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Book Title: The Siege of Krishnapur|
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.97 MB
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The author of the book: J.G. Farrell
Edition: Book Club Associates
Date of issue: 1974
ISBN: No data
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Reader ratings: 7.5
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A fictionalized account of the Indian Mutiny (1857), as the British call it, or the First War of Independence, as it's known in India. I agree with my GR friend Mark Monday who felt there was insufficient adventure here. We don't get any great battlefield set pieces, or much in the line of guerrilla warfare either. Instead, the story focuses on a relatively small group of twenty or so British subjects within the government compound of Lucknow, disguised here as Krishnapur, and how they fend off the attacking Muslim sepoys until relieved by their fellow occupying nationals.
The book is a pleasure read. I understand Farrell wanted to emphasize the claustrophobic isolation of the Residency, and how that strain told over time on the ever-thinning inhabitants. But to do that he felt he had to ignore the native POV, and that was something I missed keenly as a reader. Granted, the book is what it is. I don't want to say that Farrell should have written some other book.
The novel is anti-colonial in the best sense, not at all in a hectoring or strident fashion. Author Farrell shows us why the imperialist mindset was wrong from the start by way of so many actions and images. One being the materialist-spiritualist dichotomy which is an ongoing theme throughout the novel. The Great Exhibition of 1851 serves as the embodiment of the materialist side. We know the tide has turned against expansionist imperialism when the Collector, earlier such a great fan of the Exhibition, comes to the conclusion thatHe, too, [had] suffered from an occasionally enlightening vision which came to him from the dim past and which he must have suppressed at the time . . . The extraordinary array of chains and fetters, manacles and shackles exhibited by Birmingham for export to America's slave states, for instance . . . Why had he not thought more about such exhibits? Well, he had never pretended that science and industry were good in themselves, of course . . . They still had to be used correctly. All the same he should have thought a great deal more about what lay behind the exhibits.
Of course, the view that science was and is good in itself was exactly the view that the Collector espoused before the siege opened his eyes. Recommended for all, but especially lovers of the historical novel.
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Read information about the authorJames Gordon Farrell, known as J.G. Farrell, was a Liverpool-born novelist of Irish descent. Farrell gained prominence for his historical fiction, most notably his Empire Trilogy (Troubles, The Siege of Krishnapur and The Singapore Grip), dealing with the political and human consequences of British colonial rule. The Siege of Krishnapur won the 1973 Booker Prize. On 19 May 2010 it was announced that Troubles had won the Lost Man Booker Prize, which was a prize created to recognize works published in 1970 (a group that had not previously been open for consideration due to a change in the eligibility rules at the time).
Farrell's career was cut short when he was drowned off the coast of Ireland at the age of 44.
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