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The victimization of George takes the form of nasty letters, the theft of a school key, and finally, the accusation that he has mutilated animals. Meanwhile, Arthur is becoming more and more famous for creating Sherlock Holmes, whom he tries to kill off once and is forced to resurrect because of his fans' outcry. He marries, fathers two children and then, when his wife is invalided by consumption, falls madly in love for the first time with Jean Leckie.
The novel's style is smoothly revelatory. We slowly come to realize that George is half-Indian, that Arthur is the famous Doyle, that the woman he loves, chastely, is not his wife and, sadly, that George will not prevail over the forces ranged against him.
When George, desperate to resume his law career after imprisonment, sends Arthur the sad chronicle of his history, Arthur sees immediately that he could not be guilty and sets out to clear his name. This case of George's lifts Arthur from the slough of despond into which he has sunk after his wife, Touie, dies. He is guilt-ridden, constantly wondering if he was attentive enough, if she could possibly have known about Jean. Realizing the immense injustice George has suffered, he is shaken out of lethargy and, in Holmesian fashion, sets out to solve the case.
Julian Barnes is a gifted writer of enormous accomplishment. This novel is thoroughly engrossing, filled with Barnes's trademark themes of identity and love, longing and loss, and ultimately, an examination of man's inhumanity to man. --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The book was entertaining and informative. Enjoyed the surprise when I found out who Arthur was.Published 1 month ago by Barbara M.
An amazing and engaging piece of historical fiction taken from the real life of Arthur Conan Doyle. I am new to Julian Barnes, having chanced upon and thoroughly enjoyed his... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Busy Mom
Interesting that there is some historical basis to the story. Read this, then read some Sherlock stories for a different perspective on the author.Published 3 months ago by M. Russo
i loved "talking it over" and i decidedto read this one without taking a peek at the reviews..and i regret this decision. Read morePublished 3 months ago by NGT
To an extent I was initially confused as to whether Arthur and George (Arthur being Arthur Conan Doyle) was to be understood as biography ( which it does very well) or fiction;... Read morePublished 3 months ago by SevilleOrange
Interesting but overlong historical novel. Characters were deftly drawn. Many true details of case, investigation, and resolution, bur novel's structure was unwieldy.Published 3 months ago by Jessica Dill
I'm not a big fan of the Sherlock Holmes series, but I found this story fascinating on many levels. You feel you are getting true pictures of the times, of English village life,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kathryn G Phillips