Troubles (Empire Trilogy) (Paperback)
NYRB Classics, 9781590170182, 480pp.
Publication Date: October 31, 2002
Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc, Abridged (7/29/2010)
Winner of the Lost Man Booker Prize, this darkly hilarious book about the Irish war for independence takes place in a crumbling hotel on Ireland's west coast, a place where madness and brutality have begun to reign.
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 fiancée 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
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. His most recent book is Mrs. Osmond. On occasion he writes under the pen name Benjamin Black.
Praise For Troubles (Empire Trilogy)…
— 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