Part of my self appointed task of reading all Booker winners. This one got a well deserved gong in 1973. Loved it – Ripping Yarn – great characters – action – philosophy – humour – theology – social commentary and, well, the boys do get to see the odd naked bosom. The novel is a fictional account of the Indian uprising of 1857. The stage is set with some fine descriptions of a newcomer attempting to join the Society of a colonised town in India. As the siege begins Farrell provides the characters with the best of British spirit and ingenuity while also showing the absurdity of their social and class system. As their lives disintegrate, the stiff upper lip attitude remains intact. The novel shows why the British were able to build an Empire while also showing why they were unable to maintain one.
Loved it and will look for more of J G Farrell.
Here’s your quote: “Why do people insist on defending their ideas and opinions with such ferocity, as if defending honour itself? What could be easier to change than an idea?”