“Fictional tale of Arthur Conan Doyle and a misjudged lawyer whom he defended, Sherlock Holmes style. The story was told in alternating viewpoints. Clearly based on factual events. The parts about Doyle were most interesting.”Jaime Lire wrote this review Thursday, July 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“And yet few asked what life was, and why it was, and if it was the only life or the mere amphitheatre to something quite different.
The demolition of antique faiths had been fundamental to human advancement; but now that those old buildings had been levelled, where was man to find shelter in this blasted landscape?”
“Excellent read. ”Sarah L wrote this review Wednesday, May 16, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Fascinating fictionalized account of the relationship between George Edalji, a half Parsi solicitor who was falsely accused of writing menacing letters to his own family and of mutilating farm animals, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous writer who tried to use his fame to clear Edalji's name. There is, however, much more going on in this story, as Barnes examines the differences between literal vision and perception, religion and spirituality, rationality and emotion, prejudice and liberality. Be forewarned that the first half of the novel is full of exposition, but it's necessary for the story to unfold as it does. I was strongly reminded of Margaret Atwood's "Alias Grace," another fictionalized account of a true crime. On the whole, a gripping, moving read that left me wanting more.”Lady Dixie wrote this review Saturday, May 5, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“ The story of two men brought together by the Great Wyrley Outrages, where animals were mutilated. The solicitor son of the local vicar is found guilty of this and Sie Arthur Conan Doyle clears his name. Well researched and cleverly revealed, it tells the story of the two men.”Cathy S wrote this review Thursday, May 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Really enjoyed this quite lengthy book. Very precisely written. I didn't realise til partway through that the Arthur of the title was Conan Doyle, and that the book was based on true events. Makes me want to read some Sherlock Holmes to find out if Barnes was emulating Doyle's style.”Pamski wrote this review Saturday, March 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I walked into this book not knowing that it was based on true events about the author of Sherlock Holmes and a very notable case accusing a small town solicitor of wrong-doing. I very much enjoyed the beginning of the book in which the author outlines the two main characters' childhood lives and sets up their backgrounds. He very slowly unfolds who they are and what is to come. This is where it was spoiled for me. I went on to Amazon.com to read a bit about the book and the amazon review was a complete SPOILER - with no warning!!! Maybe I'm the only one in the world who didn't know about this case - but honestly? Did they have to go there?
In any case. The book was long-winded. It reminded me of stories my mother would tell where we'd roll our eyes wondering if she would ever get to the point. Barnes left no detail unexplained, no thought process unexamined. I felt like it could have used a generous dollop of editing.
As far as the story goes, George is a boy who grows up in a small town, the son of a Pharsee Christian vicar and a Scottish mother. He is quiet, book-smart lad, with few friends and fewer social skills. He lives in a world of rowdy, sports-minded boys and becomes a target of nasty anonymous accusations. Arthur, on the other hand, grows up comfortably, becomes an ophtalmologist-turned author and takes an interest in George's case. It goes from there. Victorian England, manners, the court system, prejudices and love affairs all become threads in this book.
I would have LOVED it had it been 100 pages shorter. ”
“Reading e-book edition from county public library”arlene s wrote this review Thursday, March 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Intriguing and vaguely disturbing. A terribly British culture is somehow subverted in a novel that winds its way from idyllic village life to something very dark. I do not quite know what to think of it just yet. It is certainly compelling.”George E wrote this review Monday, February 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“My second book by this author. (Though this one was written before, "A Sense of an Ending"). Oddly enough, I didn't love this book. It seemed as though the author felt the weight of writing about well known historical figures, and it made the work a bit scholarly. Whereas "A Sense of an Ending", flowed effortlessly.The characters seemed detached from their own lives, and they didn't draw me in. In Barnes "A Sense of an Ending", the characters have a rich interior dialogue that I felt immersed in. Not so here. ”Jocelyn P wrote this review Sunday, February 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No