Friday, August 11, 2006

Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

I had never read Julian Barnes and was always told I should read Julian Barnes so I read Julian Barnes. Having read him, it begs the question: what is the deal with Julian Barnes? I can’t say I disliked the book, a fictionalized account of an actual, early 20th century legal case where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle defended an unknown half-Indian barrister named George Edjali in court, a legal matter that became quite the cause celebre in England. Told in chapters alternating each man’s voice, it’s well-written and interesting, especially for fans of Conan Doyle from a historical POV. However, I got done with it and didn’t know what it was I had just read. It wasn’t particularly laborious, though the prose style is dense and slower than say, Nick Hornby, though that may just be the Barnes style but it wasn’t engrossing or evocative or thrilling either. This jury is out on Julian Barnes.

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