Old Filth

Old Filth

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*** Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

 

Anne:

 

This book written in 2004 is just as entertaining today as it was in 2004 and has the additional advantage of being set in a very different Hong Kong.  The Colonial Hong Kong of the past, which allows us to compare it with todays most troubled City.

 

OLD FILTH stands for Failed in London Try Hong Kong. Once again, I will leave the discovery of the story to the reader as I am always distressed if too much actual plot is revealed before the book is even in hand, suffice to say this moving and wonderfully funny portraits of an era is one of the best fiction books I have ever read.

 

Other reviews:

 

A magnificent, deeply moving and compassionate portrait of an era and a sentimental education * Daily Mail *

 

Beautiful, vivid and defiantly funny * The Times *

 

Typical excellence and compulsive readability…the miracle of “Old Filth” is that its hero eludes sociological or psychological pigeonholing. If he is a characteristic Raj orphan, he is also triumphantly his own man * New York Times *

 

This novel is surely Gardam’s masterpiece. On the human level, it is one of the most moving fictions I have read for years…This is the rare novel that drives its reader forward while persistently waylaying and detaining by the sheer beauty and inventiveness of its style. One must savour every phrase. The marriage of quirky eccentricity and psychological authenticity is a Gardam technique, but here her cunning wit, moving deftly between scenes and eras, displays the tragedy of a vintage world forever passing away * Guardian *