006
Edition: LARGE PRINT ED
ISBN: 9780786286652
0786286652
Characteristics: 784 p. (large print) ; 23 cm

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wyenotgo
May 09, 2016

Not quite four stars, largely because of its uneven pace and anti-climactic ending. The book takes a very long time to reveal how the lives of Arthur and George finally intersect. My point being that much of the book is taken up with matters such as Arthur's marital issues and his devotion to spiritism, both of which are essentially irrelevant. I concede that George's unusual upbringing and odd personality do have a bearing on what happens to him and therefore merit the amount of space devoted to those details.
What really made this a worthwhile read is its exploration of the monumental stupidity of the police, combined with the determined racism of those in control of the English "justice" system of the day. To cap it off, the steadfast refusal of the authorities to admit that anyone had done anything wrong or even to offer an apology, let alone compensation to the victim. A cautionary tale, so be sure. A positive outcome was that the case provided impetus toward the establishment of a court of appeal.
Barnes' somewhat old-fashioned style of writing may not appeal to many readers of our day, but it's appropriate to a story set at the height of the Victorian era; it's not a quick read, demands some patience but it held my attention in spite of its shortcomings.

multcolib_susannel Oct 09, 2015

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is drawn into a case involving murdered animals, threatening letters and relentless bullying. Based on a real crime.

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LazyNeko
Jan 28, 2012

The story about the incredible injustice done to George is gripping, but it doesn't mesh all that well against the biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Still, it's fun to read a portrayal of Sherlock Holmes's creator in action and on a real case.

jgoody Dec 29, 2011

"A boy sees". It's one of the first lines you read in this book. Immediately you become enthralled into the story of Arthur and George. Julian Barnes wrote this novel in a most eloquent and sophisticated manner. His story took me to a comfortable England. Arthur is always the heroine yet always seeks more. Edalji is so on the straight and narrow that he never sees the way that people can be so malicious. I absolutely loved this book! It was a delight to know that much of the story was based on the real life events of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji...very much a treat! Great read!

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Nikchick
Jun 27, 2011

A compelling novelization of a real world mystery, Barnes does a great job bringing these historical figures to life.

h
Hadley
Nov 19, 2008

A fascinating story, based on historical events, and probably Barnes' most accessible book.

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LazyNeko
Jan 28, 2012

Life. How easily everyone, including himself, said the word. Life must go on, everyone routinely agreed. And yet how few asked what it was, and why it was, and if it was the only life or the mere amphitheatre to something quite different. Arthur was frequently baffled by the complacency with which people went on with... with what they insouciantly called their lives, as if both the word and the thing made perfect sense to them.

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