Join the Conversation

Join the Conversation

Sign up today to hear about books and authors from an independent bookstore near you.

Troubles

Troubles Cover

Troubles

Winner of the 2010 "Lost Man Booker Prize" for Fiction

By J. G. Farrell; John Banville (Introduction by)

New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590170182, 480pp.

Publication Date: October 31, 2002

Description
Winner of the Lost Man Booker Prize
1919: 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 fiancee 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.


About the Author
J.G.Farrell (1935 1979) was born with a caul, long considered a sign of good fortune. Academically and athletically gifted, Farrell grew up in England and Ireland. In 1956, during his first term at Oxford, he suffered what seemed a minor injury on the rugby pitch. Within days, however, he was diagnosed with polio, which nearly killed him and left him permanently weakened. Farrell s early novels, which include"The Lung"and"A Girl in the Head, "have been overshadowed by his Empire Trilogy "Troubles," the Booker Prize winning"Siege of Krishnapur, "and"The Singapore Grip"(all three are published byNYRBClassics). In early 1979, Farrell bought a farmhouse in Bantry Bay on the Irish coast. I ve been trying to write, he admitted, but there are so many competing interests ?the prime one at the moment is fishing off the rocks . Then a colony of bees has come to live above my back door and I m thinking of turning them into my feudal retainers. On August 11, Farrell was hit by a wave while fishing and was washed out to sea. His body was found a month later. A biography ofJ.G.Farrell, J."G. Farrell: The Making of a Writer"by Lavinia Greacen, was published by Bloomsbury in1999.

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of many novels, including"The Book of Evidence," "The Untouchable," and"Eclipse." Banville s novel"The Sea"was awarded the 2005 Man Booker Prize. On occasion he writes under the pen name Benjamin Black."


Praise For Troubles

Remarkable … Mr. Farrell deserves high praise for this novel. It is subtly modulated, richly textured, sad, funny, and altogether memorable.
— Times Literary Supplement

A tour de force … sad, tragic, also very funny.
— The Guardian

Farrell wrote superbly; all his books had a quality that hallmarks great literary talent—he could “do” texture. This album—which is what Troubles feels like—records the same Anglo-Irish as Elizabeth Bowen knew and belonged to. As with Bowen, this feels like the real thing (which is all a novel has to do). Always judge a writer by his grasp of what he doesn’t know: Farrell died young yet his old people are almost his best creations.
— Frank Delaney, The Guardian