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Troubles (Empire Trilogy) por J.G. Farrell
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Troubles (Empire Trilogy) (original 1970; edição 2002)

por J.G. Farrell (Autor), John Banville (Introdução)

Séries: Empire Trilogy (1)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaDiscussões / Menções
1,2454411,887 (4.01)1 / 494
1919: After surviving the Great War, Major Brendan Archer makes his way to Ireland, hoping to discover whether he is indeed betrothed to Angela Spencer, whose Anglo-Irish family owns the once aptly-named Majestic Hotel in Kilnalough. But his fiancee is strangely altered and her family's fortunes have suffered a spectacular decline. The hotel's hundreds of rooms are disintegrating on a grand scale; its few remaining guests thrive on rumors and games of whist; herds of cats have taken over the Imperial Bar and the upper stories; bamboo shoots threaten the foundations; and piglets frolic in the squash court. Meanwhile, the Major is captivated by the beautiful and bitter Sarah Devlin. As housekeeping disasters force him from room to room, outside the order of the British Empire also totters; there is unrest in the East, and in Ireland itself the mounting violence of "the troubles."… (mais)
Membro:pjkissman
Título:Troubles (Empire Trilogy)
Autores:J.G. Farrell (Autor)
Outros autores:John Banville (Introdução)
Informação:NYRB Classics (2002), Edition: Reprint, 480 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Troubles por J. G. Farrell (1970)

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The story is told from the perspective of an English soldier; a Major has just returned from WWI France and his story unfolds against the backdrop of the Irish uprising that led to the creation of the Republic. The Major goes to visit a girl he met prewar, whose English family owns a decrepit old hotel in an Irish coastal village. The title refers to the political unrest and fighting in Ireland and also to the unfolding of the Major's life. We meet some fascinating characters, her family, Irish hired help and the English aging guests who are fading as fast as the hotel. The Major is enough of an outsider to be able to step back from the contempt the English characters have for the Irish and the hate the Irish return. The decaying of the hotel mirrors the collapse of the society around it and the owner is just as oblivious to that as he is to his role in the village unrest In spite of this setting, parts of the novel are actually very humorous. The author's description of the slow collapse of the ancient hotel and how the occupants adjust is wickedly funny. I really enjoyed this one. ( )
  Oregonreader | Jun 17, 2021 |
I don't feel much about the book and don't quite get the accolades. Nothing much happens. Most of it takes place in the Majestic Hotel, a crippling hotel that symbolizes the British empire on its last legs. The main character is Major Archer, who ends up caring more about the hotel than its owner and running it. Farrell weaves in developments of the empire throughout the book - these extracts could appear abruptly but you get used to it. This plot device accounts for the half star. ( )
  siok | Jun 5, 2021 |
For my reactions to all the Booker Prize winners, see my blog www.methodtohermadness.com

Welcome to the Hotel Majestic, English-owned luxury hotel in Ireland, once grand, now crumbling. Welcome to the sun setting on the British Empire.

Major Brendan Archer, English WWI veteran, has come to the Hotel Majestic in 1919 to make good on a hasty engagement entered into during a brief R&R. Sadly, the young lady has fallen fatally ill, but by the time she passes on, the Major has become as much as fixture in the place as its statue of Venus and can’t tear himself away.

The hotel teems with metaphor: green-eyed ginger (Irish) cats multiply and lord it over hapless (English) dogs, who are fed steak while locals starve. A Sinn Feiner tries to bomb a statue of Queen Victoria. Tropical trees (African and Asian colonies) grow out of control in the Palm Room, tearing down the Empire -- I mean, the Majestic.

The Major, however, stubbornly walks a fine line, trying to maintain the peace and see everyone’s side. Alternately naïve and noble, he counters the reactionary Tory hotel owner with a voice of reason. He’s a likable character, except for his inertia. If he were a real person, I’d be fed up with him after fifty pages, but he is a necessary witness to the quickly declining situation.

Finally, the Major has an epiphany about the owner’s belligerence, and the belligerence of colonists everywhere: they are afraid. Britain is terrified, and lashes out in revenge for all it has lost, blindly overlooking all it has taken from the Irish and the rest of the world.

The tale, as labyrinthine as the old hotel, is punctuated with news items, usually one about “the troubles” in Ireland coupled with one from another hot spot in the soon-to-be-former British Empire, such as India or South Africa.

Much like the first Booker Prize winner, Something to Answer For, which is set in Egypt during the Suez Canal Crisis, Troubles shows that British authors of the 1960s and 70s were preoccupied with post-colonial issues. I prefer Farrell’s take. Though both their protagonists seem to be aimless drifters, unlucky in love, the Major has backbone, the “ramrod posture” that one Irish lass teases him about. He knows right from wrong and speaks his mind, always urging peace.

( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
I read Farrell's troubles because the Siege of Krishnapur is fantastic, but the book is a comedy, and in the end it sort of nihilistically forgets about every character arc and plot point. It doesnt kill people off or anything, it just doesnt address them, and the comedy isnt funny because of the background tragedy. The romances are unfulfilled, the tension is unreleased.

Its like a book about a decaying corpse, but tries to make unsuccessful jokes about decay being funny, when we know its not. I'm pretty mad it went to such shit so late in the novel, as now I feel like I wasted my time.

oh and btw irish civil war, except it only manifests itself in sexual dilly-dallying with loose women and black and tans, random acts of banditry that end up in wacky but depressing situations, and newspaper clippings. ( )
  billt568 | Aug 25, 2020 |
Oh so weird and so funny and soooo weird. Like Cold Comfort Farm plus Gormenghast plus Evelyn Waugh plus the Troubles. ( )
1 vote JBD1 | Aug 23, 2020 |
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In those days the Majestic was still standing in Kilnalough at the very end of a slim peninsula covered with dead pines leaning here and there at odd angles.
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1919: After surviving the Great War, Major Brendan Archer makes his way to Ireland, hoping to discover whether he is indeed betrothed to Angela Spencer, whose Anglo-Irish family owns the once aptly-named Majestic Hotel in Kilnalough. But his fiancee is strangely altered and her family's fortunes have suffered a spectacular decline. The hotel's hundreds of rooms are disintegrating on a grand scale; its few remaining guests thrive on rumors and games of whist; herds of cats have taken over the Imperial Bar and the upper stories; bamboo shoots threaten the foundations; and piglets frolic in the squash court. Meanwhile, the Major is captivated by the beautiful and bitter Sarah Devlin. As housekeeping disasters force him from room to room, outside the order of the British Empire also totters; there is unrest in the East, and in Ireland itself the mounting violence of "the troubles."

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