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Winner of the 1970 lost Man Booker prize
'A work of genius' GUARDIAN
'One of the finest novels of the past 50 years' MAIL ON SUNDAY
'Funny, sad and beautifully written; prescient, wise, original and unexpectedly eccentric' OBSERVER
'No finer work has ever been written about this transitional period in Irish history: it remains a landmark in 20th-century Irish literature' IRISH INDEPENDENT
Major Brendan Archer travels to Ireland - to the Majestic Hotel and to the fiancée he acquired on a rash afternoon's leave three years ago. Despite her many letters, the lady herself proves elusive, and the Major's engagement is short-lived. But he is unable to detach himself from the alluring discomforts of the crumbling hotel. Ensconced in the dim and shabby splendour of the Palm Court, surrounded by gently decaying old ladies and proliferating cats, the Major passes the summer. So hypnotic are the faded charms of the Majestic, the Major is almost unaware of the gathering storm. But this is Ireland in 1919 - and the struggle for independence is about to explode with brutal force.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Set in 1919, at the outset the Irish War of Independence, this darkly funny farce evokes the chaos and folly of the final hours of British rule with madcap humour and strikingly precise prose. Originally published in 1970, Troubles—the first book in J.G. Farrell’s wry Empire Trilogy—was awarded the one-off Lost Man Booker Prize in 2010. It follows World War I veteran Major Brendan Archer, who returns from the western front to find his fiancée, Angela Spencer, ailing and her dysfunctional family reeling from the decline of the family business: the Hotel Majestic on the eastern coast of Ireland. Overrun by hordes of feral cats, the decrepit inn is host to a gaggle of eccentric castaways. Farrell’s superbly crafted novel is a tragicomic gem from a brilliant writer whose untimely death was a great loss to modern literature.