Troubles Winner of the Lost Man Booker Prize After surviving the Great War Major Brendan Archer makes his way to Ireland hoping to discover whether he is indeed betrothed to Angela Spencer whose Anglo I

  • Title: Troubles
  • Author: J.G. Farrell John Banville
  • ISBN: 9781590170182
  • Page: 464
  • Format: Paperback
  • Winner of the Lost Man Booker Prize1919 After surviving the Great War, Major Brendan Archer makes his way to Ireland, hoping to discover whether he is indeed betrothed to Angela Spencer, whose Anglo Irish family owns the once aptly named Majestic Hotel in Kilnalough But his fianc e is strangely altered and her family s fortunes have suffered a spectacular decline The hoWinner of the Lost Man Booker Prize1919 After surviving the Great War, Major Brendan Archer makes his way to Ireland, hoping to discover whether he is indeed betrothed to Angela Spencer, whose Anglo Irish family owns the once aptly named Majestic Hotel in Kilnalough But his fianc e is strangely altered and her family s fortunes have suffered a spectacular decline The hotel s hundreds of rooms are disintegrating on a grand scale its few remaining guests thrive on rumors and games of whist herds of cats have taken over the Imperial Bar and the upper stories bamboo shoots threaten the foundations and piglets frolic in the squash court Meanwhile, the Major is captivated by the beautiful and bitter Sarah Devlin As housekeeping disasters force him from room to room, outside the order of the British Empire also totters there is unrest in the East, and in Ireland itself the mounting violence of the troubles Troubles is a hilarious and heartbreaking work by a modern master of the historical novel.

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    About "J.G. Farrell John Banville"

    1. J.G. Farrell John Banville

      James Gordon Farrell, known as J.G Farrell, was a Liverpool born novelist of Irish descent Farrell gained prominence for his historical fiction, most notably his Empire Trilogy Troubles, The Siege of Krishnapur and The Singapore Grip , dealing with the political and human consequences of British colonial rule The Siege of Krishnapur won the 1973 Booker Prize On 19 May 2010 it was announced that Troubles had won the Lost Man Booker Prize, which was a prize created to recognize works published in 1970 a group that had not previously been open for consideration due to a change in the eligibility rules at the time.Farrell s career was cut short when he was drowned off the coast of Ireland at the age of 44.

    953 thoughts on “Troubles”

    1. I read Troubles because it is an esteemed historical novel, known for its richness of comic incident and irony, a novel which treats a place and period I find fascinating (Ireland during the “War of Independence”), but I ended up loving it for very different reasons: I found it to be--in spite of (or because of?) its dark humor--one of the finest romantic Gothics I have encountered. It is redolent with ironies, of course, but they are ironies darkened by tragic waste.It begins in 1919, when [...]

    2. … How should this man proceed? Bail row or both?“Can he make it?”“Afraid not quite, old chap,” replied Mr Norton with unexpected clarity.“Ah,” said the Major absently.J. G. Farrell’s Troubles was awarded the so-called “Lost Man Booker” in 2010. (view spoiler)[This Man Booker award was decided by a public vote from a list of six novels published in 1970. The 1970 books had never qualified for a Man Booker award because of a rules change instituted in 1971. Prior to that year t [...]

    3. A light, mordantly mournful comedy of Anglo-Irish manners lazily dawdling from 1919 to 1921 at the pace of an ancient laden donkey featuring a tepid, sad non-romance of pallid mooning and more annoying old ladies than you can shake a zimmer frame at may not sound like your version of a good time. It didn’t sound like mine. I had it in mind to read the first 100 pages and sling it. Just to get it off my shelf. Because really, it’s nearly 500 pages and it has no plot, if by plot you refer to s [...]

    4. What is any hotel? It is a temporal harbour for a tired wayfarer and traveler along the roads of life. But creative mind can turn an hotel into a much greater allegorical thing.Not far away the two massive, weatherworn gateposts of the Majestic rose out of the impenetrable foliage that lined the sea side of the road. As they passed between them (the gates themselves had vanished, leaving only the skeletons of the enormous iron hinges that had once held them) the Major took a closer look: each on [...]

    5. Fawlty Towers meets The Shadow of a GunmanRecently I mentioned to a bibliophile friend that I liked books that trouble me. So you would think that anything entitled Troubles would be made to measure, the perfect fit. But what I meant was trouble in the sense of disquiet, something that sets up a mild irritation of the spirit and questions complacent assumptions. A niggle, a nagging doubt that my world view might be too narrow, harnessed to the commonplace and too jaded to buck free. That's what [...]

    6. Many reviews already written of this fine novel set during the time of "The Troubles" in Ireland. Events play out at the Majestic Hotel owned by the delightfully eccentric Spencer family. Major Brendan Archer a casualty of the Great War finds himself unwittingly involved in the inhabitants of the Majestic and it's guests.I found this initially a difficult book to get into but have to admit that the plot and characters did grow on me and I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. There are pockets of hum [...]

    7. "Troubles" is the story of Ireland 1919 to 1921, the Irish and the Anglo-Irish and the British, and how they ultimately can't all live together under the terms of the past. It is seen through the eyes of a shell-shocked British veteran, the Major, come to the Majestic Hotel in County Wexford to disabuse a young woman of the notion they may be affianced. He doesn't recall more than polite conversations during leave.From there the alternately comic and tragic story moves with the "troubles" that b [...]

    8. As far as I could tell, no horses were injured or killed in the telling of this tale of colonial Ireland just after the First World War. The same can not be said for the hundreds of cats who gave their lives: in one singular marmalade-colored instance, a retributive throttling for assaulting an old woman's hat; dozens more somehow unable to outwit some very bad slapstick shooting; and perhaps the remainder in a final conflagration, although, who knows, maybe they landed on their paws from a thre [...]

    9. Through much of my reading of this, especially as the story progresses and gets darker, the refrain of Fun Boy Three's "The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)" ran through my head. In the novel, though, the lunatics haven't taken over the 'asylum,' 'they' have always run it, the craziness of the main so-called caretaker becoming more and more apparent as the "troubles' increase. The ending is inevitable.This is sharp satire, an overarching analogy within a reality. It's a bit long-winded and [...]

    10. This is my first review and what better way to start than James Farrells Troubles.I was lucky to come across a 1970 first edition of this in a charity shop for a few pounds, it's worth more than £400 now.It's one of the most original novels I have ever read. It's very elusive and subtle, at first it's a humorous social political historical novel but then it morphs into something completely darker and surreal. It charts Major Brendon Archer's supposed engagement to Angela Spencer, the daughter o [...]

    11. I know that in order to attempt to appear intelligent I should pretend to love this book but I din't. It was well written, well researched, and an important topic. In my opinion it was so heavy laden with symbolism that the people seemed stilted. At about 500 pages it seemed over long especially considering how horribly sad the characters and circumstances were though I suppose it was true to life at that time.

    12. This was the winner of the retrospective "Lost Booker", and the first part of Farrell's empire trilogy, which also includes The Siege of Krishnapur and The Singapore Grip. It is set in Ireland during the upheavals of independence and is a very funny satire set in a decaying mansion. Like all of Farrell's later books it is perceptive and sardonic - if you like this one I would strongly recommend reading The Singapore Grip.Note that this is not a book I have read recently - I have just been adding [...]

    13. Imagine Henry James collaborating with the macabre cartoonist Charles Addams, with a droller version of Joseph Heller serving as war consultant, and you begin to get an idea of the tone of this captivating novel. Through the first 100 pgs or so it can seem like nothing more than a well-written novel of manners covering familiar territory of upperclass, "the quality," holding on to pretense of gentility(though the discovery of a rotting sheep's head in nightstand drawer early on is a pretty good [...]

    14. Three and a half stars, really. Came to this, and its title, thinking that it would be a lot more political than it is. That the era(s) of conflict in Ireland, now euphemized by all parties as 'The Troubles'-- pointed toward that direction. Fact is, what we have is a nearly sentimental account of the characters and atmosphere in a very select little locale that happens to find itself in the south of Ireland on the seacoast. During the expansion of the Troubles in the early twenties. What author [...]

    15. This book is one of those that I was actually embarrassed to read on the subway because in at least one passage I started laughing so hard that I started annoying the lady next to me, and had to get up out of my seat. A really wonderful book full of brilliant prose.

    16. This took a long time to get going- the first third or so lacks much direction, and the direction it has is disappointingly heavy handed: so there's this hotel in Ireland? During the troubles? And it's owned by Anglo-Irish Unionists? And the hotel's falling apart. Um subtle. Also, flabby. But once the characters are set and the background's been filled in, it becomes quite enjoyable, and even the symbolism is palatable. The NYRB cover is very misleading, though- like Bowen's 'The Last September, [...]

    17. Thoroughly satisfying. Better, I’m tempted to say, than The Siege of Krishnapur, but that’s a hard call to make. Farrell’s strengths are well represented: wonderfully appealing characters, flawless and delightful prose, the crisp drawing of comic scenarios and violent eruptions. It has a few awkward points. One – possibly – is the treatment of the Major’s waffling loyalties. His apparent fickle-mindedness towards the ‘Shinner’ and Unionist causes is appropriate for his character [...]

    18. This is one of the funniest and saddest books I've ever read. After World War I, Major Brendan Archer heads to Ireland to see a young woman he might or might not be engaged to, based on a series of letters they wrote to each other. But it turns out she's not quite the woman he was expecting. Still he stays there, in an old run-down hotel, and his interactions with the other inhabitants, including another woman he becomes enamored with, are worth the price of admission alone. All this is set agai [...]

    19. I expected to find Troubles hard-going, after all it is an old historical novel and they bore me, but it wore down my defences by being relentlessly amusing. A wry depiction of the bizarre lifestyle of the eccentric residents of a disintegrating hotel in a disintegrating corner of a disintegrating empire, there are echoes of both Cold Comfort Farm and Catch-22, and if you are looking for a missing link between Gormenghast and Fawlty Towers then this is it. Felinophiles be warned though: some cat [...]

    20. Funny, tragic, occasionally dragging yes, but thoroughly absorbing as if a grand old novel had been salted with a good dose of modern comic timing. Reading the second in the trilogy now, and it is tighter and better still. Will be sad when this done

    21. 1970 'Lost Booker'I think everyone should read everything J G Farrell wrote and only regret that he didn't have time to write more. They should certainly read his trilogy of books depicting the dismantling of the British Empire.The Siege Of KrishnapurTroublesThe Singapore Grip(I read all three in the 1990's not the 1970's, but don't remember the correct dates.)Farrell's books have their settings at pivotal moments in the history of empire, but he is more concerned with the dismantling of the ide [...]

    22. A totally delicious read, a combination of history and irony. Farrell's writing style is so visual, that I feel that I have been living in the Majestic Hotel in Kilnalough myself for the past month.The protagonist of the book, British Major Archer, stays in Ireland and in the Majestic without any real purpose (although there was a purpose to his arrival in the beginning), and it's only one of the many absurdities surrounding the lives of the characters of the book. The Majestic, a metaphor to th [...]

    23. "And everyone would climb the stairs chuckling to their rooms and dream of aces and knaves and a supply of trumps that would last for ever and ever, one trump after another, an invincible superiority subject to neither change nor decay nor old age, for a trump will always be a trump, come what may."Fitting words to describe the attitude of the Anglo-Irish characters in this book, who hang onto their decrepit Majestic in hopes of riding out the titular troubles. The hotel falls apart at the same [...]

    24. This book has gotten a lot of hype recently due to winning the 'lost' man Booker prize. Initially I was reluctant to read it, considering that scumbag Kevin Myers heartily endorsed it. Luckily I overcame this prejudice.The book is layered. Superficially, Farrell's witticisms and turns of phrase provide a rich supply of comic relief in a decaying, barren old hotel populated by cats, old ladies, and the rotten remnant of the Anglo Irish Ascendancy. It is set in the Anglo-Irish War, though I would [...]

    25. My first thought in opening this book was "why do so many characters in novels have the surname Archer?" Here is Brendan Archer, and then there is Newland Archer in Wharton's The Age of Innocence and Isabel Archer in James' The Portrait of a Lady. Those are the ones that come immediately to mind, and I am beginning to suspect I'm only scratching the surface.This was my first look at the Irish "troubles" of 1919. The desire of the Irish to govern themselves had been a thorn in English politics fo [...]

    26. I read this originally 3 years ago, having heard about it as a result of it winning the lost Booker prize, and while at the outset I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it, I absolutely loved the book at the time. My opinion was only strengthened by my reread.Set initially in 1919, in an Ireland increasingly ravaged by the 'troubles' or the 'War of Independence' depending on the political outlook of the characters, it tells the story of Major Brendan Archer, who comes to the Majestic Hotel in Killnalough, [...]

    27. As in The Siege of Krishanpur, Farrell, in this book set against the increasing violence against the English in the Irish struggle for independence, created, in his characters, parodies of the English ruling class, holding them up to ridicule rather than sympathy for being caught up in a tragedy. In Farrell s view, clearly the English have caused their own tragedy; he spotlights a (fictional) group of English people living at the deteriorating Majestic Hotel in County Wexford, Ireland as a way o [...]

    28. Perhaps the best book I've ever read. Hilarious, bleak, surreal and so very real, this absurd look at the crumbling British empire through the eyes of a shell-shocked upper class twit at a once glorious hotel (the Majestic" in Ireland on the eve of the "Troubles" was impossible to put down. Anyone who loves literature will love this book.

    29. I'm sorry that I waited 6 years to read this wonderful Farrell book after discovering his Siege of Krishnapur in 2008. This one won the Lost Booker in 1970 (Krishnapur won the regular Booker in ??) As The Guardian puts it: "A tour de force…sad, tragic, also very funny."

    30. A humorous satire on the final years of British rule in Ireland. The Nationalist cause doesn't escape the author's sharp pen either.

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