“Beautiful writing, intriguing characters and situations, but it stopped so abruptly that I feel I must have missed the point of the story; if that was the ending, what story was she telling? Will give it 4 stars anyway.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Beautiful writing, intriguing characters and situations, but it stopped so abruptly that I feel I must have missed the point of the story; if that was the ending, what story was she telling? Will give it 4 stars anyway. ”mef wrote this review Wednesday, October 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Finding a Beryl Bainbridge books was proving difficult until a shelfari friend steered to me to Abebooks.com. It was worth the hunt. Master Georgie is tightly woven story with interesting and complex characters. I don't usually say this about a book because I am not a fan of movies but I could see this story made into an good film about human nature. Very well written with memorable characters.”BookBum wrote this review Saturday, July 2, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Master Georgie - Beryl Bainbridge
I was inspired to read this novel by the posthumous Man Booker Best of Beryl prize which it was recently awarded. That and my enjoyment of The Bottle Factory Outing late last year. And I was not dissappointed.
Bainbridge writes with great economy and wit and an acerbic sense of humour reminiscent of Muriel Spark. Master Georgie also displays a nihilistic streak, as Bainbridge takes on nationalism, religion and whatever else lies in her path and shows all to be little more than a Punch and Judy show but with dirt, misery, blood and gore. All this while making you laugh - quite an achievement.
This achievement, however, seems somehow to be underestimated. Perhaps the act of so successfully pricking pomposity without being pompous means that you don't attract the literati, who may have a tendency towards the pompous. Maybe people are looking for answers rather than to have them so quickly despatched.
Perhaps the key character is Myrtle, who like Heathcliff in another novel, is a foundling from the streets of Liverpool who knows nothing about her identity.
Each of the six chapters is named for a photograph and narrated in turn by Myrtle, Pompey Jones and Dr Potter. Pompey is a street boy who becomes an assosciate of Master Georgie's when he is present at the death of his father. Dr Potter marries Georgie's sister Beatrice. All have very different perspectives and voices. The mise en scene changes from the streets of London to the mud and misery of the siege of Sebastapol. This does not mine picturesque Victoriana but a rich seam of corruption, violence and existential doubt.
Dr Potter is a lapsed geologist whose world has been rocked by the precursor to Darwin's Origin of the Species. "Nothing has affected me quite so brutally as that manifesto of the new sciences, Principles of Geology by Mr Lyell. I was twenty-two years old when I first read it. Result, I have not been the same man since. Echoing the sentiments of Mr Ruskin, I have often lamented to Beatrice, 'Those dreadful Hammers! I hear the clink of them through every cadence of the Bible verses.'
This is a book that deals with final things but lets us know that there is little reason to lament the final end of the human race. We are little but a geological aside.
'It's useful to know one's beginnings.'
'There are more urgent things to contemplate,' he muttered, 'one's end for instance,' and the water having come to the boil, made tea.'
If you don't mind your tea strong, black and sugar free this could be a book for you.
Longer version at http://theknockingshop.blogspot.com/2011/05/master-georgie.html
“The story in this book really grabbed me initially, the time period of Victorian England, figuring out the relationships between the characters, and so on, but I confess my interested lagged later in the book.”elspbeth wrote this review Tuesday, August 14, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No