Old Filth

Front Cover
Penguin, Jun 1, 2006 - Fiction - 256 pages
1340 Reviews
Sir Edward Feathers has had a brilliant career, from his early days as a lawyer in Southeast Asia, where he earned the nickname Old Filth (FILTH being an acronym for Failed In London Try Hong Kong) to his final working days as a respected judge at the English bar. Yet through it all he has carried with him the wounds of a difficult and emotionally hollow childhood. Now an eighty-year-old widower living in comfortable seclusion in Dorset, Feathers is finally free from the regimen of work and the sentimental scaffolding that has sustained him throughout his life. He slips back into the past with ever mounting frequency and intensity, and on the tide of these vivid, lyrical musings, Feathers approaches a reckoning with his own history. Not all the old filth, it seems, can be cleaned away.

Borrowing from biography and history, Jane Gardam has written a literary masterpiece reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling's Baa Baa, Black Sheep that retraces much of the twentieth century's torrid and momentous history. Feathers' childhood in Malaya during the British Empire's heyday, his schooling in pre-war England, his professional success in Southeast Asia and his return to England toward the end of the millennium, are vantage points from which the reader can observe the march forward of an eventful era and the steady progress of that man, Sir Edward Feathers, Old Filth himself, who embodies the century's fate.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Well written, well paced and great characterisation - Goodreads
Difficult to read - felt very awkward and old. - Goodreads
I love Gardam's writing. - Goodreads
Book club selection--everyone loved this book - Goodreads
A very English book in prose. - Goodreads
Wonderful characterization! - Goodreads

Review: Old Filth (Old Filth #1)

User Review  - Roberta - Goodreads

I was surprised by this book. It was not the type of book I normally read or really enjoy but it was well crafted and worth the time. I'm not sure I engaged with the characters on a personal level, but I did enjoy her story telling abilities. Read full review

Review: Old Filth (Old Filth #1)

User Review  - Laurie Reich - Goodreads

Enjoyed this book. Found it very interesting and well written. Read full review


Section 1
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Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
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Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18

Section 9
Section 10
Section 19

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About the author (2006)

Jane Gardam is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her novels include God on the Rocks, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, The Flight of the Maidens and Old Filth, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She lives in England.

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