The Siege of Krishnapur

The Siege of Krishnapur

An Empire Novel

Book - 2004
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Random House, Inc.
Winner of the Booker Prize.

India, 1857—the year of the Great Mutiny, when Muslim soldiers turned in bloody rebellion on their British overlords. This time of convulsion is the subject of J. G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur, widely considered one of the finest British novels of the last fifty years.

Farrell’s story is set in an isolated Victorian outpost on the subcontinent. Rumors of strife filter in from afar, and yet the members of the colonial community remain confident of their military and, above all, moral superiority. But when they find themselves under actual siege, the true character of their dominion—at once brutal, blundering, and wistful—is soon revealed.

The Siege of Krishnapur is a companion to Troubles, about the Easter 1916 rebellion in Ireland, and The Singapore Grip, which takes place just before World War II, as the sun begins to set upon the British Empire. Together these three novels offer an unequaled picture of the follies of empire.

Baker & Taylor
A novel set in India in the mid-nineteenth century takes readers to the far outposts of empire where rumors of war often materialize into actual combat, focusing on a British colonial community that finds itself, and its "superior" Victorian values, under siege. Winner of the 1973 Booker Prize. Reprint.

Blackwell North Amer
India, 1857 - the year of the Great Mutiny, when Muslim soldiers turned in bloody rebellion on their British overlords. This time of convulsion is the subject of J. G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur, widely considered one of the finest British novels of the last fifty years.
Farrell's story is set in an isolated Victorian outpost on the subcontinent. Rumors of strife filter in from afar, and yet the members of the colonial community remain confident of their military and, above all, moral superiority. But when they find themselves under actual siege, the true character of their dominion - at once brutal, blundering, and wistful - is soon revealed.
The Siege of Krishnapur is a companion to Troubles, about the Easter 1916 rebellion in Ireland, and The Singapore Grip, which takes place just before World War II, as the sun begins to set upon the British Empire. Together these three novels offer a picture of the follies of empire.

Publisher: New York : Carroll & Graf, 2004, 1997
Edition: Second edition
ISBN: 9781590170922
9780786704842
0786704845
Branch Call Number: FICTION FARRE...J
Characteristics: 344 pages ; 21 cm

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Blue_18
May 08, 2015

Read this book. Yeah, it's a historical novel and historical novels sometimes make me want to hit myself in the head with a large hammer but this one is different. It gets you into the people and the place but does not forget funny things happen everyday and in the strangest places. "Fleury was deeply touched by the sympathetic words; at the same time he was too overwhelmed by Louise's loveliness to be able to gaze directly at her face. Meanwhile, the pariah dog, which for some reason found him strangely exciting, had again come stealthily hopping back and was attempting to lean lovingly against his ankles." Then there's some stuff about the British being very British which seems to range from overly professional to plan nuts; sometimes both. Things are looking bad for the British but then, "While the Collector's eyes had been lifted to the sky a loathsome creature had approached him along the ground; it was the hideous pariah dog, looking for Fleury." It's like Monty Python wrote a historical novel...

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Bill2smith
Mar 24, 2015

From Seattle library picks.

raydat51 Oct 22, 2011

The beauty of Farrell's book lies not in its contemplation of the history of British brutality in India but in its exposing of the self satisfaction, hubris and ignorance that was at the heart of even the genteel classes of British society. The imagery in the book is gorgeous in its evocation of the Indian countryside, as well as its communication of the utterly alien face it presents to British settlers who seek to transplant England to India and wonder why it simply cannot be accepted by the larger Indian populace.
A wonderful character study which stands firmly on its own two feet as a worthy read.

wwgg Jul 05, 2011

Andrew Miller's top 10 historical novels

debwalker Jan 04, 2011

Charlotte Gray: "This was the year I discovered J.G. Farrell, the British writer who produced the dazzling Empire Trilogy in the 1970s and then drowned, aged only 44, in 1979. Farrell’s three novels, set in the declining years of the British Empire, were reissued recently, and in 2010, Troubles, the first of the trilogy, scooped up the “Lost Booker,” for 1970 – a year when the prize was not awarded.

"But my favourite of the trilogy is The Siege of Krishnapur. Set in 1857, when Indian sepoys rebelled and their British overlords retreated in shocked confusion to their compound, The Siege of Krishnapur won the Booker in 1973 and narrowly missed being picked as the “Best of the Bookers” this year. It is gripping, hilarious and tragic. Farrell paints a brilliant portrait of the occupying elite. His stiff-upper-lip Victorian soldiers, administrators and memsahibs display lunatic self-importance, generous humanity and horrific ignorance of local beliefs and interests. I’ve never read a piece of fiction that explores with such subtlety the assumptions on which the Empire was built – assumptions instilled for generations by British private schools."

2
21221012271000
Aug 31, 2010

Describes the insular British and their claim to rule justly a country they didn't or couldn't much understand.

describes the ambitions and delusions of British rule over India ---- the elaborate imperial self-deception which is the true subject of this book.

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