Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Saturday, May 27, 2017

"Arthur & George" by Julian Barnes

I picked this book up with absolutely no prior knowledge of its contents--just Sam's recommendation of the author. That turned out to be a really great way of coming to this book, so I almost feel bad giving you details that I really appreciated not knowing ahead of time. 
So I'll give you a choice. I'll start off by saying that I really enjoyed this book, it was well-written, and I highly recommend it. Then I'll start telling you why . . . but if you think you might like to read it and want to come to it blind, stop reading here. 

Last chance . . . 

OK, so here are the main things I didn't know about this book ahead of time:

1. It's historical fiction--a true story. I'm sure there was some embellishment going on, as is necessary in the genre, but the framework of the story is based on fact.
2. The titular Arthur is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

This book tells the story of the intersection between the creator of Sherlock Holmes and a half-Indian Englishman named George Edalji, who was accused and convicted of slashing a pony. George and his family steadfastly insisted on his innocence, and Doyle became George's champion, trying to clear his name. 

My only complaint about the book is with its ending. Unanswered questions and unexplained mysteries remained, and I wanted things neat and clear. It was too messy . . . but that's the way real life is. 

And I couldn't have had a nicer location to read it!!

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