bookshelves: hong-kong, fraudio, published-2004, winter-20132014, period-piece, tbr-busting-2013, lit-richer, colonial-overlords, legal-courtcase
Read from December 02, 2013 to January 02, 2014
From the description: Sir Edward Feathers has had a brilliant career, from his early days as a lawyer in Southeast Asia, where he earned the nickname Old Filth (FILTH being an acronym for Failed In London Try Hong Kong) to his final working days as a respected judge at the English bar. Yet through it all he has carried with him the wounds of a difficult and emotionally hollow childhood. Now an eighty-year-old widower living in comfortable seclusion in Dorset, Feathers is finally free from the regimen of work and the sentimental scaffolding that has sustained him throughout his life. He slips back into the past with ever mounting frequency and intensity, and on the tide of these vivid, lyrical musings, Feathers approaches a reckoning with his own history. Not all the old filth, it seems, can be cleaned away.
Clicking away whilst this is reading I found that Gardam has featured Sir Edward Feathers in other following works:The People on Privilege Hill The Man in the Wooden Hat
As a Raj orphan, Eddie Feathers's story parallels Kipling on many levels and Gardam penned an absolute perfection of time and place with this story. Highly recommended. 4*
4* Old Filth
The autobiography of a fictitious character, Eddie Feathers, also known as Filth – Failed in London Try Hong Kong. It was a story of more about the growth and experiences of an orphan with an indifferent father in the Army, rather than the career of a lawyer. There were alternating narration of his last days after the death of his wife Betty, and his life from baby through old boy school to evacuee on ships and then fresh barrister. It stopped when his life had gone through these major obstacles in his early life.
It was not an exciting story. It took me a long time to finish it. However, one can feel the unease Filth had faced with in the early ages, shaping his sad and self-conscious character in his later days. There was a surprising self-confession of a murder towards the end, which looked to me like an artificial summit for the book....Continua