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Riassunto: Brilliantly imagined and irresistibly readable, Arthur & George is a major new novel from Julian Barnes, a wonderful combination of playfulness, pathos and wisdom.
Searching for clues, no one would ever guess that the lives of Arthur and George might intersect. Growing up in shabby-genteel nineteenth-century Edinburgh, Arthur is saddled with a dad who is a disgrace and a mum he wishes to protect, and is propelled into a life of action. To his astonishment, his career as a self-made man of letters brings him riches and fame and, in the world at large, he becomes the perfect picture of the honourable English gentlemen.
George is irredeemably an outsider, and has no hope of becoming such a picture. Though he’s dogged and logical, a vicar’s son from rural Staffordshire, he is set apart, and he and his family are targeted in his boyhood by a poison-pen campaign. George finds safe harbour in the reliability of rules, and grows up to become a solicitor, putting his faith in the insulating value of British justice.
Then crisis upsets the uneasy equilibrium of both men’s lives. Arthur is knocked for a loop by guilt and other dishonourable emotions. George is put to the sorest test, accused of a horrible crime. And from that point on their lives weave together in the most profound and surprising way, as each man becomes the other’s salvation.
Arthur & George is a masterful novel about low crime and high spirituality, guilt and innocence, identity, nationality and race. Most of all, it’s a profound and witty meditation on the fateful differences between what we believe, what we know and what we can prove.
George and his father pray together, kneeling side by side on the scrubbed boards. Then George climbs into bed while his father locks the door and turns out the light. As he falls asleep, George sometimes thinks of the floor, and how his soul must be scrubbed just as the boards are scrubbed.
Father is not an easy sleeper, and has a tendency to groan and wheeze. Sometimes, in the early morning, when dawn is beginning to show at the edges of the curtains, Father will catechize him.
"George, where do you live?"
"The Vicarage, Great Wyrley."
"And where is that?"
"And where is that?"
"The centre of England."
"And what is England, George?"
"England is the beating heart of the Empire, Father."
"Good. And what is the blood that flows through the arteries and veins of the Empire to reach even its farthest shore?"
"The Church of England."
And after a while Father will begin to groan and wheeze again. George watches the outline of the curtain harden. He lies there thinking of arteries and veins making red lines on the map of the world, linking Britain to all the places coloured pink: Australia and India and Canada and islands dotted everywhere. He thinks of blood bubbling though these tubes and emerging in Sydney, Bombay, the St. Lawrence Waterway. Bloodlines, that is a word he has heard somewhere. With the pulse of blood in his ears, he begins to fall asleep again.
—excerpt from Arthur & George
Review: A real tour de force from masterful author Julian Barnes is Arthur & George, which was short-listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize. Late-Victorian Britain is brought to vivid life in the true story of the intersection of two lives: one an internationally famous author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the other, an obscure country lawyer, George Edalji, son of a Parsi Midlands vicar and a Scottish mother. They start out very differently. Arthur pursues a career in medicine before he discovers that he is really a writer; George, on his way to becoming a lawyer--near-sighted, timid and friendless--is victimized by locals because he is easy to scapegoat--a half-Indian in lily-white Great Wyrley.
The victimization of George takes the form of nasty letters, the theft of a school key, and finally, the accusation that he has mutilated animals. Meanwhile, Arthur is becoming more and more famous for creating Sherlock Holmes, whom he tries to kill off once and is forced to resurrect because of his fans' outcry. He marries, fathers two children and then, when his wife is invalided by consumption, falls madly in love for the first time with Jean Leckie.
The novel's style is smoothly revelatory. We slowly come to realize that George is half-Indian, that Arthur is the famous Doyle, that the woman he loves, chastely, is not his wife and, sadly, that George will not prevail over the forces ranged against him.
When George, desperate to resume his law career after imprisonment, sends Arthur the sad chronicle of his history, Arthur sees immediately that he could not be guilty and sets out to clear his name. This case of George's lifts Arthur from the slough of despond into which he has sunk after his wife, Touie, dies. He is guilt-ridden, constantly wondering if he was attentive enough, if she could possibly have known about Jean. Realizing the immense injustice George has suffered, he is shaken out of lethargy and, in Holmesian fashion, sets out to solve the case.
Julian Barnes is a gifted writer of enormous accomplishment. This novel is thoroughly engrossing, filled with Barnes's trademark themes of identity and love, longing and loss, and ultimately, an examination of man's inhumanity to man. --Valerie Ryan
Titolo: Arthur & George
Casa editrice: Random House Canada
Data di pubblicazione: 2005
Condizione libro: very good
Descrizione libro Random House Canada. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Good. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Codice libro della libreria G0679314172I3N00
Descrizione libro Random House Canada. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Good. Dust Cover Missing. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Codice libro della libreria G0679314172I3N01
Descrizione libro Random House Canada. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Very Good. Appearance of only slight previous use. Cover and binding show a little wear. All pages are undamaged with potentially only a few, small markings. Codice libro della libreria G0679314172I4N00
Descrizione libro Random House Canada. Hardcover. Condizione libro: VERY GOOD. Cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. May have creases on the cover and binding caused from handling and reading. Some pages may contain writing and or highlighting. Codice libro della libreria 2749155347
Descrizione libro Random House Canada, 2005. Condizione libro: VERY GOOD. little to no wear, pages are clean. The cover and binding are crisp with next no creases. Codice libro della libreria 2786159099
Descrizione libro Random House of Canada, Limited, 2005. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Good. Hardcover. Sound, clean & nice copy, light edgewear, black mark within. Jacket is bright & clean, light to moderate rubbing/edgewear. Not price clipped. Codice libro della libreria 867760n
Descrizione libro Random House Canada, 2005. Condizione libro: Good. First Edition. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Codice libro della libreria GRP92744898
Descrizione libro Random House, 2005. Hard Cover. Condizione libro: Near Fine. Condizione sovraccoperta: Near Fine. First Canadian Edition. Clean bright copy, some edge-wear to DJ, else fine. Codice libro della libreria 006827
Descrizione libro Random House Canada, 2005. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Used: Very Good. Condizione sovraccoperta: VERY GOOD. Very Good, Hardcover in Very Good dust jacket, Satisfaction Guaranteed, International Shipping, Photos upon request. Codice libro della libreria SKU0234876
Descrizione libro Random House Canada, 2005. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Very Good. Condizione sovraccoperta: Very Good. 1st edition /1st Printing. a very clean crisp unmarked copy with a sound tight binding and a Mylar protected dust cover.a unique novel based on the relationship between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji. Codice libro della libreria 00450045