Wednesday, March 29, 2006

One more down

The day before yesterday I finshed "Arthur and George" by Julian Barnes. I think the best summation I have found in a review is one that said something along the line of 'everything a novel is capapble of.' Sounds good to me. You know you are reading a good novel when you don't want to finish.

The story is about Arthur Conan Doyle and a solicitor named George Edalji. George is half Indian and half Scottish and is convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Racism is so obviously at play that Doyle jumps into the fray and helps George receive a pardon. It's just a delightful character driven story. Supposedly it's also about what it means to be English but that don't matter. The storytelling style reminded me a little of E.L. Doctorow. Very little dialogue at times and a lot of time spent inside a character's head. The character of George Edalji is so thoroughly realized that, later in the novel, the way he reacts to his surroundings is perfectly in keeping with his character that you laugh inwardly and think, "Good ole George. He's never going to change." It's astounding.

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