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Book at Bedtime - Troubles - Episode 5


The recipient of the Lost Man Booker Prize for 1970, J. G. Farrell's tragi-comic masterpiece set against the Irish struggle for independence, read by Jim Norton. Major Brendan Archer travels to Ireland after the war to visit Angela Spencer - the fiancée he appears to have accidentally acquired on an afternoon's leave, three years before. Arriving in the town of Kilnalough, he finds himself in the crumbling surroundings of a grand old Irish hotel - the Majestic - with its eccentric owner Edward Spencer (Angela's father), community of gently decaying old ladies and unceasingly proliferating cats. Despite an unexpected resolution to his engagement and numerous resolutions to leave Ireland, the Major is increasingly unable to detach himself from the Majestic's faded and verging-on-dilapidated charms - not to mention the charms of one Kilnalough resident in particular - while the surrounding countryside becomes ever more unsettled and violent as the gathering storm of the Irish struggle for independence is about to erupt. J. G. Farrell was born in Liverpool in January 1935. In 1956 he went to study at Brasenose College, Oxford; while there he contracted polio. He drew heavily on his experience for his second novel, The Lung (1965). He spent a good deal of his life abroad, including periods in France, America and the Far East. His novel, Troubles (1970), the first in the Empire Trilogy, won the Faber Memorial Prize in 1971 and was made in to a film for television in 1988. The second in the trilogy, The Siege of Krishnapur won the Booker Prize in 1973. In April 1979, he went to live in County Cork, where, only four months later, he was drowned in a fishing accident. Troubles is abridged by Doreen Estall and produced by Heather Larmour.

Broadcasts

  • 2010-11-12 22:45:00 - 2010-11-12 23:00:00 on Radio 4 FM, Radio 4 LW,