Sunday, December 10, 2006

Arthur and George

Picked up this book the other day because I liked the look of the cover and the synopsis on the back seemed intriguing. Started reading it last month and I have gone through periods of reading it a lot and then just the odd page here and there. Is it any good? Well, I'm not sure, it's interesting as it is based on historical figures and is a fictional account of something that actually happened. The imprisonment of George for a crime he did not commit and the subsequent campaign to clear his name led by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It starts well as we are introduced to the characters, but I found the court case of George rather tedious. I'm not a fan of courtroom literature, and as the result is obvious from the outset, it seems overlong. It then progresses from courtroom drama to who-done-it mystery and the interest levels are raised. Unfortunately there are then reams of pages given to the story of Arthur's love of another woman and all the complications that that brings. So in all I think this book is fairly average, and fails to engage and grapple with the institutional racism of the time and the pre-conceived opinion of 'half-caste' people. Still, it's well researched.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would agree with you completely. I have been waiting until I finished the book to post a very similar review, but somehow I just cant really bring myself to go back to the book. Which is annoying as the first few chapters are rather good and I hate the fact it is about Doyle as it all was so fanciful until then!

Instead St Augustines Confessions seems to win out - how bizzarre!

Warm Regards Ever
John